In kindergarten, we spend at least one part of every single day working on letter recognition. This is a yearlong topic of study in the kindergarten classroom and one that our students need lots of exposure with! Whenever we’re targeting a skill repeatedly like this, I’m careful to choose lessons that keep the content fun and engaging. When it comes to mastering the alphabet, kindergarten letter recognition games are where it’s at!
If you’re burnt out on the more “traditional” methods often used to master uppercase and lowercase letters, I’ve got a treat for you! Kindergarten letter recognition games are the BEST way to instantly up the engagement factor of your alphabet lessons and keep those kiddos on task! Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite kindergarten letter recognition games and how we use them all year long for hands-on learning.
Games Make Learning Fun
Before we talk about letter recognition, let’s chat about learning games in general. If you’ve been around here for a while, you might already know that I’m a big fan of games and hands-on learning activities in the classroom.
The reason for this is that they truly make learning SO much more fun and engaging for my students. I love that if I’m losing the attention of my kiddos, a simple game can snag their attention and bring them back into focus quickly!
It also helps to teach them that learning should be fun. As a kindergarten teacher, I consider it to be my mission in laying the foundation for how children think about school and education. My aim is to ensure they LOVE coming to school and learning new things! Games make that mission simple since there’s no coaxing necessary to get kiddos fired up about a new game.
Games are also SO helpful with teaching repetitive topics as well. If you’re planning to target a specific skill over and over, (a.k.a. EVERYTHING we do in kindergarten) games will help to make sure your kids continue to be interested in the material. Games help keep things feeling fun and new, even if you’ve already practiced that particular skill a ton of times. Ready to see my top 5 kindergarten letter recognition games? Let’s get to it!
1. Cover It Up – Letter Recognition Pages
First up, let’s chat about “Cover It Up”. These no-prep games are something I use nearly every day in my small groups, and they come in especially handy when it comes to letter recognition. The idea here is that kiddos will identify the letter at the top of the page, and then find all of the matching letters. They can use markers or a bingo dauber, or some kind of manipulative or mini eraser to cover them up.
Typically, I will lay these sheets out at my small group table before a new group comes in. This is a super simple activity to get them working and learning right away, as you prepare for the small group activity or lesson. Once kiddos get the hang of this activity, they don’t even need instructions. I love that they can jump right in and get started with letter recognition without skipping a beat!
I use “Cover it Up” activities for letter recognition, beginning sounds, word families, and more! If you want to learn more about how to incorporate these low-prep activities into your small groups, be sure to take a peek at this post that details how I structure my guided reading groups.
2. More Small Group Letter Recognition Games
Small group instruction is one of my favorite things. It’s a chance to connect with my students, see how they are progressing, and join in with playing some fun games too!
Some of my favorite things to use during small groups are these kindergarten letter recognition games. This resource is jam-packed with 16 letter recognition games that are absolutely perfect for small group environments.
Included in this set, you’ll find BINGO, roll and read, alphabet board games, pocket chart games, and more. I love that these games are so versatile and allow for continued practice with letter identification while keeping things feeling brand new!
While these are perfect for small groups, they’re also a wonderful option for partner games, center activities, and fast finishers too.
3. Digital Kindergarten Letter Recognition Games
Are you a fan of Boom Cards? If you’re new to Boom, you’re in for a treat! Boom Cards have become super popular, and I personally LOVE using these for targeting letter recognition. These digital task cards are a no-prep, highly engaging activity that can help you offer more daily practice with letter recognition in your classroom.
Boom cards are presented in a “game-like” format, making them irresistible to students, and a great option for center time. Some of my favorites for targeting letter recognition include:
- Letter Sorting Boom Cards
- True or False Letter Recognition Boom Cards
- Find the Letters Boom Cards
- Letter Match Boom Cards
All of these options are perfect if you’re looking for new kindergarten letter recognition games to add to the mix. As I mentioned, I will often use these as low-prep center activities or partner activities. When playing in pairs, I have students take turns answering the questions. Another fun option is to project these up on your Smart Board and play as a whole class. To do this, simply call on kiddos one at a time to come up and answer the task card. This is great review activity, morning warm-up, and transition activity when you need to get your kids focused again.
4. Letter Recognition Building Mats
This next activity is always a student favorite and a great way to brush up on letter recognition throughout the year. These letter recognition mats feature 5 different activities on each page, so they’re great for keeping your kiddos self-contained and focused while you work with small groups.
To use these pages, students will say the name of the letter and build it with building bricks.
Then, they will practice tracing and writing the letter. Next, they find and circle the letter in a group.
Finally, they rainbow write it and trace it again to finish the activity.
You can either print these off like worksheets or laminate them to use with dry-erase markers.
Either option is a great way to sneak in some letter recognition practice during center time, small groups, as an early finisher activity, morning work, or as a fun homework assignment.
5. Letter Recognition Partner Game
Last but not least, I have one more kindergarten letter recognition game that’s always been a student favorite. This “Let’s Make a Square” game is great for practicing and reviewing the alphabet. In my classroom, we play these as partner games during center time, or as a fast finisher activity.
To play, students will take turns drawing one line at a time to connect two dots side by side, either vertically or horizontally. When one student completes a square around a letter, they are able to claim that letter only if they can correctly identify the letter.
If they identify the letter, they color it. If they cannot identify the letter, their partner can “steal” the letter by correctly identifying and coloring the square. Kiddos will continue to draw lines and claim and color squares until all squares are claimed. The player with the most squares colored wins!
This game is always a hit, so we use it throughout the year to brush up on uppercase and lowercase letters in a fun way!
Even More Kindergarten Games
Hopefully, this post inspired you to try something new in your classroom to target letter recognition! Kindergarten letter recognition games make mastering uppercase and lowercase letters fun and engaging, so I highly recommend adding them to the mix if you haven’t already.
And if you’re looking for even more kindergarten games to add to your classroom, make sure to check out these posts:
- Teaching Ending Sounds with Games
- 5 Fun Games to Teach Rhyming Words
- Spring Counting Games for Kindergarten
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