Alphabet Treasure Hunt

Activity for ages 1 to 4

This ABC Game came about when  I realized that the sandbox was yet another fabulous spot for helping my child learn to recognize letters of the alphabet.  The ABC Game Alphabet Treasure Hunt is perfect for children who are learning the names or sounds of letters as well as little ones who are starting to match upper and lowercase letters.

ABC Game: Alphabet Treasure Hunt

ABC Game Set-up and Play

To play, you’ll need letter cut-outs that you don’t mind getting dirty.  I used our stack of magnetic letters but wooden or foam ones would work well too.  If your child is still learning the names of letters, choose just a few to hide at a time so that he can focus on learning several letters well before adding more to his to-do list.  If your child is working on matching upper and lowercase pairs, be sure that each letter has a match before hiding it.


Once you have your stack of letters ready, hide away.  Then invite your child to scoop the sand and hunt for the hidden letters.  Each time he finds one, have him repeat its name after you.

ABC Game: Alphabet Treasure Hunt

Talking about what it looks like helps his brain too.  For example, when C found this [m] our conversation sounded like this:

Me: “You found an [m]!”

C: “[m].”

Me: “The [m] has a line on this side and then two humps.  It’s called [m].”

C: “Yeah! It’s [m].”

(Then C threw it quickly to the side and started hurriedly digging in the sand to find his next treasure: an [o].)

ABC Game: Alphabet Treasure Hunt

When C is older, I will adjust this activity by encouraging him to match the upper and lowercase letters.  He will find pairs like these two [L]s.

ABC Game: Alphabet Treasure Hunt


More ABC Game Fun

If you like this, try some of our other ABC games, including Letter Toss and Alphabet Soup. And be sure to follow our ABC Game board on Pinterest!


Malia Hollowell

Malia Hollowell

Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mom to three young kids {5, 3 and 1}. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Education {go Stanford Cardinal!} and spent seven years teaching in a classroom before taking time off to raise her little ones.
Malia Hollowell

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  1. My middle daughter is my dig in the dirt kid;) My three kids spent many bubble baths searching for the foam letters and numbers in their early emergent stages, making the sound, thinking of a word that starts with that sound, then sticking it to the wall. Love your blog!

  2. This is a great idea. Saw a link to this on Facebook and I am pinning it, I hope that is okay.

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  4. A great way to learn

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