This post may contain affiliate links.
Preschoolers love to play with play dough. It’s fun, it’s squishy, and it’s an excellent manipulative to have on hand when teaching the alphabet.
I love when I find fun hands-on ways to teach basic preschool skills! Kids need exposure to a variety of activities the focus on those skills. You can use worksheets, movement, song, and hands-on activities to expose kids to what you’re teaching them.
The alphabet activities featured below will help kids with letter recognition and letter formation while building motor skills!
Teaching the Alphabet
• Stick or knife
Activity 1: Write the Alphabet
Have your children roll the playdough into long snakes. Longer and slimmer is better than short and fat. The long skinny snakes are easier to fold into letters.
Help your child to create the letters of the alphabet with their playdough. You can even write the entire alphabet together using playdough if your child’s attention will hold. Quite frankly, my kids tend to have shorter attention spans, so we only work on a letter or two at a time.
Another great option to writing the entire alphabet is to write short words or your child’s name. Nothing makes a preschooler happier than to see their name written before them in play dough.
Activity 2: Draw the Alphabet
Playdough can also be used to draw the alphabet on. First you roll the play dough as flat as you can. Kids love using rolling pins for this. The playdough needs to be smooth rather than thin, so don’t worry if there’s still quite a bit of depth when your child is finished.
Now take a stick or a pencil, and write a few letters into the playdough. Encourage your child to attempt to make the lines themselves. See how many letters you can write.
Cut your child’s name into the playdough, and encourage your child to trace their name with a finger. If you’re adventurous, your child can use pebbles or beans to trace the letters of their name.
Activity 3: Stamp the Alphabet
Stamping the alphabet is really fun and easy for preschool kids. I prefer to use magnetic letters since they’re stuck to the refrigerator.
Again you’ll want to let your child roll the playdough flat. Once your child is satisfied with the smoothness of the playdough, choose a few letters to stamp into the play dough. Be sure to name the letter as you push it in. Encourage your child to trace the letter with a finger.
Have fun stamping names and easy words. Try dog, cat, or rat. Encourage your kids to draw a dog, cat, or rat into the play dough beneath the words.
Play dough is a fun and easy way to learn the alphabet with preschoolers.
Do your preschoolers learn the alphabet with play dough?
Alphabet Books for Preschoolers
Fill your book basket with a great collection of alphabet books for preschool. Most of these books can be found at your local library or used bookstore.
If you have a hard time finding them, you can order them through my Amazon affiliate links by clicking the images below.
The Usborne Alphabet Picture Book – Tabbed pages introduce a word beginning with each letter of the alphabet, from an apple and a butterfly to a xylophone, yellow paint, and a zebra.
Dr. Seuss’s ABC – Featuring a fantastic cast of zany characters—from Aunt Annie’s alligator to the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, with a lazy lion licking a lollipop and an ostrich oiling an orange owl—Dr. Seuss’s ABC is a must-have for every young child’s library.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – n this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no – Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom!
Additional Teaching Resources
This wooden alphabet board is double-sided with upper and lowercase print letters. It’s great for ages 2 and up for letter identification and letter formation. This board can be used with the included walnut “pen” or traced by finger. Makes a wonderful handwriting tool for at home or in the classroom.
These hand painted rainbow alphabet rocks can do all sorts of things! Add them to a sensory bin, use them for loose parts play, put them in a writing center in the classroom, and much more!