I love to take learning outside, and so do my kids. We created this letter sound hide & seek game with preschoolers and kindergartners in mind, but it can be adapted for older or younger children as well.
There’s a classic Montessori activity in which students match objects to letter cards. My girls liked it, but my son always needed more movement in his school work. Thinking back on those days (he’s 10 now), this would’ve been perfect for him.
Letter Sound Activity Preparation
Next, write out the letters in chalk. We wrote each letter on an individual brick, but you could also just draw circles around each one. The idea is to create a space where animals of each letter sound belong.
Finally, hide the animals around your yard or playground. We hid them in plain sight.
Letter Sound Activity Instructions
Tell the child the boundaries of the animals’ hiding area. Then, have him or her search for the animals. As he finds each one, help him decide what letter it starts with, and place the animal in the correct area.
Extend the Activity
- Have your child copy or trace the letters – using chalk makes it fun!
- Take turns! Let the child hide the animals for you to find – and check that you place them next to the correct letters.
To include a toddler sibling in this activity, use animals large enough to be toddler safe. Spread the letters out a little further apart. After your older child has found and placed all the animals, give the toddler a small bag to go collect them. Help him name each animal as he picks it up.
Early Reader Version
For a child who is starting to read, you can write out the full animal name instead of just the first letter. You can also have the child do all the chalk writing herself.
I hope this letter learning game gives you some active outside learning time this summer. Be sure to keep it playful, and let your child take the lead. Have fun!