We couldn’t be happier to see so many little ones (and their parents enjoying our NUMBER FLASH CARDS) and now it’s time to add alphabet cards and free letter recognition worksheets a-z too! Once again our aim has been to create minimalist, cost-effective resources, in the educationally prescribed, Grade 1 font that parents all over can use in a variety of ways. I’ll definitely share some ideas below BUT please don’t be limited. Flash cards hold endless learning opportunities (especially when used in a playful manner).
Once again, no emails or any type of sign-ups needed… Just click and download.
* Before we get started. Please remember; little ones learn best through play and using their bodies. So, whenever introducing a new concept or idea ALWAYS works from “body to paper”, gross-motor abilities to fine-motor skills. Our next post will explain this approach in detail but for now, just remember, worksheets should be one of the very last activities your little one completes.
Where to start
No need to learn the A, B, C’s in any traditional order. Just don’t ever force a child to learn anything they aren’t ready for. Kids need to hear the sound letters make. They need to be exposed to a variety of text. Reading and writing will only come if enough time was spent laying solid foundations through experimentation and exploration of each letters. So have fun and don’t rush.
We like to start with the letters found in the girl’s names seeing as it’s the first thing they always want to write. Therefore Eliana learned e, l, i, a, and n first. Lia just mastered l, i and a and one day Ava will focus on a and v. Some letters are learned quicker than others but we stick to 1, max 2 letters a week. We also always start with lower case seeing as most of the words we read and see are in lower case.
Once the girls master their names we learn the rest of the alphabet in the following order. (Please note, we are Afrikaans. For English I can recommend the Polly Phonics and Letterland order). You’ll notice in the Afrikaans version, letters with similar formation patterns are grouped together while the English order prioritises early word-formation.
First up, flash cards!
Our set includes the following for each letter:
- solid lowercase alphabet cards a-z
- tracing lowercase alphabet cards a-z
- solid uppercase alphabet cards A-Z
- tracing uppercase alphabet cards A-Z
- minimalist “letter only” alphabet cards
The order of introduction I do with the girls: lowercase – uppercase – both together.
Use these as an introduction. Let your little one investigate the space copying each letter with their bodies (walking the letter, making the shape with their arms etc.). Focus on the sound of each letter by finding various items that start with that specific sound.
Print these flash cards BIG and trace them with fingers, earbuds, paint, playdough, LEGO… Go wild. The more concrete (and messy) the better. Place under a see-through container. Fill the container with salt, flour, rainbow rice, whatever you have and “write”. Pinterest is jam-packed with great ideas on how to use flash cards.
These can be printed smaller for older kids (10 per page) and used as letter cards to build words. Just be sure to print a few sets ensuring enough letters.
Once your little one is familiar with lower- and uppercase, showcase them together. Find items and names that start with these letters. Draw the letters in the sand, paint them on the wall with water, search for examples found in books and magazines. Get excited with your little one and have fun finding “all the letters in our homes”.
Games to play: Print a set of 2 for a friendly game of SNAP. (I used the 2 per page layout). Having a set also works well as a DIY memory match game.
* Laminate your flash cards for extended use.
Now, let’s practice…
How to play:
Depending on your child’s age, use either of the flash cards (upper- or lower case only or the combination).
Lay the cards facedown. Let your little one flip over a card, placing it in the “say it” frame.
Now he/she needs to say the letter aloud. Next, have sticks, leaves, pebbles, LEGO ready – anything you have – and “make” the letter in the “make it” frame. Use something fun!
Then page through an old magazine or newspaper and find the letter.
Lastly, write either the lower- or uppercase letter (or both) in the “write it” frame using a pencil or whiteboard marker if laminated.
- Download the “Let’s learn letters” activity HERE
- Vind die “Kom ons leer van letters” aktiwiteit HIER
Have fun with games!
* I added a “blank” scoop and cone for name matching too.
Lastly, we put pencil to paper with our free letter recognition worksheets a-z
These are self-explanatory and should be used last after your little one knows the letter(s) introduced.
Remember to keep things interesting by using a variety of drawing materials such as pencils, crayons, paint, pastels, felt-tip pens and more.
Stickers or glitter-glue works great too when finding the hidden letters in the “Find the letter” section.
- Download the English letter recognition Aa to Zz worksheets HERE
- Vind die Afrikaanse letter herkenning Aa tot Zz werkkaarte HIER
May these free letter recognition worksheets a-z and flash cards, come in handy, especially during lockdown. And if you haven’t downloaded our FREE numbers 1 to 20 resources… Simply click HERE.
Ps: Still looking for a home printer, remember to check out our Epson Eco Tank review too – these cartridge-free new generation printers are phenomenal!