Archive for the 'Alphabet' Category

Alphabet Game: Memory and Go Fish

Alphabet Flash Cards can be used in different ways!  Hope you had fun with last week’s Battle game! Oh! I forgot to tell you that for your older kids who are into cursive, its great fun to mix a deck of upper and lower case printed alphabet cards with a deck of upper and lower case cursive cards together to play Battle with!  More cards, more fun! (if you don’t have cursive cards to play with check out my decks of printed and cursive playing cards!)

Here are 2 more fun ways to use a deck of upper and lower case cards (either print or cursive).

Memory:  Lay out the decks face down in rows.  Take turns turning up 4 cards to see if they match.  If two of the cards are the same letter, the person keeps that pair and has another turn  turning up another 4 cards.  No match? Its the next person’s turn.  The game ends when all the cards are gone. The person with the most matches wins! If there are too many cards, decrease the number just making sure there are pairs of cards.

Go Fish:  The dealer passes out 7 cards to each person.  Then lays down the remaining deck on the table.  Each person places the 7 cards in his hand and looks to see if there are two cards alike (a and A).  If there are matches, he lays them down on the table and is given two more cards.  The person to the dealer’s left, begins play by asking if a person has a specific letter.  If that person does have the letter, he must give it to the person asking for the letter.  The person asking for the letter takes the letter, places it with its matching partner, places the pair on the table and asks again for a specific letter.  If the person being asked does not have the letter, he says “Go fish” and the person must draw a card from the deck. Then its the next person’s turn to asked for a specific letter.  When a player has matched and played all of his cards, the game is over.  The person with the most matches wins the game.

Do you all have new ideas?



Alphabet Game: Battle

Alphabet flashcards can be used in other fun ways!

Decks of upper and lower case letters: Battle

a. Mix the upper and lower case letter cards

b. Divide the decks of cards between the players by dealing the cards face down in front of each player.  The players do not look at their stack of cards.

c. Choose if “A,a” or “Z,z” is to be the highest card.

d. Each person lays down a card in their pile (don’t look at the cards in the pile, just take one off the top)

e. Decide who gets the laid down cards based on the letters being the closest to the “A” or “Z”.

For example: If “Z” was chosen to be the highest card and a letter card “d” and a letter card “p” were laid down on that turn, the “p” would trump the “d” becasue it is closest to “Z”.  Being upper or lower case doesn’t impact anything. The person who laid down the “p” would pick up both cards and put them at the bottom of his pile of letters. If the same card is laid down by each person (a “D” and a “d” laid down together), battle begins.  Another card is laid down by each person.  The trump card of these two gets all the cards laid down on both turns (the “d” turn plus this turn).

The game ends when everyone gets tired of it (count the cards to determine who has the highest amount and is the winner) or when someone’s letter pile runs out!

If you need a set of nifty alphabet cards, check out mine at my website:  The cards look like regular playing cards and can be written on for tracing with an erasable marker.  They come in a cute cloth bag for storage.

Summer Fun: Bowling with Blocks or Bottles!


Materials needed

Play Dough                                      Marker board and markers

Marbles/balls: Size will depend on size of the blocks that need to be knocked down

Ten wooden blocks of varying sizes or sixteen ounce water bottles (each filled partially with sand or water and carefully sealed)

1. Choose a place to play on the floor or at a table.

2. Choose the name of your team. Help your child with the beginning letter of the team.

Four year olds: Make the letters for your child out of sticks or wicky sticks or write the letters for your child on the marker board.  Do not expect him to write letters at this age.

Five years old and up:  Help your child write the beginning letter of each team on the paper (playing field).  If your child cannot write the letter, talk him through it or write it for him.  Remember the larger the letter is written, the easier it is to write and to remember.

3. Have your child use both hands to roll the play dough into long ropes to become the “bumper” pads for your bowling alley.  Put the bumper pads in place.

4. Set the blocks or bottles in a triangular pattern as in real bowling.

5. Roll the marbles or large ball down the alley, knocking down the blocks or bottles.

6. Help your child write tally marks or write numbers on the marker board to keep score.  Do not expect your child to keep adding the numbers. That is your job!


Rolling marbles down a swimming pool noodle to knock down small blocks.  The child places the marbles in the noodle, aligning the noodle with the blocks.

Shoe box with three doors cut out of it: Place the inverted shoe box at the end of the alley.  Give each “door” a number. As he rolls the marbles down the alley through a door, the child receives that number of points.

Place stickers with shapes or letters or numbers on the bottom of each bottle.  When a bottle is knocked down, the child may write or draw the shape, letters or number that appear for an extra turn.  Be a good sport if you don’t get a turn!

Memory game: Insure that there are pairs of matching stickers on the bottom of the bottles. Ask your child to find the matching pairs by turning the bottles over. The person with the most pairs wins the game.

Developmental Skills:

 Gross Motor: If playing on the floor, balance in sitting may be improved as the child moves to hit or retrieve the ball or to move his players. When standing, balance may be improved as the child shifts his weight to maintain his balance.

Fine Motor: Rolling the marbles requires precise eye hand coordination. Setting up the “bowling pins” requires arm strength and an adequate grasp of the objects. Using both hands together (bilateral integration) is promoted by using a large ball and by rolling the Play Dough ropes.

 Perceptual: Setting up the “pins” into a triangular shape stresses diagonal perception.

Numbers and letters may be learned as well as concepts of up and down.

 Language: Development of social skills such as taking turns and learning to play fair as well as losing or winning may be enhanced. Concepts of same and different, how many, are practiced.

 Tactile/Kinesthetic: As the fingers are used for precise movement, feedback is received as to their position with the hand and rest of the body.

Page 20 & 21 Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R.

Please Join Lyn At:

The PTAC Conference July 19-21 at the Woodwind Presbyterian Church 10555 Spring Cypress Road where she will be presenting 4 workshops:

Puzzles, Parquetry, and Pre Writing
Birth to 3 years of Age: building Hands for Fine Motor
Red Flags in Motor Development of Pre K children
Games and Activities to Enhance Handwriting Skills
Its a GREAT conference with many exciting speakers!  Come Join US!!!

Dysgraphia: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child: #4

4. Make sure the letters are taught carefully and correctly.  Each person helping with writing should use the same font and the same verbal instructions.  Once a child has been thoroughly taught the correct letter formations, have him close his eyes and write the letters.  This is done to ensure that the letters are pictured correctly in his mind and formed correctly with his fingers.  Those that cannot be made with eyes closed need more practice.

Something to try:  If your child has been thoroughly taught the lower and upper case alphabet, you might try this exercise. Place a piece of paper longwise in front of your child. Ask him to write his name with his eyes closed.  Then ask him to write the upper case alphabet.  If he needs you to call it out to him, please do so but make a note of that.  Then ask him to write the lower case alphabet.  Have him write in either print or cursive, his choice.  While he is writing, them with his eyes closed, make a note of the letters that he hesitates on.  These are the ones he is not sure of and need more writing work. 

Now note the following:

1. Which letters took longer to write?  Reversals? Practice these letters.

2. The tallness of the letters: The letters should be of consistent size.  If he is writing large and the spaces between lines on classroom paper are smaller, the spaces may need to be made wider to encourage legible handwriting.

3. Are the letters written on a fairly straight imaginary line?  If so, your child knows where his hand is on the page when he writes and does not have to “watch“his hand while he writes.  This is a good skill to have.  Many children with visual memory difficulties will copy from the board using this sense rather than looking at the board and back at their hand.  However, writing is pretty messy with floating letters using just this sense of hand movement.

4. Was your child able to sequence the alphabet without your help (second grade and up)?  If not, work on alphabet sequencing.  A child should be able to remember the letter in the alphabet sequence, write it, switch back to the next letter in the sequence and write it (second grade and beyond).

Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters

The above is the title of my book that I wrote from 30 years experience working with your precious children.  I thought it might be helpful to see part of the Table of Contents:


Building Success

                                   Teaching Letter formations

                                  Components of Handwriting

                                  Handwriting Skills According to Age

                                  Pencil Grips According to Age

                                  Activities: How to plus developmental skills encouraged

                                  Kitchen Fine Motor Play

                                  Bathtub Play

                                  Learning Letters without a Pencil

                                  Adaptions of Classic Games

                                  Basic Principles When Choosing a Game or an Activity

                                  Commonly Asked Questions

And much more in the 76 pages written just for parents and teachers!!!

Find out how to order at

Handwriting Questions

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R