“SLAP that Letter” Activity and Letter Games/Lessons

The day I learned I should start teaching lower case letters before focusing on uppercase letters, it was too late. I had made some good headway with upper case letters. It was one of those confusingly profound revelations too- like have your drawers arranged horizontally rather than vertically, or have a fire extinguisher under your bed in case of a night fire (I’d go after my kids with it even though they say not to).

Of course, lower letters are where to start if your child wants to read normal writings and books. Not many books are shouting at you with all caps.

Abe is 3, and I am going with my whole theory on the importance of exposure. Without too much pressure, we can have fun with letters and have him seeing them and experiencing them in an entertaining way.

I have done some reading, not nearly as much as I should, about how to introduce reading and writing. I came across and liked the Montessori approaches. These are some great blogs to get lost in for finding activities and model teaching:

https://www.howweelearn.com/teaching-letter-recognition-what-order-to-introduce-letters/

https://livingmontessorinow.com/teach-letter-sounds-to-your-child-using-montessori-principles/

In my readings I found there are letter sounds to start with, but there are varying opinions. I drew from these suggested first sets and decided to start with s,a,p,t, and c. Also, for one of my classes, there was a discussion on lessons preschool teachers were using, so I created a little dialogue for this lesson that will involve two games: One I will call “Which One” and one I will call “SLAP that Letter!” Abe was very entertained. He is looking forward to the next week’s letter. I think it was a win for the day.


Here is my more-formal-than-winging-it lesson plan that I typed up for my renewal class. I did not really stick to this dialogue for this first time, but I will try next time (as well as shoot the footage horizontally…)

“Let’s do our letter game! Do you want to work on becoming a good reader? This week our letter is P. Let’s think of words that start with P! [show the letter and make the sound]” (remember, always be excited. Sell the fun!)

Take some time to come up with words that start with p, or present different objects and have him say if it does or doesn’t start with our letter.

Set 3 items in front of Abe in rounds. Have three items in each round. One item starting with the letter.

Round 1: Penguin, ball, marker

Round 2: Pear, shirt, truck

Round 3: Pencil, lion, cup

“Okay, Abe, now let’s play “SLAP that Letter” for the things in our house that have p as their first letter! Let’s go find things in the house that start with P, and mark them with their letter! [model the slapping action, and give him some post-its]. Have fun… hopefully!

[It is also good for you to make a list of things you can direct/guide your child to. It is weird how suddenly you cannot thing of anything in your home that starts with a particular letter]

Some things around our house that I would direct him to if he needed: Pantry, Popcorn, Potty, Pillow, Penny, Pan/Pot, …

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