Teaching letter names or sounds doesn’t have to be done in dry, drill-and-kill style. A cute Valentine alphabet and letter recognition game like Feed the Robot is just the opposite. And it’s one of many Valentine’s alphabet activities in this post!
It’s interactive, hands-on, super fun, and even a wee bit silly. And as an added bonus, children also get to practice their one-to-one correspondence skills!
Be sure to read the entire post for more ways to use these Valentine’s themed alphabet cards.
Feed the Robot Game – Fun Valentine’s Alphabet Activities
I still hear pretty frequently of parents and teachers relying on flashcards for teaching important foundational skills in reading and math.
But here’s the problem: flashcards only really result in rote memorization. This means if you’re using flashcards alone, you’re only really scratching the surface…of a foundational skill.
That won’t do.
Now, let me be clear. Flashcards are fine for some kids. Some kids really respond to them. My first grader, for example, loves sight word flash cards because she’s so competitive, even if only competing against herself.
And a little bit of flashcards every once in a while won’t hurt your preschooler, either. They are great for waiting at the doctor’s office or at a restaurant. I’ve even used them to entertain my kid in church.
But I’ve never met a preschooler who asks for flashcards over a crazy fun Valentine’s robot alphabet game.
So don’t forget to grab your free printable at the end of this post. Your preschoolers will be asking for it again and again!
FAQ About Teaching a Valentine Preschool Theme
It’s traditional to do a card exchange on Valentine’s Day. It’s always something preschoolers look forward to and something that remains special. In addition to that, we also celebrate by doing a valentine process art project and doing thematic learning activities like these printable Valentine’s Day centers. You can try these Montessori inspired tray activities, have a special Valentine’s Day snack, and enjoy this beautiful Valentine’s Day sensory bin.
The best way to teach toddlers about Valentine’s Day is to teach the meaning of the holiday. It’s not about candy and receiving gifts; it’s a time to celebrate love and friendship and the joy of having other people in your life. This is a good opportunity to teach your toddler about kindness, too, by using these 28 days of kindness cards.
Say it back! Sometimes preschoolers don’t hear the words “I love you,” so I say it back to them. It’s important to teach preschoolers it is ok to express their positive emotions. If you feel uncomfortable telling your preschooler you love them, then say something like “I appreciate you,” or “that makes me feel so special,” or “I love having you in my class.”
Valentine’s Robot Alphabet Game
This game not only teaches letter recognition and letter sounds, but it also exposes children to ten frame counting skills and one-to-one correspondence skills, too! All in a fun–yet simple–alphabet and letter recognition game!
- free Valentine’s alphabet game download
- heavy card stock and laminator (for added durability)
- math counters of any variety (traditional, floral gems, buttons, M&Ms, whatever)
Don’t Forget to Add Some Valentine’s Picture Books!
I’m always getting asked for book recommendations for Valentine’s Day, so here is a small Valentine’s book list to get your preschool classroom library off to a good start.
Print the game and cut out the cards. Mix up the cards and place them in a pile face down. Give each player a score card and invite them to fill their ten frame while playing this super fun robot game for kids.
Make it Extra Fun!
This is completely unnecessary, but it you want to make this Valentine’s game even more fun, use Valentine’s themed manipulatives! Here’s what I used:
How to Play the Feed the Robot Game
Now that the letter game is set up, you’re ready to play!
Draw a card from the pile and identify the letter and/or sound, then place it in a discard pile.
If your preschooler needs help, that’s ok! This is supposed to be fun. It’s not a test. Just tell them the letter name and have your preschooler look at the card and then repeat the name.
If you teach a wide range of levels, I’ll give you lots of variations of play down below.
If the player draws a “Feed me” card, he or she must identify the number of items to “feed the robot.” Then carefully count the corresponding number of counters from the player’s ten frame scorecard. Set those aside.
Once those counters (otherwise known as robot food) are set aside, the player must use their very best robotic voice to say, “yum, yum” or “mmmm, delicious,” and maybe even add in a burp.
Adding in a burp at the end makes it really silly because the rest of the players get to say, “Robot! Say excuse me!” which always results in gut-rolling laughter.
Variations of Play for a Variety of Skill Levels
You and I both know that preschoolers develop at their very own rate. This means that not all preschoolers are able to play this game exactly as described above. Here are some different ways to play so your children can learn the best.
For Easier Play
- Make multiple copies of the game, pulling out a small set of letters (about six) that the child is most familiar with. Set aside the other letters and the extra “Feed me” cards. Play the game as described with just a small set of letters.
- Play as described above, but use the letters from the child’s name.
- Say the letter for the child, then invite him to use his finger to trace the letter as he says it.
For More Challenging Play
- Invite the preschooler to say both the letter and sound on the card.
- Have your child name something that begins with the card’s letter sound.
- Turn the robot feeding into a subtraction problem. For example, “You have eight robot food pieces, but you have to feed the robot one. How many will you have left over?”
My preschoolers love to play alphabet games like these all year long, and this robot game quickly became a favorite. With just the right amount of rules and silliness, it’s such a fun and effective way to reinforce alphabet skills.
Grab Your Copy Here!
Think you need this activity for preschool? Go ahead and grab your free copy below.
Try This Valentine’s Day Activity Pack
Looking for something to help teach your preschoolers about kindness and friendship, as well as letters and numbers? This Valentine’s Day Activity Pack includes six super fun activities and multiple variations of each.
More Valentine Alphabet Games
Can you ever have enough letter recognition games? We have loads of letter activities to help your preschoolers work on letter recognition and learn all the letters of the alphabet. Try some of these letter heart activities!
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.