Don’t go breaking my heart! This Valentine’s broken heart puzzle is a great Valentine’s Day alphabet learning activity. It is one of our favorite letter matching activities for preschool and can be used in a variety of ways!
Valentine’s Day activities for preschoolers offer tons of fun, themed ways to talk about important concepts, like friendship, family, and love.
Preschool Heart Alphabet Matching Activity
I heart Valentine’s Day. Simply because it gives us the opportunity to pause and share our love and affection for the wonderful friends and family in our lives.
I know, I know… it is a highly commercialized holiday and that can be off-putting for a number of reasons. But the message behind Valentine’s Day is one that I will always get behind – sharing your love for one other.
I love infusing this message of kindness with my preschoolers throughout the month of February. We enjoy learning activities that promote kindness and being thoughtful while still infusing the ABCs and 123s. I have a whole set of free lesson plans based around a Valentine’s Day theme!
That’s why this Valentine’s broken heart alphabet activity for preschoolers is the perfect way to practice learning the letters in a fun and playful way.
This letter recognition activity reinforces visually recognizing the letters of the alphabet. Since having a mastery of letter names can make learning letter sounds easier, this alphabet learning activity is really beneficial.
Plus, researchers and educators agree that beginning readers experience more success in reading when they can rapidly and accurately recall letter names before they learn basic phonics. So bring on the letter matching activities for preschool!
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching the Alphabet
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.
Valentine’s Alphabet Broken Heart Puzzle Matching
This hands on alphabet puzzle is a great way to practice letter names (work on letter recognition) and doubles as a fine motor activity for preschoolers. Plus it’s a personalized activity that can be adapted to fit your preschooler no matter where they are on their alphabet journey.
- construction paper
- tape (we used washi tape)
The Set Up
To make the Valentine’s learning activity, I cut out the paper hearts by hand and then cut them in half using different zigzag lines. This specific day we were working on the letters Gg and Hh, so those were the only two letters that we worked with. I wrote both upper and lower case letters for them to match.
However, feel free to make the letters that work for your students! It’s a great activity no matter how far along they are in learning the alphabet.
Lay out the heart halves, tape, and a blank piece of paper for each child.
Valentine’s Day Letter Matching Hearts
Invite the children to look over the heart puzzles and share what they notice. They may comment that some hearts have lowercase letters and some have capital letters, or that there are only two letters Gg and Hh on the hearts. After some discussion, invite the children to begin finding the uppercase and lowercase letter matches. Once found, they will use tape to connect the hearts together on the sheet of paper.
WE used washi tape because it is colorful and fun.
This activity turned out to be a little more difficult than I’d anticipated!
To the preschoolers, all of heart halves looked very similar. I helped them find matches by rearranging the halves and placing the matches within an easy distance of each other. Don’t be afraid to adapt your letter matching activities for preschool as you go along!
This activity was born because my son has a new obsession with taping things, so we used that to our advantage. We used washi tape which comes in lots of colors and designs. Also, it comes in rolls, it requires the user to tear or cut the tape.
So as an added bonus, my preschoolers were developing fine motor skills with the peeling, tearing, and taping. Not to mention they were super pumped to use this colorful tape for a learning activity!
Sometimes getting the tape started took a little adult help, but it wasn’t long before they learned to scrape where the tape met the roll and had it figured out on their own!
After a little practice, the students started finding the letter matches more quickly and with less hesitation. The letters Hh and Gg got a major brain workout today and the kids enjoyed using this “fancy” tape to match the puzzles together.
Alphabet Books for Preschool
Alphabet books are like magic! They reinforce letter names and give lots of repetition and practice in a fun way. They are a staple in every home and classroom! Here are some of my favorites.
Ways to Tweak This Activity for Even More Fun
If you’re going to spend the time to make a Valentine’s alphabet activity from scratch instead of using a free printable, then you want to use the activity in more than one way. Here are some really fun ideas to get you started so your preschoolers can have more practice matching letters.
- Add the broken hearts to a sensory in for the children to find.
- Hide the heart pieces around the room for the children to seek after.
- Place one half of the hearts on a wall. Then give your preschooler the other half and have them run across the room to find the match.
- Use the letters of your preschooler’s name.
- Do this activity with frequently mixed up letters, like d and b, or p and q, or l and i.
Easy Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Here are some simple and easy-to-prepare letter recognition activities to help you get started.
- Sing the ABC Song – Sing the alphabet song with your children everyday and invite your little one to join in. If you have alphabet cards at home, point out each letter as you sing.
- Alphabet Books – Read alphabet books to your child. Check out this list of fifty excellent alphabet books that No Time For Flash Cards has complied.
- Alphabet Cards – Display alphabet cards and say the alphabet each day, pointing to the letters as you say them.
- Write the Alphabet – Provide lots of opportunities to explore writing letters. Explore writing through sensory play and various writing materials. Try markers, crayons, pencils, finger paints, or writing in various materials such as hair gel, shaving cream, paint, sand, or salt.
- Create Alphabet Crafts – Make an animal out of the letter starting with the same animal sound. For example, make a duck out of the letter d, or a moose out of letter m. Totally Tots has great ideas here. Red Ted has a fun collection of handprint letter ideas that are such fun!
- Build the Alphabet – Offer buttons, pom poms, cotton balls, small rocks, bolts, unifix cubes, or another set of counters to place on a letter print out. Pre-Kinders has a wonderful list of letter building activities.
- Alphabet in the Environment – Point out letters in everyday print, such as product boxes, store signs, and billboards. Check out my post here on the importance of environmental print.
- construction paper
- tape (we used washi tape)
- Pre-cut the hearts by hand and cut them in half using zigzag lines. Feel free to use the letters that work best for your students.
- Layout all the hearts in mixed-up order on the table and invite the children to share what they notice.
- Invite the children to begin finding the uppercase and lowercase letter matches. Once found, they will use tape to connect the hearts together.
- Invite the preschoolers to peel and tear off the tape to connect the heart puzzle matches.
This activity can be challenging because all the cut hearts looked very similar to the preschoolers. I helped them find matches and then placed the heart halves within "easy distance" of the preschooler to make making matches a little easier.
More Alphabet Games and Letter Matching Games for Preschoolers
I am an educator, book enthusiast, and a stay at home momma to two precious and long-awaited littles. My degree is in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction and I have spent the last 15 years working with young children. I feel very fortunate to have this time to watch my babies grow and I can’t wait to share my passion for learning and reading with you!