ABC’s and 123’s

My girls are having SO much fun with these magnetic letters and numbers. The reading specialist at Ellie’s school suggested that I get the letters and we love them. Even Milly is learning her letters and numbers since we have them in the kitchen. I wish I would have purchased these a lot sooner- it is a great way to teach kids spelling, math, reading, etc.. If you have a preschooler and do not have these- PLEASE grab some- it will make Kindergarten and First Grade a lot easier for you! I think they would make a great Christmas gift! 


  1. MAKING WORDS Have children make as many different words as they can. Each time they make a word have them write it on a sheet of paper. You may want to challenge them to make as many two-, three- and four-letter words as they can.
  2. NAME GAME Have the children make names of friends or family. They should make each name, mix the letters, and make it again several times.
  3. ALPHABETICAL ORDER Have children put a set of lowercase letters in correct alphabetical order. They can do the same with uppercase letters.
  4. MAGAZINE MATCH Have children find and cut out large print words they can read and understand from magazines or newspapers. They glue them on a sheet of paper with plenty of space below each and make each word with magnetic letters.
  5. MAKING NEW WORDS Build several words and show the children how to change, add, or take away a letter or letters to make a new word. Examples are: cat, can, man, men, met, tap, clap, claps, flaps, flips, flipped, slipped.
  6. RHYMING PAIRS Use a magnetic cookie sheet. With magnetic letters, make a word such as cut. Say the word and have the child say a rhyming word and make it with magnetic letters below it. Sometimes rhyming words will be spelled differently so you may need to show the child the new spellings (new, blue, hope, soap)
  7. CROSSWORD LETTERS You make a word and then the child adds a word that starts from one of the letters. The word can go across or down.
  8. DESCRIBING WORDS Make a describing word (red, thin, cold). Then have the child make a describing word and continue taking turns and make as many describing words as you. Keep a list and read the list together at the end.
  9. ACTION WORDS Make an action word (run, play, jump). Then have the child make an action word, continuing to take turns and making as many action words as you can. Keep a list and read the list together at the end.
  10. ADDING ENDINGS Make an action word such as read, sew, plant. Invite the child to add as many different endings as possible (reads, reading, reader; sew, sewing, sews; plant, plants, planted, planting, planter).
  11. CHANGING VOWELS Make a sample three-letter word. Ask the child to change the vowel to make a new word (for example, cat, cut, cot; hop, hip; hat, hit, hot, hut).
  12. SYLLABLE GAME Say a word and then make it with magnetic letters. Have the child say another word with the same number of syllables and make it with magnetic letters (dog, play; cabin, rocket).
  13. CONSONANT COUPLETS Make a word that begins with a consonant (all the letters except a, e, i, o, u). Have the child make another word that starts with the same consonant.
© 2003 by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas from Phonics Lessons
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. This page may be photocopied for single classroom use only.
  1. CONSONANT CLUSTER COUPLETS Make a simple word that begins with two consonants together. Your child’s teacher will have a Consonant Cluster Linking Chart you may want to request. Have the child make a word that starts with the same cluster (crab, cry; stop, store; chair, cheese).
  2. HIGH FREQUENCY WORD PRACTICE There are some words that children use many times when they read or write. Request a list of high frequency words your child needs to know. Have the child make the word, mix up the letters, and make the word again three times each.
  3. CATEGORY WORDS Choose a category such as colors, clothing, food, furniture. Make and read a word in the category. Have the child make and read one and continue to take turns making as many words in the category as you can. Keep a list and read the list together at the end.
  4. COMPOUND FINISH Compound words are words formed by putting two whole words together. Make the first part of a compound word and have the child finish it. For example, if you make sun your child could make sunshine or sunflower; if you make snow your child could make snowman, snowshoe, or snowball. Then reverse roles. Keep a list of the words you make and read them together.
  5. BUILDING WORDS Give your child a pile of letters and tell him to make and write as many words as he can.
  6. CONNECTING WORDS Have your child make a word and then make another word that is like it in some way (starts the same, ends the same, a word that means the same or opposite, a word that rhymes) Have her tell how it is the same.
  7. MAKE AND MIX Have your child make the names of the days of the week. One at a time, mix the letters and have him make them again several times. Repeat with the months of the year.
  8. FOOD FUN Make the names of foods you had for dinner. Mix the letters and have your child remake it several times.
  9. LETTER GAME Have each player start with six letters. The players make words with the letters they have. They take turns taking one new letter at a time from a bucket of letters (they don’t look at the letters in the bucket). The first player to use all his letters wins the game. Then each player reads the words she made.
  10. SEASONS REASONS Select a season. Make a word and tell why it goes with that season. Have your child do the same. For example if you select winter your child might make hat; It is cold in the winter so you need a hat.
  11. SYNONYM MATCH Think of a pair of words that mean the same (such as wet and moist). Make a word and have the child think of one that means the same. Make the synonym below the first word. Repeat with several synonyms. Play the game again with antonyms (words that mean the opposite, such as hot and cold).
  12. MISSING LETTERS Make the last part of a word such as __ick, __air, __ell and have the child put one or two letters in the beginning to make a real word (chick, chair, spell). Repeat the process with one or two missing letters at the end of words. 

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