Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: Preschool Learning: Tactile Alphabet Ideas - Touch & Feel the ABC's

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Preschool Learning: Tactile Alphabet Ideas - Touch & Feel the ABC's

Learning ABC's is a huge part of the preschool experience. It is also a fundamental foundation of later learning experiences (i.e. reading & writing).

Gone are the days of just drilling a child with flashcards and having them memorize letters. That was how my parents taught me.  It was boring & for me traumatic because it led to such frustration for both them and me when I didn't respond (memorize) as quickly as they would have liked. Thankfully, today we know there is a better way to learn! Children learn best when they are fully  immersed in the process.

For a full letter learning experience it would be ideal to let the child:

1. Hear the letter - share the sound, use easy repeateable songs as much as possible

2. Feel the letter - that's what I am going to share with you here (see below for ideas/details)

3. Taste the letter - try to incorporate a fun letter related snack (more on this coming up in another post!)

4. See the letter - expose the child to the letters in books, make a poster board, make an ABC book, etc

5. Write the letter - this is another fun post I have in the works! So many great ideas to make letter writing a fun and memorable hands-on experience (more on this later!)

I thought it would be fun to share with you an easy & handy list for tactile ABC ideas that you could use with your tots and preschoolers to give letter recognition a more hands-on and sensory experience.

**Activity - Touch & Feel ABC Book **
Get a large binder and create your own Touch & Feel ABC Book that your child can read, feel & touch over & over again!

Tactile Ideas from A to Z
A - apple prints, aluminum foil, alphabet pasta, apple stickers or stamps, animal stickers or foam shapes
B - beans, beads, bubble wrap, buttons, foam bear stickers
C - cotton balls, corn kernels, cinnamon (ground), coffee (ground), car stickers, construction paper (torn)
D - dirt, dots (stickers or do-a-dot markers), daisy petals, foam dinosaur shapes
E - egg shells, foam egg shapes, envelope strips, eyes (wiggly), earth stickers
F - feathers, foam, puffy fingerpaint, flower petals, froot loops, flower stickers or stamps
G - glitter, grass, glue (dried out glue is raised), gems, ginger (ground)
H - hay, hair (doll hair available in craft stores), heart shaped stickers or stamps
I - ice cube prints, ivy, ice cream stickers
J - jelly beans, jewels
K - kool-aid, kleenex, old or plastic keys, kite stickers
L - leaves, lasagna noodles, lace
M - macaroni, m&m's, mini marshmallows, play money
N - noodles, netting fabric, number stickers/stamps, nickles (play money, stickers or stamps)
O - oatmeal, owl feathers (brown feathers will do) cheerios (o shape)
P - pasta, pom-pom balls, play-doh, popcorn, pipe cleaners, penguin stickers, paper (torn), pumpkin seeds, pennies (play money, stickers or stamps), paper clips, packing peanuts
Q - q-tips, quarters stamped in paint, quilted fabric
R - rainbow colored rice, ribbon
S - seeds, sand, sequins, sprinkles, stickers, stamps, shapes, snowballs (cotton), spaghetti (cooked), string, shells, sponge paint
T - tape, twigs, tissue paper
U - uniform (fabric pieces in a plaid design), umbrella stickers, unicorn stickers
V - vegetable prints, vegetable stickers, velcro, velvet, vehicle stickers
W - wagon wheel pasta, wooden sticks, watermelon seeds
X - x's from alphabet pasta, bones stamped in white paint (x-ray) dirt or tape (for x marks the spot)
Y - yellow yarn
Z - zeros (cheerios), zippers (fabric), zig zags (cut from paper) zebra stripes (paint, black construction paper or tape)

Other great tactile ABC ideas:
1. Have block letters for children to manipulate

2. Have magnetic letters readily available for play

3. Sand Paper Letters - these would be easy to cut out (use block letter templates) and attach to cardstock

4. ABC puzzles - I have made these with foam pieces and using block style letter templates that I colored, laminated and cut into puzzle peices. Plus, of course there are the actual wooden puzzles kids love playing with that you can purchase.

5. ABC floor mat (see our in photo above)

6. Alphabet lacing cards - you can easily make these using a laminated block letter template, a hole puncher & some shoe laces or string!

Do you have any other tactile items or learning ideas that I missed? Please share your ideas by commenting below.

Hope you enjoy our list! Be sure to let me know if you use any of these ideas - I'd love to hear how it went for you.



  1. This is a great list- I'll be returning to it often for ideas!

  2. What a great idea! I am trying to find things to do with my 2-year-old this fall/ winter as he is not going to preschool yet, so that's perfect!

  3. These look so fun! Can't wait until Baby C is a little older to do these things with :)

  4. Great list! I am sharing it on PInterest...

    Thanks for linking to Creative Juice!

  5. Great post! I also like to the get the foam bathtub letters and let my boys play with them (in and out of the tub!)

  6. Love your ideas. Here is another idea of a video I did entitled Sew the Alphabet

    Also, you might want to add Move to the Alphabet. Some research has indicated that when children move while learning the letters they retain the information longer. Children can try to create the letters using their own bodies.

  7. I can't believe I just came across this on your site. I did a similar thing with my son, but we started pretty early.

    I'm going to revisit this page when I start doing the ABCs with my daughter!

  8. What a great list of Alphabet crafts! You clever lady! And love the ones you did already. Especially the SSSSSS ;-)

    Thanks, as always, for linking up at Kids Get Crafty!!


  9. Love, love, love it!

    This week we were making the latter B out of play dough and my boy started adding mineral rocks to the outline. It was really fun and a great sensory exercise, not to mention it looked beautiful! I have a pic I will post to my FB page or blog soon! You'd like it! - Marnie @ Carrots Are Orange

  10. This is a great idea of how we could let children learn alphabet. I love the idea that it incorporates the various method to cater to all the different children learning styles.

    I have include it in my website

  11. what a great addition to our ABC's of Teaching Preschoolers! Thank you!

  12. oooh! Thanks for the ideas. I've been wanting to do something like this with Erin, but haven't been able to figure out what she could glue onto the letters :)

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  15. Some really great ideas here!! I've just made some fabric magnetic letters to get us started on learning the ABCs.

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  17. Very useful info. Hope to see more posts soon mushroom rice!

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