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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
There’s nothing that preschoolers love more than a good game of hide and seek. Your classroom doesn’t offer many opportunities for this with their bodies, but these adorable printable alphabet games will satisfy their urges to track down hidden objects. Each page has both uppercase and lowercase letters and a cute hippo who needs help to find the letter using a unifix cube. Be sure to have multiple sets ready as your students learn the alphabet and find a new favorite game!
Early Literacy and Letter Recognition
The entire preschool literacy program is dedicated to helping students learn the alphabet and a foundational piece of this is being able to identify both upper and lower case instances of each letter. There are a wide variety of early literacy programs that teach the sounds and names of each letter differently, but these printable alphabet games will fit with whatever program you’re using as there’s one page for each letter. You can print them all at once and then use them in the suggested order in your early literacy centers.
Preparing Hippo Letter Recognition Mats
These fun printable alphabet games make for an excellent no-prep literacy center. Just download the letter that you’re working on this week and print multiple copies. If you’re looking to create a blank template for students to fill, simply print a random page and put white stickers over the letters in the grid and next to each unifix cube. When you make copies, it will come out as a blank template for your students.
Extending The Hippo Fun
Your students will love playing these letter recognition games, and you’ll see them reaching for a unifix cube set every time you tell them it’s time for literacy centers. This repeated game play will have them mastering their uppercase and lowercase letters in no time, so while you’re waiting for everyone to catch up, try some of these extension tasks:
Play 2 boards – to truly develop their skills, play find the letter but give each pair of students two boards to play on. For an added challenge, pick boards that share the same letters (e.g. the ‘a’ and ‘b’ mats are both covered with a’s and b’s).
Speed covering – all preschoolers like the challenge of doing a familiar skill quickly. Once they’ve mastered a particular letter by playing the printable alphabet games, have them time themselves to cover up all the upper and lower case letters. You could even have a leaderboard for the quickest times.
Create their own mats – one of the biggest drivers for letter recognition in the preschool classroom is to help students transition those skills to their writing. Challenge your more confident students to create their own version of the hippo letter recognition mats by giving them a blank template and having them write the upper and lower case letters of their choice. Not only is this great writing practice but they will be eager to play this new game with their friends.