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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
When your preschool students discover the world of fantasy characters, such as elves, wizards and fairies, be ready for a lot of pretend play. You can fuel their imaginations by stocking your dress up box with headbands, cloaks and wands, and reading stories that feature these kinds of characters. Theming your classroom around fantasy characters will help you get off the usual holidays and seasonal track, and your students will love having wizard and fairy themed activities. This fairy alphabet bingo will become a quick favorite in your literacy centers and you can add to the magic by allowing your students to dress up as they play.
Why Teach Letter Matching
Your literacy goals for your preschool students are fairly limited. By the end of the year, you should be expecting most students to recognize all of the letters (both the uppercase and lowercase versions) as well as being able to say the main sounds that each one makes. To get this point requires plenty of practice which is where having this kind of letter matching small group activity comes in as it allows your students to build the muscle memory required for reading. By using this alphabet bingo printable for preschool, students practice both reading the letters (when they’re the games master) and listening to the letter names or sounds (when they’re the bingo players), and the fairy themed activities will keep them entertained all year long.
Preparing Your Fairy Themed Activities
Print and laminate the bingo cards. Print laminate and cut apart the letter cards. Pick a letter card and call it out. Your students will need to find the matching letter on their mat and cover it with a token. The first one to get a full row, column or diagonal line of letters need to yell out “Bingo!” to win.
Extension Activities For Fairy Alphabet Bingo
The concept for these fairy letter games for preschool is as old as teaching itself. You give each student a playing board, and one student the bag of all the letters, who becomes the games master. They pull one letter out of the bag at a time, calling out the letter while their friends cover the correct space. The first to get five in a row shouts “bingo” and becomes the next games master. To extend this learning, try some of these simple activities:
Reverse bingo – this is a great quiet activity for two players. One player has a playing board and chooses a line of bingo. They call out the five letters that make up their line, and their partner has to find them as quickly as possible from the bag.
Bingo the room – any time you can bring movement to a preschool letter matching small group activity is a win. Try putting all the letter cards up around your room, then challenge each student to find a bingo as quickly as possible. You could also have students work together in teams to complete the whole board first.
Make their own boards – finally, by having students make their own fairy alphabet bingo boards, you can get them to practice their letter formation skills as well as giving them ownership over their own learning. Students can choose between uppercase and lowercase versions of each letter, and can add further decorations to their boards. If you’re feeling creative, have them make velcro boards where each letter can come on and off, giving them endless bingo variations to play with.
HUGE bundle of no-prep alphabet worksheets!
There are 12 activities for each letter:
1) Alphabet Draw The Scene – Trace the upper and lowercase letters then imagine and draw the rest of the scene. For example, draw what the astronaut sees in space.
2) Letter Detective – Find and color in the boxes with the letter shown.
3) Cut, Sort and Stick –Differentiate upper and lowercase letter and sort them into the correct column.
4) Alphabet Puzzle Fun Sheets – No prep combination worksheets. Trace the letter, find the letter, draw something that begins with the letter and 4-piece puzzles to form the letter.
5) Alphabet Beginning Sounds Coloring Pages – Each letter coloring page comes with at least 6 objects.
6) Dot The Letter – These can be used with dot markers or dot stickers.
7) Q Tip Letters – Use a cotton bud to paint the letter.
8) Alphabet Handwriting – Correct letter writing technique is shown with space to trace upper and lowercase letters.
9) Letter Mazes – Identify the letters correctly to find the end of the maze.
10) Alphabet Playdough Mats – Fine motor strengthening activity to form the letters.
11) Alphabet Punch Cards – Letters are on the edge of the page for single hole punching or using with clips.
12) Alphabet Beginning Sound Clip Cards – 8 different sets included. Match the letter to the object (2 sets each for upper and lowercase) and match the object to the letter (2 sets each for upper and lowercase).