Learning with Letter Magnets
By Rachel Wells
Head to any school supply section popping up at the store and you are bound to find packs of magnetic alphabet letters. Magnetic letters are a staple in early education, but you don’t need to just stick them to your fridge and call it a day!
Alphabet magnets are an underappreciated and multipurpose learning tool – and with a little creativity these treasures can be used for tons of hands-on and interactive learning activities.
Here are 12 awesome activities using only alphabet magnets and a few household supplies.
1. Bring them to the garage door
Magnet boards don’t get any bigger than the garage door! Sometimes just a change of scenery is all you need to re-invent something your child has seen before. Make sentences, or write a nice encouraging note to your neighbors.
2. Fishing for letters
All you need is a pencil, yarn, tape, and a magnet to build a simple fishing pole. Have your child fish for the letters in their name, or to match letters to a piece of paper.
3. Play guess my letter
Have player 1 place one of each letter of the alphabet magnet on their cookie sheet. Next, player 2 writes a mystery letter on a wipe off board or piece of paper. Player 1 has to guess the mystery letter by naming one letter at a time from their cookie sheet. If they guess incorrectly they remove the letter magnet from the cookie sheet, and continues to guess until they figure out the mystery letter.
4. Sort by color
It’s also okay to ignore the letters and have your younger child focus on the colors instead. Have them sort the magnets by color.
5. Cookie sheet matching
Write letters on a piece of painters tape, and attach to a cookie sheet. Have your child match the written letters with letter magnets.
6. Cookie sheet find the missing letter
Similar to the last activity, but leave empty space for your child to fill in the missing spaces with letter magnets in order to build a complete alphabet.
7. Make a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree!
Cover aluminum cans in brown paper and add some leaves to the top. Have your child stick letter magnets to the tree trunk as they listen along to the story.
8. Spell sight words
On any magnetic surface, write sight words on painters tape and have your child copy the words with magnetic letters.
9. Make a rainbow
After sorting by color, use magnets to spell words in rainbow order.
10. Play-Doh stamping
Roll some Play-Doh flat on a table and use letter magnets to make prints. Spell your name, spell sight words, or take out a toy and have your child sound out the word.
11. Beginning Letter sounds
Place rows of painters tape on a cookie sheet, and stick stickers to the tape. Challenge your child to match the letter magnets with each pictures beginning letter sound/middle sound/ending sound/or to sound out the whole word.
12. Magnetic letter towers
Combine magnetic letters with STEM. Use Play-doh and magnet letters to build and balance name or words towers.