kindergarten, letters and sounds, prek, Preschool

How to Teach Letters and Sounds through play and Games

I recently saw a kinder teacher asking how to teach kindergarten in a new way by using games to teach letters. That, of course, is EXACTLY how I teach letters and sounds. And, it works better than any other method I’ve seen!

The engagement is high for each student. Having a playful purpose makes kids want to practice their letter formation and their letter sounds. I have never seen kids so excited to participate, and I have never seen my most struggling learners catch on as quickly as they do with these programs and activities.

Here is a quick guide how I teach letters and sounds through play and games.

1. Letter-A-Day Phonics Safari

Grab Letter-A-Day Phonics Safari here:

This has a fun story for each letter sound. Students remember the stories, making them remember the sound so much easier. We add motions to match the sounds for even more memorable playful learning.

This also has a fun story for letter formation where students are helping our letter animal by completing the picture with letters as parts of a shape. Again, I have never seen kids more excited and willing to practice writing letters. With regular practice pages, it’s like pulling teeth. But, not with this set!

You can see some activities from this set in action in this video.

This Phonics Safari can also be used as a letter a week or a letter every two days depending on what your students need. In a normal year, we could easily cover a letter a day and have students retain the letters and sounds. However, this year we are seeing more struggling with learning letters and sounds, so we moved it to a letter ever 2 days.

2. Letter ID and Sound Games

I use games as a whole group cumulative letter ID and sound practice and review. This is where I see real progress with my students. I play these games once or twice a day. It’s always our closing activity for the day, but we play when we have a spare few minutes throughout the day and before we go to centers. I also make this game one of our Literacy centers. The kids know how to play it really well from our whole group plays, so they can play with a small group independently.

You can grab my Cat and Buttons Centers/Games set here:

Some other games we play as whole group, small group, and centers is:

If you have followed my teaching journey for long, you know how much I LOVE a good learning game for my lessons and centers! I hope this helps you get some ideas for making your literacy block more playful, fun, and engaging.


Preschool Resources Collection


preschool cover

In addition to the many resources I provide for K-8 teachers, I have been adding some pretty neat preschool curriculum items to my collection.

Kiddos have a lot to learn in the early childhood years, and we as parents and teachers play a huge role in their development. I am currently developing 3 year old and 4 year old pre-k curriculum sets that will help preschool teachers and parents get their kiddos prepped for kinder. This preschool program will have many components that help children learn through play and exploration. I focus on character development, social skills, motor skills, math, reading, and more!

My preschool curriculum is a multidimensional approach to learning that effectively prepares students and their families for Kindergarten. My programs are custom developed using the most up-to-date educational approaches to meet the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical needs of preschool aged children. This purposeful play based preschool program has a math and literacy-rich academic curriculum that is enhanced with hands-on learning in a small group setting. Specialized activities are included that incorporate movement, as well as monthly Mad Science days to build each student’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. I believe that children should be taught in a variety of ways to reach every learner at their own level while being loved on by their teachers. I also believe play is a major factor in child development, and encourage free play as well playing with a purpose. My preschool programs are a great academic foundation for teachers, parents, and preschools.

I have a curriculum bundle for three year olds that has been super successful in my classroom and in my school. This is a collection of everything I use to teach math and literacy to three year olds. Lesson plans, printables, minilessons, and centers are included in this bundle of resources.

Here is a look at the scope for the year’s lesson plans:


I also have a full year bundle for four year olds and I just added my 4 year old literacy program AND my 4 year old math program. This already includes a full year of lesson plans and printables for learning numbers and letters, plus theme activites. A leveled reading program is in the process of being added with the level AA currently included!

IMG_1656 (1)

Here is a look at the year of learning for the year’s lesson plans:


AND to help you even more with your planning, I have attached a sample lesson plan for a week of learning. I like to build my lesson plan with my schedule so I can see times as I glance at it through the day.

preschool lesson plan and schedule

You can also find some really fun centers, games, and much more!!

Feel free to email me to request information or if you have special requests.

Email me at:  elementaryali [at] gmail [dot] com

Here are some simple FREEBIES that provide real learning for prek – kinder kiddos:

Letter writing Practice single line cover
Kindergarten Sight Word Sentences cover free