Letter of the Week Box

I am so excited to share this idea with you all! I first encountered this activity, from a colleague working in a preschool classroom. You can use it to teach your child some phonemic awareness and basic phonics. It would integrate wonderfully into a letter of the week curriculum (actually, that was how she used it). It is a marvelous way to introduce your child to both the letter shape and the letter sound. 

letter of the week box

This teacher that I worked with had a fancy wooden box with holes on each side that you could reach into (but could not see into). That had the neat effect of making the object a mystery. I covered a tissue box with some pretty scrapbook paper and packing tape to make it durable. Then I placed letter stickers over it to decorate it further.

Once you have made the box, you will need to find objects to fill it with! I used objects with the shape of the letter that I was teaching, such as: letter magnets, puzzle pieces with the letter on it, foam letters, etc. I tried to incorporate both the uppercase and lowercase letter. Before I had lowercase letter magnets, I wrote the lowercase letter on a post it note and included that-it doesn't have to be fancy. After you have those objects, include some objects that start (or end, in the case of letter x) with the letter that you are teaching. In cases where a letter could make more than one sound, I choose objects that began with the letters primary sound (for example, when teaching A, I would include an anteater but not a ape).

Once you have a few objects which represent the letter, and a few objects that represent the letter sound, sit with your child and invite them to take out each object one at a time and name each object. Take your time while you are doing this activity. There is no need to rush through the objects in the box. I often found that this activity sparked a conversation with my daughter about letter shape (such as the observation that the letter p can be flipped upside down to make a letter d) or multiple names for objects (such as the fact that the beanie baby dog could also be called a puppy).

You could use the box to review, as well.  Place several letters in the box with which your child is familiar.  Then place at least one object that begins with each of the letters.  Invite your child to pull out the letters and objects and match them.

Later on, you could use this activity to teach discrimination between two sounds made by the same letter. Simply fill the box with objects that begin with the same letter, such as C, but begin with different sounds (cat vs. circle). Then invite your child to separate the objects into two piles based on the sound.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to write them in the comment box below. Thank you for reading this phonics activity today. If you think your friends or family would enjoy doing this activity with their children please share on social media. Happy learning!
Letter of the Week Box: letter recognition, phonics, and phonemic awareness for preschool
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Alphabet Mystery Box Preschool Activity


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