A couple of years ago I discovered ABC sticky notes, and since then we’ve found many fun ways to play with them. We use them for learning the alphabet, making words, art projects, and more. I also keep them in our “on the go” bag that we take to restaurants and appointments where the kids may need to have a little entertainment. For this week’s Discover & Explore: ABC’s & 123’s I thought I’d share some of the ways we play with these handy little letters.
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The specific letters used in this post are the ArtSkills Quick Letters in Neon. They are available on Amazon. I’ve also seen them at Walmart and JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores. There are a few different varieties. I’ve included some of the additional styles in an Amazon widget later in this post for your reference.
You could also use other alphabet pieces for these activities. Magnetic letters, letter tiles, and flashcards would also work. The sticky notes just add a little novelty to the activities, and sometimes that can make a big difference for little learners.
Tips Before Getting Started
- The notes will eventually lose the ability to stick, but they can still be used for most of these activities even if they are no longer sticky.
- Before letting kids play with the letters the first time let them know that they are made of paper so they will need to hold them gently.
- I’ve only found these letters in uppercase format. Do be sure that kids are also exposed regularly to activities with lowercase letters and that they understand words aren’t always written with all uppercase letters.
- If the notes are still sticky these activities can be done on a wall, cabinets, poster board, any smooth surface. If they are no longer sticky, the activities can be done on a flat surface like tile, carpet, or a table.
- Put the letters in order from A to Z.
- Go on a letter hunt. If your child is learning a specific letter or small set of letters, hang them around the room at the child’s height or lower. Then invite your child to go on a scavenger hunt to find all the letters. This is particularly fun for my toddler.
- Spell names. This is even more fun when you scatter the letters around the room and encourage the kids to find all the letters for their name. It’s a great way to incorporate a little movement for those active learners.
Sort the letters by different characteristics like:
- Letters made with straight lines vs. curved lines (pictured above)
- Letters in the child name vs. not in the child name
- Vowels vs. consonants
- Identify words as real or nonsense. On the board or work surface set up a rime (word ending, like -op, -at, et, etc.). Then have kids change the initial consonant and decide whether the new word is a real or nonsense word.
- Practice word families. As in the activity above, set up a rime on the work surface. Pre-select initial consonants that will allow the child to create different words in the word family. Then encourage the child to see how many words he or she can make. You can also have kids write down their words lists.
- Practice sight words.
- Make posters or displays.
- Use the letters as tracers. When first purchased each letter comes in a small pad. They are a good width to use as tracers.
- Make collages. Let kids decorate some of the letters (maybe those in their own name) with small stickers and markers. This is another activity my toddler enjoys.
And don’t throw away all those cutouts that fill the holes in each set of letters…
Aren’t they pretty?!? We keep the pieces and use them for art projects. They are great for gluing to collages, adding to a sticky table invitation to play, or creating shape pictures.
We just toss ours into a drawer in our creation station, so they are ready whenever Lovey and Tinker are feeling crafty.
Use Alphabet Mats to Learn the ABCs
ABC letter mats can be a versatile tool to use in early childhood learning. They can be laminated and used over and over again for letter formation and writing activities. They can also be used to create alphabet books, posters and more. Letter crafts and process art activities related to a letter you are learning can be a fun way for kids to make connections between a letter and something that starts with that beginning sound. In our Alphabet Letter Mats set you’ll find two full sets of alphabet mats to use and tons of ideas for using them. There are over 140 ideas for using the alphabet mats in meaningful ways to reinforce letter recognition and learning letter sounds.
This 181-page resource pack contains the following:
1) Suggestions for Using the Letter Mats-These ideas include ways to use the mats for small group and center activities and can be done for any letter of the alphabet.
2) Process Art Ideas for Each Letter of the Alphabet-60 ideas!
3) Collage and Texture Art Ideas for Each Letter of the Alphabet-54 ideas!
4) Complete sets of alphabet mats in two different font options.
More Alphabet Activities
Try these excellent resources for more hands-on alphabet activities.