Five minute fun activities for busy people to do with little kids

Games + Activities

Letter of the Day

Have you got a little one starting school for the first time in September? Or perhaps a wee one starting pre-school and you’d like to join in too? Then maybe you’d like to have a go at LETTER OF THE DAY! We usually start playing this about a month before school begins but you can actually do it any time you like!

Now it’s important to say that it is NOT NECESSARY for children to KNOW the alphabet and all the phonics sounds before they start school. This is just a bit of warm up fun, five minutes a day to make letters seem fun and familiar. No pressure. If they don’t enjoy doing this JUST STOP! Play another one of my games instead perhaps, that suits their interests or just leave them be. They have plenty of time to learn this stuff. It’s just nice to get involved in their learning from home and to feel you’re giving them a wee boost!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Get something with separate letters of the alphabet on. It could be scrabble tiles, light box letters, magnetic letters, a puzzle. It just needs one of every letter A-Z. There is a free downloadable printout with letters on here if you want to use that

  • Get a bag or small container. Any will do. I’ve used a shiny gift bag or an empty tissue box before. You can have a fancy one or an Aldi bag for life. Doesn’t matter.
  • Find a place to display your letter of the day every day. Fridge? Radiator? A Door? somewhere they can see if regularly and access it from their height.
  • In that place put some paper or post-its and pen. I stuck some post-its on our fridge as you can see in the picture above.
  • Every day your little one is going to stick their hand into the box or bag and pick out their “Letter of the Day” then we can do a couple of five minute activities around that letter.
  • First of all you could try showing them how to write the letter onto the paper or post-its, both capital and lower case and see if they want to copy and have a try too.
  • Then after that, we often run around the house looking for something that has the SOUND that letter makes in it…I will often help and prompt by saying things like “I can see something with a h in it, am I looking at the hat, or the car?” and let them see if they can hear the H sound in the word hat. The sound doesn’t have to be at the beginning of the word. So for example if your letter of the day is X you might want to use box as the thing you find. After you’ve found an object, see if they want to draw it on the paper or post-its.
  • Then after this, when first playing this with my two I would give them a little treat, like a chocolate button and while they ate it we would talk about their school and something they are looking forward to about it. But obviously this is entirely up to you, but I see it a bit like a starting school or back to school advent calendar!
  • Your letter of the day will almost certainly be different to mine, just do whatever aspects of it your little one enjoys.
  • If you aren’t sure about the sounds letters make, whether to say ay, bee, see or ah, buh, cuh or how to introduce them to your little one then there are some videos below to help! Or you can find a full explanation in my TIME FOR SCHOOL book.
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