Play a word or letter game. If you are unfamiliar with letters, there are informal ways to become familiar with the letters of the alphabet other than the alphabet song or memorizing the letters by rote. Learning them through games, and need, helps to create a purpose. Not only can it be fun, it can be a wonderful way to prevent unnecessary frustration.
What’s In A Name?: The letters of a person’s name is important in a variety of way, so it makes it a great place to begin the letter learning process. People learn best if they have a purpose or a need. You need to know you name, and how to write and spell it, and that offers purpose. The link provided offers hints and tips for short names or names that do not offer very many words. It’s a lot of fun to find out what’s in your name.
Letter matching games: Make your own letter matching game by cutting blank index cards in half and writing a matching letter on both sides. The letter can be the same or one can be capitalized and the other lower case. Another option is to put a letter on one side and a picture that begins with that letter on the other. Pictures can be printed, drawn, cut from magazines or mail, stamped, etc..
Letter matching word games: For this game you can use a set of ABC cards, blocks, dice, magnetic letters, letter tiles, etc. and a way to keep the letters hidden. Cards can be turned over.
How To Play: Choose a letter, then ask the player to find an object around the house that begins with that letter. Players who do not wish to hunt for objects can name something that begins with that letter.
Optional: Someone can write the letters and words used down in ABC order.
Words within Words games: This is a fun way to use letters in random ways, it is open-ended and encourages players to think in a creative way. Dictionary skills can get a little workout too, if players choose to use one.
I Spy Games: Letter Version: This is a easy and fun game that can be played anywhere and offers players a chance to use their observations skills.
How to play: The player asking looks around, and once they make a choice, they say, “I spy something that begins with the letter “?” “. Other players get to guess the thing that begins with the chosen letter. The player that guesses correctly gets to choose the next item, and play continues. Alternately, a busy picture can be used to play the game.
Note: Look in your library, book store, or yard sale for books like: I Spy, Look Alike, and Search & Find.
Guess My Word (Hangman): This is a fun game that can be played by two or more players. One way to help inexperienced players is to choose a category (holiday, season, snack foods, animals) or a give them a list of words to choose from. Other players should not look at the list to keep it as fair as possible. A list can be made before hand. The list can be made using voice to text, someone can write it, or a book can be offered. As players get better at the game, written lists can be eliminated from the game. Keep it fun and friendly.
Active Alphabet: This game is great for active learners (people who like to move as they learn). It’s played with simple items, and needs some space so players can move around freely. It’s a great way to learn what sounds things make, so it can be played with very young children. This can be played indoors or out.
Rainbow Codes: This fun game is great for improving reading and writing skills while adding an element of science to the activity.
Play Granny’s Handbag – Sharpen your memory skills with this ABC Memory game. It is great for multiple players of any age.
How To Play: Write down all the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper, or digitally, then starting from A or Z, players take turns adding items, in ABC order, to the “handbag”. Upon each player’s turn, they must recite all the items mentioned in order, and add their own item to the “handbag”. One player is needed to keep track of the items being added to the “handbag”, and keep the list hidden from the other players. The word keeper can play too, if they hide the words as they recite them in order. This a great way to build memory skills, and learn the order of the alphabet, forward or backward.
There are lots of commercial games on the market to choose from as well.