This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ABC Relay

Once you've started working on the alphabet with your toddler or preschooler, it's always nice to find fun ways to reinforce what has been learned. And if your toddler is like mine, burning energy is always a plus!

Ages: 1+ (I started at 18 months)

Supplies needed: Alphabet cards (like flash cards). I put magnets on the back of mine. Small basket or bucket. Even a bowl will work.

Prep Work: Hang random alphabet letters at one end of the room. I stuck mine to the fireplace since they would stick with magnets. Two will do if you are just starting. My daughter is 2 and knows her alphabet, so we do 5-8 at a time. Any more than that seems to be visual clutter for her. As she gets older she should be able to handle more letters at one time.

1. After your letters are in place, start your child at the other side of the room. Explain that you will call out a letter and their job is to go and find the letter, grab it, run back to the "start" position and throw it in the basket.
2. Demonstrate for them.
3. You place them at the place to "start" (mine was a chair), say something like, "You are looking for the letter Y. Look for the letter Y, but don't move. When I say go, you run and get it. Ready, set, GO!"
4. They run and get it, cheer for them, repeat the letter again and again, and remind them of the goal while they are running. ("Look for the Y! Do you see it? Find the Y! Grab it! Good job! Put it in the basket!)

*You can do this with numbers, shapes, colors. You can also make it more difficult by trying sounds with older children instead of the name. (Find the letter that makes the ssss sound.) Or look for the letter that is at the beginning of the word "dog."

*Another way is to incorporate a new movement. Dance to the D. Jump to the J. Skip to the S. Crawl to the C. Twirl to the T.


Plowmanators said...

I LOVE this idea! Thanks!

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

I was just wracking my brains for a fun activity to do with the 3 year old I watch that would get him up and moving. This is perfect! I'm going to test it out using colors with Tobias too, maybe he can do it while crawling.

mamanickles said...

I love it too! Perfect for an active little guy. We will be trying it soon!

Jenny said...

Thank you for putting the age range in the posts. What is good for a 18 month old is still difficult for a 13 month old. Also, is there a way to group the post according to ages? Example: 12-18 months, 18-24 months. That way someone can click on an age range and see what is there. Just a thought for the future! Thanks again for this.

Plowmanators said...

Jenny, we are grouping them by toddler, baby, preschooler, etc. It is hard to put things into a specific age range like 12-18, 18-24, etc. because what is appropriate for one child at 12 months wouldn't be until 18 months or even older. Children all have different areas they focus on.

So, if you were to click on the "toddler" blog label, you could see the activities we have labeled for toddlers. Toddlers would be in the age range of 12 months to three years. Then you could decide which activiities would work for your particular child.

Does that all make sense?

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

Another success! This was a big hit with the very active 5 year old I nanny for, his 3 year old brother taught him how to do it when he got home :) This seems like a great idea for kinesthetic learners.

JenningsFamily said...

love these ideas, i am so excited! can anyone tell me how i can subscribe to email updates/notifications from this blog like I do to the Chronicles blog - on the Chronicles blog there is a spot to enter your email address on the side bar but cant see it on here! thanks so much...

Edwards Family said...

My son is 20 months old and I am wanting to try this activity. What do you do if/when he brings the wrong letter?

Emily and Susan, Productive Parenting said...

My daughter and I recently launched www.productiveparenting.com, a free website that provides daily activity suggestions based on the age of your child. We share your interest in helping parents and others easily access our activities online, by email, keyword, category, and skills learned. Please visit and see for yourself. You will never be without ideas!

Raegan said...

When/if the wrong letter is chosen, I would simply say (or cheer) "Good try! This is the letter __. We are looking for ___." You can show them the correct letter then if they aren't sure. Some letters, like P and R, look similar so it's an easy mistake. I would then replace the letters and have them start again, trying to find the letter they missed the last time. Hope that makes sense! :)

Laura Bailey said...

You could do this same game with color cards when you're teaching your children colors.
Thanks for more great ideas!

Ben & Jenny said...

I use velcro on the back of flashcards. Worked great.


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