Erase the Letter Alphabet Game

This is a very flexible and fun little activity to review letter recognition with toddlers and preschoolers. To complete this activity, your child will need to be able to hold a cotton ball and use it to wipe the white board. There is absolutely no setup for this activity, so it is great for when you have a couple of minutes that you just don't know what to do with. If you placed the materials in a gallon sized zip top bag, you would have a great way to use extra time at the doctor or dentist's office.

What You Will Need To Do This Letter Recognition Activity

  • a dry erase marker
  • a small white board or laminated sheet of paper
  • a cotton ball

Playing the Game with Your Toddler or Preschooler

On the white board, write 4 letters (or numbers!), one in each quarter of the page. I like to be tricky and choose 4 that have something in common. You could write 4 letters that:
  • consist of up and down/side to side strokes (like E, F, H, I, L, & T)
  • involve slanted strokes in addition to the vertical and horizontal lines (such as A, K, M, N, V, W, X, Y, & Z)
  • are “magic C” (like C, G, O, & Q)
  • are curvy (B, D, J, P, R, S, & U)
The similarities between the letters ensure that your child is really learning the difference between the letters and not simply guessing based on letter shape.

If your child is just starting out with learning the letters or if this is your first time playing the game, you can just write the letters in alphabetical or random order. You may also want to say the names of the letters as you write them to give your child some extra exposure.

What to Do If Your Child Knows None of Their Letters

If your child erases the wrong letter either consistently or once in a while, my advice is to relax. M. was consistently erasing the wrong letter despite the fact that she knows all of her uppercase letters. Puzzled, I asked her, “What letter are you erasing?” She correctly identified the letter she was erasing. SHE just wanted to erase the letter of her own choosing (I think she also finds it hilarious to pick the wrong one). So instead of asking her to erase the letter I chose, I asked what letters she chose to erase. Occasionally the wouldn't know (probably because she erased the letter enthusiastically before really looking at it). When that happens, I write the letter on the white board again and told her the letter name.

Honestly, with a toddler I wouldn't expect them to know all of their letters anyway. This activity is about giving your child exposure to the alphabet in a fun way, not giving them a scientific assessment. Have fun with it!

Make the Activity Your Own

You can adjust this activity to fit your child's needs in a number of ways:
  • We have done this activity to learn about both uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and shapes. Older children could use this to practice sight words. This is a great way to review whatever your child happens to be working on at the moment.
  • As I stated earlier, if it works better for your child, they can “announce” the letter they are erasing rather than erasing the one you choose. Either way is great practice.
  • You could use this game to practice letter sounds. Instead of saying the letters name, simply say the sound made by the letter.
  • You could use this activity to work on identifying the initial phoneme (letter sound) in a word. Simply write the letters the same as before, but instead of saying the letter name say a word that begins with that letter. For example, you would say “cat” to prompt your child to erase the letter c.

If you found this activity useful please share and/or comment. I'd love to hear from you! If you are looking for more alphabet activities check out Seed Writing and the Uppercase and Lowercase Sticker Match Activity. Thank you for stopping by today!


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