My one year old, G, has a special drawer in the kitchen filled with baby-friendly gadgets. There’s an empty bread crumb canister, plastic measuring spoons, a whisk and (his current favorite) a plastic soup ladle. G loves reaching into the drawer, pulling out the ladle and pounding it on the ground over and over again. I am always amazed by how loudly his little arms can make that ladle bang.
The other day, as I watched my little ladle drummer work his magic, I was suddenly inspired. The coveted kitchen tool could be used to make an AMAZING alphabet game. I hurried around the kitchen grabbing supplies for a playful letter recognition activity called “Alphabet Soup”. It has become my older son’s new favorite learning activity.
- A soup ladle or large measuring cup.
- A pot filled with water.
- A set of alphabet letters. They can be either lowercase or uppercase. I ended up using both.
- Optional: A set of flashcards to use if your child already knows the names of letters.
Note: My 2.5 year old loves splashing in water so I was thankful that we played the game outside. You may want to avoid a mess and head outdoors too.
After placing the letters in the water, invite your child to join you.
If your child is just learning the names of letters like my 2.5 year old, ask him to use the ladle and pull out a letter at random. Say the name of the letter he chooses out loud for him and have your child repeat it after you. Continue naming the letters each time that he scoops a new one.
If your child knows the names of letters, show him an alphabet flashcard and have him scoop the matching letter out of the pot.
And if he is already sounding out and writing words, invite your child to ladle 5-7 letters from the pot at a time and try to create words with them like the word “let” in this example:
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What’s your family’s favorite alphabet book?