Finding creative ways to play with letters at home is a great way to build reading and writing skills while still having fun with the kids. I’m in my 30s now, but I have vivid memories of the personified alphabet letters that hung on the wall of my kindergarten classroom. I loved how each letter seemed to have its own personality, and I couldn’t wait to learn about them week after week.
Recently I decided to start working on a similar alphabet set with my kiddos at home. We opted for capital letters with an animal theme. In the future we’ll make a set of lowercase letters and may explore new themes, such as colors, vehicles, foods, etc.
To make your own alphabet, use either construction paper or thin sheets of colored foam for the letters. You can embellish the letters with anything you like—colored pom poms, pipe cleaners, colored feathers, glue, and (of course) googly eyes.
Start by tracing the letters onto the colored foam sheets. Searching online with the term “printable alphabet” yields lots of options. Print out each letter, cut it out, and use it as a template to trace onto your foam or construction paper. Cut out the letters and it’s time to decorate!
It’s a good idea to give younger kids direction on what type of animal each letter could be (see the end of this post for a list of ideas), but let them take the lead when it comes to decorating.
You can do the entire alphabet at once or make a new letter each day or week. Doing them one at a time provides opportunities to explore other projects involving the “letter of the day.”
Ultimately the letters can become great decor for kid spaces. You can glue them to a canvas, string them up as garland, or simply tape them on the walls. Just having the alphabet displayed where your child can see them will help build letter recognition skills.
Ideas for alphabet animals to help get you started:
A – Alligator, Ape, Ant
B – Bluebird, Butterfly, Bear
C – Crab, Cow, Caterpillar
D – Duck, Dog, Dinosaur
E – Elephant, Eagle, Emu
F – Frog, Fish, Fox
G – Goat, Goose, Gorilla
H – Horse, Hippopotamus, Hummingbird
I – Iguana, Insect, Impala
J – Jellyfish, Jaguar, Jackal
K – Kangaroo, Koala, Komodo Dragon
L – Ladybug, Lion, Lizard
M – Mouse, Monkey, Moose
N – Nightingale, Newt, Night Crawler
O – Octopus, Ostrich, Otter
P – Peacock, Pig, Penguin
Q – Quail
R – Rabbit, Raccoon, Rhinoceros
S – Swan, Scorpion, Seal
T – Turtle, Tiger, Turkey
U – Unicorn, Urchin
V – Vulture, Viper, Vole
W – Wolf, Worm, Walrus
X – X-Ray Fish
Y – Yak
Z – Zebra
Photo Credits: Stephanie Morgan