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Letter Recognition Activities

Helping Early Readers with Letter Recognition

Early readers need a lot of practice with letter identification. Some move on quickly, while others need repeated practice frequently before they can master letter names or sounds. If you’re looking for some new ideas to add into your rotation, read on!

5 Ideas to Work on Letters

  1. Letter Beads
  2. Play Dough Mats
  3. Letter Sensory Bin Hunt
  4. Label Maker Typing
  5. Tactile Letter Tracing

Letter Beads

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You can use letter beads in a number of ways:

  • Have students make bracelets. They can then wear these during literacy centers, or small groups, and practice reading the letters on their bracelets. 
  • Say a letter, then have students find it.
  • Say a sound, then have students find it.

Play Dough Mats

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Play dough mats are a great way to get students to really think about the letters as they’re forming them. By creating the letter with their hands, they are concentrating on the letter itself. 

Letter Sensory Bin

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Hunting for letters is one way for students to practice saying the sounds and names of a letter. They can pick a card out of the sensory bin and then state the name and sound. Afterward, students can sort the letters by vowels or consonants, or by letter formation.

Label Maker Typing

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Do you happen to have an old label maker laying around? I pretty much print any labels in fun fonts now, so I no longer use this label maker. However, it can still be used to practice letter identification. Students can pick a letter from a container and then find it on the little keyboard. This is a fun partner activity, too. One partner can say a letter name or sound and then the other partner can push it down on the label maker. 

Tactile Letter Tracing

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This “grass” can be used for learners who need a more tactile experience. Place some letters on the grass and then have students trace the letter with their finger. Then, students will make that same letter using their finger on the grass. This is a great way to “feel” the letter as they’re making it! 

(This is my old bottle drying rack from my little ones, but craft stores and Amazon also have fake grass that works the same way!)

Try it out!

Hope you’ve got some new ideas you’ll be able to test out with your early readers now! Please leave a comment letting me know which one of these activities you plan on trying!

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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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