Is letter identification feeling a little lackluster in your classroom lately? Teaching young children their letters isn’t always easy. Letter identification can be confusing and requires lots of practice to really sink in. Typically, repetition makes most people think of flashcards, which have their merits, but I have another idea that’s WAY more fun! In my classroom, we use games for letter identification! Using games will bring the fun back to your letter identification lessons and engage your students!
Why Use Games For Letter Identification?
Using games to teach skills requiring lots of repetition is one of my favorite teacher tricks. Young students LOVE games, especially teacher-led games that have lots of interaction. You can mix up your usual letter practice routine by intentionally planning to use games during your small groups or whole group time while still working on those skills! Students will be so excited to play games with their teacher, that they won’t even notice how much they are learning.
There are so many great games out there, but there are a few in particular that I use over and over in my classroom. The games I love to use in my classroom incorporate hands-on learning to capture student interest. Adding games with fun manipulatives to your routine will make letter identification simple and fun! Curious about my favorites? Let’s jump in!
1. Roll & Read or Roll & Write
Any games that require dice like roll and read/write are great options for learning letters!
Students love the active aspect of rolling the dice and this will allow for plenty of repetitive practice without losing their attention.
I also love that once students get the hang of this activity, it can easily be used for centers and independent workstations.
Make these activities even more fun with fancy pointers for roll & read and scented markers for roll & write.
You will be surprised just how much more engagement you will get with those additions! Oh, and do yourself a favor and grab some foam dice for this activity! These are a nice and quiet alternative to regular dice.
Everyone loves BINGO, right? I know my students do! BINGO is such a great game for letter identification since students will need to search their cards carefully for the letter called. We love to use this game as a special afternoon activity to close out a day of learning.
To start, I like using BINGO cards that show only uppercase letters and then we move on to cards with only lowercase letters. Mixing it up this way is a great way to informally assess which letters your students recognize and which ones they are still learning.
The other great thing about BINGO is that it can be played over and over again. I laminate my bingo cards and use mini erasers as BINGO markers so that we can reuse the boards each time. I pull this game out at least once a week and my kiddos are always excited to participate!
3. Match It Up
You guys know I LOVE snap cubes, right? They are such a fun manipulative and can be used for so many great learning activities. I especially love using them for this letter identification game! You will need a set of letter ID game mats and some colored snap cubes to play with.
Students will read the code on the side of their game mat and then place the coordinating colored snap cube over each letter.
For example, their mat might say yellow for “B” and blue for “M”. This game is a great warm-up activity to have set out during your small groups. Students can sit down and get to work filling their cards while you prep the next activity.
I like to laminate these boards so they can be used year after year.
As students get more skilled with their letter identification skills, you could even try setting a timer to see if they can finish before it goes off. This will add a fun extra element to the game and further engage your students.
4. Card Games
Alphabet flashcards have a place in my classroom…. and that’s for playing games with! With only a couple of sets of alphabet cards, you can play a variety of games that will excite your students and promote letter identification skills. Some of the card games I love playing with my students are:
- Go Fish
These simple games are a great way to work some extra alphabet practice into your day and form relationships with students at the same time. I love using these letter identification card games during small group time and playing along with my students. There is something about me getting involved in the game that makes my students EXTRA eager to participate!
5. Feed Me
This one is always a classroom favorite! For this activity, students will work on identifying pairs of letters.
I provide my students with a set of letter pair cards that look like cookies and a sheet pan “face” with a mouth to “eat” the cookies.
The objective here is to grab a letter card and see if the uppercase and lowercase letters match.
If the card shows a matching pair, the cookie sheet is “fed” that cookie.
I love playing this one during circle time. I place the cookie sheet in the middle of the circle and have kids take turns choosing a card until all the cookies are “eaten”. My kids LOVE feeding the sheet pan cookies and this game is a great way to work on matching uppercase to lowercase letters!
Looking For More Letter Identification Games?
I hope I’ve convinced you that letter identification games are the way to go for engaged learning! Students love playing games and using a variety of them in your phonics lessons will help keep your students excited about learning their letters.
If you’re anything like me, you probably can’t seem to get your hands on enough games for the classroom! If that’s the case, be sure to check out my Letter Identification Bundle which is filled with all of these games and more!
Inside the huge bundle, you will find 16 alphabet games to help teach letter recognition. All the games above are included along with:
- Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
- Fluency Strips
- Match & Cover
- Alphabet Board Games
- Let’s Go Shopping
- Road Races
- Letter Game
- Pocket Chart
- Trash It
Using games to teach letter recognition is such a wonderful way to show young students that learning is FUN! Simple games with fun objectives and engaging manipulatives will help your students master letter recognition with ease. Try adding some new games to your lessons this week!
Save This Post For Later
Don’t forget to save this post on your classroom Pinterest board so you’ll have quick and easy access to this list of letter recognition games!