The minute I saw this giant fly swatter, I knew it would be perfect for so many educational games! This Alphabet SWAT! game is the perfect combination of gross motor activity and learning, engaging children and making each letter recognition feel like a great victory!
This game takes less than a minute to prepare but depending on the speed of your emergent reader (and the space that you have your letters spread out in), this game can be played for hours. Going through the alphabet, finding and swatting the letters, and then re-positioning the letters in new places and starting all over again!
This is a great game for children who may otherwise feel a bit discouraged at remembering the order of the alphabet or identifying their letters. The fun of finding and swatting the letters helps children overcome any initial hesitation and gives way to pride and excitement!
How to Play Alphabet SWAT!
First, gather your materials:
- Giant bug swatter (sometimes you can find fun ones at your local dollar store as well)
- Post-it notes or index cards
- Thick marker
We used Post-it notes so we could re-stick the letters in different places, stick them on furniture & prevent them from flying around as my daughter swatted them. Index cards – or even some themed bug cards – would be good alternatives.
Write each letter on a separate Post-it note, and then spread those Post-it Notes all around the room or space you are playing in. It’s also a good idea to go over The Alphabet Song with your child/group as a quick refresher before getting started.
Now, SWAT! those letters! Start by going through the alphabet, swatting each letter in order. If you’re playing as a group, you can take turns finding letters or race to find the letters.
Once you’ve swatted your way through the alphabet, you can find new ways to play. You can start calling out random letters, or spelling words. Try to use this as an opportunity to practice language or spelling skills that your child already has, rather than trying to teach new words or concepts.
You can also line up the letters of a given word – in order or out of order – and have your child swat each letter as they call it out. Start with simple 3-letter words and progress in difficulty according to your child’s capability.
My daughter eventually became the “Letter Ninja” – storing her giant swatter in the back of her dress and then dramatically pulling it out to swat the letters as she found them. Encourage your kids to have fun with this game and make it their own – as long as they are still focusing on the letter recognition (somewhat), any extra creativity that keeps them engaged is a good thing.
If you have less space or would prefer to make this game into a quiet time activity, check out our Table Top version!
Would you give this game of Alphabet SWAT! a try? What skills would you adapt the game to practice?