Great Preschool Ideas for Learning the Alphabet

When learning the alphabet in preschool, many preschool teachers introduce the “letter basket” or “letter show and tell” into the curriculum. The idea is that preschoolers will begin to recognize and learn their letter sounds as they share objects that start with each letter.

By participating in this preschool activity with your child, you reinforce this learning at home. Each time I’ve done this with my children (and we do it “just for fun” at home too), my kids always challenge themselves (and me) to come up with ideas that “no one else will have.”

If this activity for learning the alphabet is part of your preschool curriculum, but you and your preschooler are out of ideas or you left it to the last minute (ever searched in your purse/ car for a “y” word?) , here is a list of letter objects from our experiences, preschool classes, and friends' ideas.

Letter Ideas for Learning the Alphabet:

A- artichoke, airplane, Ariel, Aurora, arrow, anchor, anise, animal, alligator
B- bird, bug, butterfly, bee, button, broom, banana, bead, bread, baby, block, bowl, Batman, ballerina, Barbie, brush, book, ball, bear, belt, Bible, Buzz Lightyear
C- cake, cotton, color, crayon, cat, candy, craisins, cola, cranberry, cup, carrot, caboose, car, Cheerios, chocolate, card, cracker, cookie, camera, cow, castle
D- dog, daisy, dollar, door knob, date book, dress, DVD, dime, dump truck, dirt, dice, dad, dreidel, duck, dinosaur, doily
E- elephant, ear, eye, envelope, egg, earring, elastic, eight, eleven
F- food, fish, finger, fan, foot, face, friend, fork, fruit, fork lift, fennel, four, five, football
G- goldfish, gum, grandma, granola, grapes, grass, glasses, glass, gravel, game, garlic, green, giraffe, gingerbread man, goggles
H- hot dog, hammer, Hummer, handle, hat, hand, hamburger helper, heart, hero, hippo, horse, hair, headband
I- ice cream, ice, igloo, insect, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, intersection (2 lines)
J- Jell-O, jam, jersey, jet, Jasmine, Jay Jay, Jesus
K- kite, kitten, kitchen, kangaroo, koala
L- lollipop, lemon, license, lever, Lincoln Log, lunch box, Lego, lamb, lotion
M- mom, money, Memory, mayonnaise, mustard, mirror, magnet, mug, mitt, marker, magnifying glass, monkey, moon, map mitten, mulch, movie, milk, muffin mix, magazine
N- nest, number, nail, nuts, nose, nickel, noodle, napkin, nine, New York
O- octopus, oven, oval, owl, ostrich, obstacle, onion, olives, oregano, oil
P- purse, pan, pen, pillow, pencil, paper, puzzle, penny, Polly Pocket, pet, penguin, pirate, pliers, pasta, purple, plate, play dough, potato, pig, princess, puppy
Q- queen, quilt, quail, quote, quarter
R- radio, rose, red, reindeer, rabbit, rainbow, rice, raisin, railroad, road, rock, rectangle, racket
S- snake, snail, sun, star, sandal, seasoning, spice, sparrow, sister, Santa, stick, snow, sock, sunglasses, stethoscope, shot, syrup, screwdriver, scissors, scarf, stone, soup, shoe, spoon, seed, spatula, Spiderman, soccer, sports, sticker
T- Thomas, tennis ball, tray, truck, tree, treasure, tunnel, top, taco, tulip, tongue depressor, Transformer, tissue, toy, towel, ten, train, triangle, tool, tongs, tee
U- Umbrella, unicorn, uncle, under
V- Violin, vest, visor, view finder, veterinarian, vegetable, vine, video, volcano
W- Water, wash cloth, whistle, wrench, water bottle, wave, watermelon, whisk, Woody, Wubbzy, winter
X- Xylophone, x-ray
Y- Yellow, yo-yo, yogurt, yarmulke, yoga, yard stick, yarn
Z- Zebra, zoo, zipper, zero

Also… think outside of the box… if you don’t have a certain object or it is too big, have your preschooler draw a picture or search the Internet together for a photo to print out (you can learn some interesting facts while you’re at it.) When my son’s 3 year old class did this alphabet lesson, he was TOTALLY into dinosaurs. Did you know that for almost every letter, you can find a dinosaur? He did… and we printed out many of them for his letter show and tell.

I always encourage my preschoolers to write or trace the name of the object on paper so that they see the letter and note the sound it makes at the same time. They get to work on learning the alphabet and on their writing skills at the same time!


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