Letter matching activities are an excellent way for preschoolers to explore the alphabet. This is a very basic and easy way to reinforce matching letters of the alphabet in a fun way that preschoolers enjoy.
Young children are naturally fascinated by the letters of the alphabet. Have you ever been driving when your preschool points to a stop sign and says, “Look, Mom! S! My name has s in it!”
Even children as young as two years may begin naming and recognizing letters, especially those in their names or those that are frequently found in their environment. (Although let me be clear that is it completely ok if they aren’t). Those are always their favorite letters.
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These are posts that teach children how to spell their names, or teach the letters of their name.
Letter Tile Names – A Name Recognition Activity
Tape Resist Name and Phonics Booklets
Typically upper case letters are easier for children to learn because the straight lines and familiar “o” shapes are easier for children to recall than lower case letters which are often a mix or various shapes. Take the letter “g” for example. It has an “o” shape, a straight line, and then a hook for the tail. All those together is more difficult for a preschooler to learn than an upper case G which is mostly an “o” shape.
But soon, preschoolers are ready to begin matching upper and lower case letters, and letter matching activities like this one are a great place to start.
- Printed 3 x 5 grid with upper case letters
- Square cut outs with corresponding lower case letters
- Glue sticks
- tray (This helps preschoolers define their work space).
On a sheet of paper I printed out a 3 x 5 grid with the capital letters M, R, S, and T placed in random order at the top of each box. (This activity is the perfect supplement to my phonics lesson plans,!) I printed the lower case letters to match and cut them into letter tiles. (This is my all time favorite paper cutter!)
Each child received a single grid, 15 corresponding letter tiles, and a glue stick all placed on a tray.
My little disclaimers for the preparation
To save time (and prevent potential accidents) I cut out the letter tiles in advance for my 3’s class. However, if doing this activity with a 4-5’s class, I would have had the students do their own cutting. (I keep all those kid scissors organized with this colorful caddy.) Kindergarten teachers really appreciate it when preschoolers have good scissor control. (Need some tips? Check out this post!)
And, to prevent random gluing, (as I knew some students would immediately gravitate to), I made an extra copy of the activity and modeled it for the students. Once I modeled the concept with each letter, I asked the students to help me with the remaining letters. This is a traditional “I Do, Let’s Do it Together, You Do” teaching strategy). This ensured that all students knew exactly what to do when they received their own materials.
One thing I would do differently is make the letter tiles smaller than pictured. Although they are smaller than the squares they were gluing the tiles to, they were still big enough that the students could easily cover the upper case letter on the grid. I wanted the end product to show both the upper and lower case letters.
The Letter Matching Activity
The object of the activity came in two strides. First, the students identified each upper case letter on the grid. With the repetition of the four letters throughout the grid, identification of the letters became solidified. Next, the students identified the lower case letters on the letter tiles and matched with the upper case by gluing it on the grid.
I offered this activity to my three-year-old preschool class. While I was expecting it to be difficult for some of my students, it was received rather well. Surprisingly, our biggest challenge was not the matching of upper and lower case letters. Instead, it was learning to paste the letter tiles on the grid correctly.
You know, put the glue on the back of the tile, not the front, and put the tile right-side-up? Just the little things you wouldn’t think would be a challenge, haha!
You can see in the photo below that some letters were pasted on sideways. 🙂 Perhaps a little more practice with glue sticks during our art lessons?
Once completed, I invited individual students to name specific letters as I pointed to them. I challenged students to also think of something that began with that letter. (Check out this letter/sound activity, too!)
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These are some of my most popular letter matching activities for preschoolers.
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Thinking of objects that begin with the letter sound I was pointing to was a task was difficult for the students, as it is a skill that typically isn’t mastered until late preschool or not even until kindergarten for a lot of children. But this was a quick way for me to informally assess their letter/sound knowledge. And, when I named a word, my three-year-old students were easily able to identify if that word began with the same letter to which I was pointing. This is just like our sound matching activity I threw together with just a set of animals toys and a lot like our flashcard practice.
This upper and lower case matching activity was an effective way to reinforce the letters we had been studying. It was an excellent review and the students were proud of their completed work and put it on display.