The alphabet letter sticks we’re using this month are awesome manipulatives for alphabet review and literacy development. We’ve been using them all month along with our A-Zoo Animals theme. Mother Goose Time sent the sticks and printed letters which I cut apart and glued onto the craft sticks. They’re colorful and the kids love to look for “their letters”!
Letter Sticks are a simple tool but they grab children’s attention and are a way for children to physically get their hands on letters. I keep our can of letter sticks in my circle time materials so we can use them daily. They would also be great in a library area or book corner so children can use them independently.
Make your own literacy tools
You can easily make your own set of letter sticks with craft sticks and a marker. Or print labels and attach them to the stick. It may help to cover the letters with tape so they hold up to use and play. Below, this group is working on literacy skills when we were learning about B is for Bird.
The Letter Stick labels provided by Mother Goose Time feature both the uppercase and lowercase letters on the same stick, but you may decide to label with only uppercase letters if your child is just beginning to learn their letters.
Another set could be made for lower case letters once they are introduced. Or write the uppercase letter on one side of the stick and the coordinating lowercase letter on the other side.
Ways to Use Letter Sticks
Here’s a variety of ideas for using letter sticks. Choose a different activity each time or based on the development of the child.
- Select a letter stick. Identify the letter. If you correct, keep the stick. Otherwise, return it to the cup and try again.
- Choose a letter stick. Look for that letter in a book.
- Use the letter sticks and alphabet cards to play a matching game
- Spell words
- Put the alphabet in order
- Find the letters of your name
- Select a letter stick and then make that letter with pipe cleaners, ribbon or play dough
- Make a set of uppercase letters and lowercase letter sticks. Match the letters.
- Each child draws a stick then puts themselves in alphabetical order.
- Choose a letter stick. Write the letter.
- Identify the sound the letter makes.
Letter Sticks can be used with children of all ages and literacy development. You may ask a younger child to find the letter on the stick in a word or a title of a book instead of looking through a whole book which may be overwhelming.
At circle time, each child can pull a letter stick and look for that letter on the circle time display.
Letter sticks have become a staple in our daily activities! Find a way to use them with your little learners.