There’s a lot of pressure to help kids memorize letters, match uppercase with lowercase and copy them all down on worksheets before kids even enter Kindergarten. There are so many ways for children to experience letters and even develop these skills without ever touching a worksheet. Kids learn best through play! This alphabet rock matching activity is a great way to learn the alphabet while also getting outside and encouraging your child's imagination.
- Egg cartons (or multiple egg cartons to total 26 spaces)
- Gather small rocks 1-2” in width. This can be an activity all on its own! Go on a rock hunt and collect 26 rocks. This is a great way to encourage movement and exploration in nature, while also practicing counting beyond 10.
- Have your child write the uppercase letters of the alphabet on each rock with the markers. If your child knows how to write the alphabet already, they can do this independently. Alternatively, you can write it and your child can trace it, or you can write the letter on a piece of paper and have them write it. With practice, children will start to recognize uppercase letters, and get more comfortable writing them.
- Open the egg cartons and write 26 lowercase letters in each space. You can use a number of egg carton combinations to total 26 spaces - get creative! Seeing the letters written out will help your child start to recognize th areem!
- Now, give your child the pile of rocks. Handling the rocks will help your child work on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
- Ask your child to put the rock with a capital letter in the egg carton with the same lowercase letter. Ask them questions like "Where does the Big A go? Can you show me the small "A" in the egg carton?" Children will start to match upper and lowercase letters and develop letter recognition.
- Extend the play by adding additional challenges such as using a spoon to transfer the rocks. Let your child's imagination work as they lift and load with the goal of delivering the uppercase rocks to their lowercase home in the egg cartons. This activity helps expand your child’s imagination as they problem solve and pretend, while also strengthening their reading skills as they match uppercase to lowercase letters.
Skill areas addressed:
- Pretend play
- Letter recognition
Extensions & Adjustments:
- For children under 4, have the adult do steps 2 and 3 of this activity and encourage your child to match the letters.
- For children under 3, work on the letters in their names. Ex. if their name is CHARLIE, collect 7 rocks. Write C-H-A-R-L-I-E on each rock and c-h-a-r-l-i-e in each egg carton hole.
Author: Lauren Pace