It’s never too early to learn to fall in love with words! Apart from reading books with your child, there are plenty of hands-on activities and games that teach letter recognition, pre-reading, phonics, and age-appropriate vocabulary skills to set your kids up for success at their first Spelling Bee contest. There are hundreds of alphabet activities and games for toddlers that you can play at home which we’ve pinned on Lemon & Kiwi’s Pinterest board, but in this article we’ve rounded up 18 of our favorite alphabet and beginner spelling activities and games kids ages 3 to 6 years old will love, broken down into the following categories:
- Alphabet Tracing Activities
- Alphabet Recognition Activities
- Sight Word Games
- Spelling Games for Kids
Alphabet Tracing Activities
- Magnetic Alphabet Tracing Board: We love how this double-sided board lets your kiddos practice both their uppercase and lowercase letters for an unlimited number of times. A magnetic stylus pen attracts the beads to the surface with an audible click revealing your creation. Push the beads down with a pen or finger to erase and start over.
- Playfoam Alphabet Set: Great for sensory play and for developing gross motor skills, this Playfoam set teaches preschoolers how to trace and make letters. Kids will absolutely love squeezing and tracing the squishy, squashy letter Playfoam bricks.
- Mr. Pencil’s Scribble & Write: Reminiscent of the classic Etch A Sketch mechanical drawing toy, Mr. Pencil’s Scribble & Write includes six touch screen activities that introduce letter tracing, writing, drawing, and spelling skills with the help of the attached stylus, Mr. Pencil.
- Personalized Family Letter Tracing Book: Can your child recognize and spell their own name as well as all the names of your family members? Our personalized family letter tracing activity book includes customized alphabet tracing worksheets for your toddler to practice their handwriting skills and learn how to spell their parents’, siblings’ and pets’ names
Alphabet Recognition Activities
- Free Printable Alphabet Recognition Worksheets: Head over to our library of free literacy resources for kids and you’ll find plenty of free and fun activity books with games like alphabet mazes, find the missing letters, and alphabet matching.
- Alphabet Slap Jack: Perfect for active little preschoolers, Alphabet Slap Jack is a super fun card game that helps kids learn their upper and lowercase ABC’s. Place the letter cards down one by one and when your child spots the “Slap It!” card, they have to be the first to slap the card. These cards can also be used for letter matching games and as beginning word flash cards.
- Osmo’s Little Genius Sticks & Rings: If you have a child who is always itching to play on your phone or use the iPad, then this brilliant game by Osmo will be the perfect way for them to combine screen time and offline hands-on play. Compatible with the iPad and Amazon Fire Tablet, Osmo’s technology scans the physical blocks and sticks that your child puts together to form letters.
- Alphabet & Numbers Matching Game: In this adorable game, toddlers have to recognize the uppercase letters and numbers on the flashcards and match the corresponding blocks. These alphabet wooden blocks and flashcards will also help children learn colors and animal names.
- Alphabet Island: I have loved playing board games ever since I was a child and I especially enjoyed any game that involved scavenger hunting so I was so excited to discover this game. In Alphabet Island, kids get to practice letter recognition and strengthen early vocabulary skills while hunting for alphabet treasures on alphabet island.
Sight Word Games
- See & Spell Game: In this classic wooden puzzle by Melissa & Doug best for kids 4 to 6 years old, children will practice their sight reading vocabulary, spelling, and fine motor skills as they find the matching colorful alphabet blocks to spell out 3 to 4 letter words.
- Magnetic Letters Kit: This is a household favorite for any family with preschoolers learning their first words. Accompanied by cute flashcards, children can use the soft foam magnet letters to spell out the words on the flashcards, and then use the whiteboard pens to practice their handwriting skills too.
- Match It! Spelling Puzzle: Match It offers a range of self-correcting puzzles aimed at helping kids learn their ABC’s and practice their spelling skills. Your young ones will love completing these puzzles to complete the cartoon illustrations while learning their first words at the same time.
- Editable Sight Word Games: These fun printable sight word games from The Measured Mom are not only entirely free, they’re also 100% editable so that you can personalize them with your own words. The editable games include Sight Word Bang, Sight Word Tic-Tac-Toe, Sight Word Follow the Path, Roll the Sight Word, and Sight Word Parking Lot.
Spelling Games for Kids
- Zingo! World Builder: Made by award-winning brain and logic game designer ThinkFun, this super fun multiplayer game is perfect for playing with friends and family. The Zingo machine will spit out a Zinger (a letter tile) which you then have to use to complete 3-letter words.
- Spelligator: How many words can you chomp? Perfect for playing with friends and family on game night or as a classroom activity, this multiplayer game challenges each player to be the best at word building! Each player has a plastic “Spelligator” with three shaped spaces on its back. Players take turns turning over tiles with letters and blends to form words on their “Spelligator”.
- Free Finish-the-Word Worksheets: Great for distance learning and kids who learn from home, our free finish-the-word printable worksheets are designed to help children ages 4 and up learn beginning blends, consonant blends, and spell 3 to 4 letter words.
- Literacy Wiz Game: This flashcard and spelling game can be played in 3 different ways depending on your child’s vocabulary skills. For beginner players learning to recognize letters and patterns, you can swap between displaying the flashcard or displaying the word and challenge your child to find the corresponding letters or card. For advanced players, you can lift up a flap to cover the word, to test if your kid can recognize the picture on the flashcard and spell the entire word on their own.
- Osmo’s Genius Words: Brilliant for junior tech wizards and gamers, Osmo’s interactive Genius Words game combines tablet screen time with hands-on play. Compatible with the iPad and Amazon Fire Tablet, Osmo’s technology scans the physical letter blocks placed by your child to complete the word games on the screen.