Learning through Play with Free Alphabet Printables
Kindergarten in Ontario has been play based for many years now so why not prepare your preschoolers by offering learning activities through play. Kids love to play, and it is so important as this is how they explore an interact with the world. By combining play and learning together, research has found that kids learn more and are more engaged in the activity then simply trying to teach them the letters. Thumper, my preschooler loves learning her letters and getting messy so this Alphabet Sensory Play activity is perfect to keep her learning and having fun through play. If you are interested in other Sensory Alphabet Play activities, then check out our Shamrock Jello Scavengar Hunt.
When should I start introducing my child to letters and numbers?
My answer as a teacher is that it is never too early to expose your child to letters and number through play…. the toddler and preschool ages are foundational in terms of learning and therefore the best time to introduce letters through these fun activities. Alphabet Sensory Play exposes your child to letters and numbers in a way that they don’t even realize they are learning. In the video below you will see Thumper Play with our Mermaid Themed Alphabet Sensory Play, and she was just over 2 years old when this video was taken and could clearly find and identify many of the letters. I also think it is so important to start the exposure early as I taught grade 1 last year and had many children come to Grade 1 without knowlege of the letters and it was so much more difficult to pick up those basic literacy skills at age 6 rather than many years earlier.
Alphabet Sensory Play
When I put together any activity for Thumper I make sure to include some sort of learning whether it be letters, numbers, shapes or colours and I make sure it is a fun play based activity. Now I know moms don’t have a ton of time to find lots of materials which is why I like to keep my activities simple and use materials I already have at home. When creating an activity think of what your toddler already loves to do and incorporate that skill into the activity. For example Thumper had already showed that she loves anything sensory even as a young baby she loved sensory activities so we have been doing them for years. Check out our existing posts on Sensory Bin Ideas and learn the Importance of Sensory Play to young children’s development.
Mermaid Alphabet Learning Printable Activity – What’s Included
This engaging Mermaid themed sensory play activity is the perfect addition to any literacy centre or sensory area. Have your child search for the letters, identify the letters, name the sounds, identify the numbers and even practice writing the letters using the proper Fountas and Pinnel Letter Formation. This activity only includes capital letters so it is a great activity to start with before introduicing lower case letters as well.
This package comes with 5 different sheets to uncover to keep your little one busy! The great thing about this package is that it also includes extension activities and research based materials such as the Official Fountas and Pinnel Letter Formation Chart that teaches children how to properly form their letters. I have also included some questions for parents to ask while their child is playing to open up communication between you and your child. You can laminate it to keep using it over and over again, or simply print it for one time use.
What Materials do I need for this Printable Alphabet Learning Activity:
- A printer to print out the Mermaid Treasure Hunt Sheets
- A cookie tray or something to put the worksheet on top of to limit the mess
- A paint brush or something that allows your child to uncover the letters
- A sensory material: I used flour but you could easily use sand, sugar or any other similar material
Download Your Alphabet Learning ABC Printables Package
Preserve Your Free Alphabet Printables
I laminate all of my teaching materials, always have as when I used to tutor I would use the materials with multiple students and they would last much longer if laminated. By laminating all of the materials I make now for Thumper, I am hoping that I can use them in a few years with Baby Boy Robinson who is due in April of this year. If you have little ones and are spending the time to create learning materials than I highly suggest buying a laminator and laminating pouches… I get mine from Amazon and it costs only a few cents to laminate each page and takes only a few minutes. My favourite laminator is the Scotch Laminator which I have been using since 2012 for tutoring materials and it is still running strong 8 years later and back when I was tutoring I would use it weekly.