I don’t think it’s any hidden secret that I have a little thing for fonts. Okay, a big thing. I’ve even developed 100+ fonts of my own that teachers and creatives worldwide use to create resources for their own classrooms. It’s a fun little hobby, but one that began for me waaaaaaay before an Apple Pencil met my fingertips.
My obsession began at an early age in Ms. Sumpter’s 5th grade class. I loved her. I thought everything about her – from the way she taught, to the sports cards she gave away as incentives (I wasn’t even a big sports fan at eleven, but I would do an.y.thing to earn one of those), to the way she drew smiley faces on our papers – was just incredible. She was a talented artist and so inspiring to my fifth grade self. She also had the best, neatest handwriting I’d ever seen in my life. It. Was. PERFECT. Every letter was uniform in width and height. She made fancy, lowercase as (none of that circle with a stick business for her) and I spent so much time analyzing her writing that I eventually was trying to replicate it myself. I continued to have a thing for handwriting all through the rest of my school years and especially into college where note-taking was critical. I WOULD EVEN RE-WRITE MY NOTES JUST TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO COLOR CODE THEM IN MY BEST HANDWRITING. What I would do to have time like that on my hands these days! Ha!
I digress. I promise, this post really is about a learning activity!
Okay, so fonts are everywhere. In the field of education, we refer to recognizable text seen in and around communities as environmental print. Terms like McDonalds and Pizza Hut and Target would qualify as such. Whether intentionally taught or not, even our preschoolers can point out logos for Walmart or Amazon simply from repeated exposure to them. Keeping that in mind, I don’t shy away from using a multitude of fonts when teaching the alphabet, even to the little guys. I want them to recognize the fancy as and gs just as easily as they would recognize anything written in a basic manuscript type.
My 4-year-old daughter is working hard to learn her letters right now. You can read more about her story here. She’s fairly consistent at identifying and recognizing the letters in her name (and a B because that’s what her brothers’ names begin with 😉), so we’ve been working with F a i t h for now.
I used some of the fonts that I’ve created to make a set of printable letters for sorting and building with. I’ll say the name and have her repeat it, and then sort it according to upper- or lowercase. Benny has to play along, too, of course (he’s just recently three). Or, I’ll provide them several letters and have them sort them by case.
This is an easy activity to do at home or in the classroom, requires little prep, and can have a big impact when used with your kiddos a few times a week. Just print, cut and play!
Here’s a few different options for use…
If you’re interested in using this resource at school or at home, click HERE or the image below.
If you’d like to check out more activities for learning the alphabet, here are two more I love:
I also use this preschool skills-based workbook with Faith and Benny…
Teaching the alphabet is one of my favorite skills to teach! What activities do you love to do to support this in your classroom or home?
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