Here’s a simple game to make letter recognition a tumbling success! Play again and again to practice letters and fine motor skills.
One of the many advantages of being the daughter of a cabinet maker is my ongoing access to wood craft supplies. So, when I got a bright new idea for a game to play with my kiddos and preschoolers, I didn’t go to the craft store. I called up my dad and put in my order which he summoned from the scraps at his shop. My order was very specific, “Two hundred one inch square wooden tiles, 1/4 in thick, please.” (I could have even specified the kind of wood). He replied, “Of course. How ’bout I cut you three hundred, instead? You can pick them up from the house this weekend.”
And that is how my letter tiles, and the ABC Letter Stack Game, came to life! These are the same tiles I used for the letter sound matching activity and I have used them for so many more fun literacy games. But if you aren’t the daughter of the cabinet maker with the same awesome perks, there are letter tiles available that will work great for this and other games as well!
ABC Letter Stack Game for Letter Identification Practice
I recommend any of the following:
This activity is for building letter recognition skills. Before you begin, spill out the letter tiles on a tray, separating the letters that are unfamiliar. The object of the game is simple: take turns building a tower of letter tiles.
Here’s the catch (and the real learning opportunity)! Before a new letter is added to the tower it must first be named by the player. If a letter tile is not identified correctly the player loses a turn. I used both upper and lower case letters. Part of letter identification is discriminating between the cases and also between look alike letters.
The tower continues to grow until it tumbles over. Of course the tumbling of the tower is William’s favorite part of the game! The notion of building a tower until it falls over motivates him to play again and again, which means he is practicing his letter naming skills again and again.
The game ends when a tower topples over. There are two ways to determine the winner of the game. The winner can be determined by the tallest tower, or by the last tower standing despite its height. Choose the one that best fits your child. For William and I, there was little to no competition in our game, so we ended it when the first tower fell.
Quick Tip! I most likely left my dad’s place that weekend with three hundred tiles (honestly, I didn’t count them), but I did not use all the tiles for the game. It could have been overwhelming, so I used only a couple handfuls of the tiles. As with any activity, it is so important to keep in mind how your little person will respond. Some tweaking will be necessary for success. I’m sure that as my growing little guy becomes more confident in his letter naming and fine motor capabilities I will need to adjust the parameters of the game again.
For More Information about Letter Identification
- Developing Fine Motor and Mathematical Skills by Stacking Blocks by Stay at Home Educator
- Color Sorting and Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers by Stay at Home Educator
- Upper and Lower Case Letter Matching by Stay at Home Educator
- Letter Tile Names by Stay at Home Educator
- Why Teach the ABC’s by Stay at Home Educator