I love games that incorporate developing literacy skills and hands-on activities. My boys spend a good part of their day playing with toy cars. So, we came up with a way to work on our letter and sound recognition skills while playing with cars.
First, we took a large sheet of paper. Ours measured about four feet long. I suggest making it even a little longer because a lot of our cars traveled past the paper length. Six feet would work a little better. On the sheet we wrote letters of the alphabet. We used lowercase letters. You could also use uppercase or a mixture of both lowercase and uppercase letters. Sight words or spelling words would also be great to use for older children.
Tape (packing tape or masking tape) the bottom edge of the paper to the floor so that the cars won’t get stuck when travelling across the paper. My boys decided we need a few animal spectators (customers as my 3 year-old called them) to watch the races.
Next, we set up our ramp. We used a cookie sheet and pillows. This turned into a fun science lesson to figure out how changing the slope increased or decreased the distance the cars traveled.
Our cars were now ready to race across the letters. We took turns selecting a car and letting it travel down the ramp and across the paper. The boys then had to identify the letter where the car stopped. We also talked about what letter the car was in front of or next to which helps build spatial vocabulary words. Other times, we said the sound the letter represented instead of naming the letter.
We have played this game over and over again. My kids like to compare which cars travel further. It’s been fun to see them explore literacy and science concepts.
If you liked this letter activity, you might like this:
For even more letter activities, check out Jodie’s reading activities page on Growing Book by Book!
Jodie Rodriguez is a National Board Certified teacher, reading specialist and administrator with over 18 years of experience. She currently stays at home with her two young sons (3 years and 21 months). Her newest adventure is the creation of the Growing Book by Book blog dedicated to helping caregivers nurture young readers. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Google + and Pinterest.