Are you ready to take your preschool literacy instruction up a notch with letter identification games? It’s time for Rainbow Letters Race to the Top! This engaging, interactive game is sure to get your students excited about learning those all-important letters of the alphabet.
It’s here just in time for St. Patrick’s Day or a spring rainbow theme. So hop on board with us and let’s join together as our Rainbow Letters Race to the Top!
Teach Letter Sounds with Alphabet Games for Preschoolers
Learning letters can be a daunting task for preschoolers. But when it’s done in a fun, interactive way, they can quickly learn the basics of letter recognition and letter sounds. This rainbow themed game is just the thing to get your students excited about letters while also keeping them engaged in fun.
For any student to have success while learning how to read, they must first establish a strong understanding of the alphabet. Letter recognition is one of the top predictors for reading proficiency and can be developed through various activities in oral language, phonological awareness, and phonics.
To be truly proficient in their letter recognition skills, children must be able to recognize and pronounce individual letters both out of context and within sequences. This doesn’t just mean being accurate; they also have to develop the ability to do so quickly – a combination known as automaticity that can make all the difference when it comes time for them read with success.
That’s why letter identification games like this one has such an important place in preschool!
FAQ About Teaching Letter Recognition to Preschoolers
Preschoolers need a lot of exposure to the alphabet. They need explicit instruction as well as plenty of indirect alphabet instruction.
That’s where letter knowledge builds through playful and natural activities in day to day life. To start teaching your preschooler the alphabet, try these things:
~ Read lots and lots of picture books!
~ Point out print around you.
~ Teach your child the letters of his name.
~ Teach each letter explicitly.
~ Do lots of whole alphabet activities, too.
~ Do hands-on alphabet activities.
~ Sing letter songs.
The alphabet should not be taught in alphabetical order. Teaching the alphabet in order puts a big focus on those beginning letters. Those are probably going to be the ones that your child sees and remembers most, since that Alphabet Song is so catchy!
Instead, teach the letters in order of how frequently they appear easily decodable words. Letters like s, t, r, m, n, a, o, and p should be taught first. These are “high-frequency” letters and emphasis on these letters first will allow children to quickly start reading simple words.
Many preschool alphabet activities that are done in the classroom can also be done at home. Beginning sound activities like these Beginning Sound Picture Seek Mats are a good option, as well as these Beginning Sound Fill-in Cards and these Year Long Alphabet Find and Circle Worksheets.
Rainbow Letters Race to the Top Letter Identification Game
The game is simple. And effective. And fun. Your preschoolers will learn the ABCs in not time. Once I introduce this fun alphabet game to my preschoolers, and we practice it a little bit, I then keep it in our literacy centers. My preschoolers are always coming back to these learning games!
The Set Up
Print out the game boards and laminate them. The printable includes a die for each game, but if you don’t want to take the time to assemble the paper die, you can just write the letters on a set of blank dice like these. That’s what I do.
If making your own dice, write the corresponding letters in lowercase. This way, preschoolers can practice matching uppercase and lowercase letters as they play.
Set out the game sheets on a tray and set out a small bowl of manipulatives along with the dice.
How to Play
Start by selecting a game sheet to play.
There are two different versions on the game. One version features letters in alphabetical order, with six letters to a sheet. The second version features letters in the order that corresponds to the Daily Lessons in Preschool Phonics curriculum. I originally made these rainbow games as review every four weeks, like in my curriculum.
Follow the play of the game like this:
- Select a game sheet for play.
- Roll the corresponding die.
- Identify the lowercase letter name on the die.
- Make the corresponding sound.
- Fine the uppercase letter on the game sheet and cover with a small manipulative.
- Continue play until one column has reached the top of the grid.
Tips for Teaching Letter Recognition to Preschoolers
There are a couple of important strategies to utilize when teaching letter recognition in preschool.
- Explicit instruction in letter naming
- Sorting activities to differentiate letter shapes
- Letter formation
- Exposure to letters in a variety of text formats
- Fluency practice in letter identification
- Fluency and accuracy assessments
More Tips for Teaching Letter Identification
When planning letter recognition activities in the preschool classroom, keep in mind the following.
- Preschool children have a wide range of skills and abilities.
- Preschoolers may not all be ready to learn letter names at the same time, and never stay the same rate as their peers.
- Use visuals, such as alphabet cards and beginning sound cards.
- Practice “think aloud” strategies, which means to talk out-loud about the things you want your preschoolers to know and notice about each letter
Best Alphabet Books for Teaching Letter Recognition
Some of the best learning activities happen through reading books. Over the years, I have collected an absurd amount of alphabet books. These are our all-time favorites because they are the best at teaching letter identification and sounds.
Get Your Free Letter Identification Game!
If you think your students or children will enjoy Rainbow Letters Race to the Top, you can get your free copy by clicking the giant red button below
More Rainbow Activities for Kids
Here are even more free rainbow preschool activities! From rainbow science in our free lesson plans to practice fine motor skills and scissor cutting in crafts.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.