Hunting for letters is perfect for acquiring and reinforcing early literacy skills; the rapidly-growing minds of toddlers, preschoolers, and even kindergarten-aged children can all benefit from it.
I designed the activity, Hide and Seek Letters, for children ages 2-5.
This activity combines the goal of learning both uppercase and lowercase letter identification with the fun of playing Hide and Seek.
It takes a bit of preparation but much of that can be done alongside your child if you wish. My son just turned three and he absolutely loves playing this game.
1 piece of large paper (11×17 works well)
1 piece colored paper
Magazines for cutting
1. Pick a letter to use throughout the activity. (The first letter of your child’s name is a good place to start. I let my son choose and he picked the letter T because it starts the word ‘truck’.)
2. Go through magazines and cut out 5-10 uppercase letters and similar number of lowercase of the same letter. If you are short on old magazines or time, you can simply write the letters and cut them out. The benefit to using magazines allows your child to get acquainted with many different kinds of font, which they will encounter when reading.
3. Use the glue stick to attach the letters to the colored paper and cut around them. This makes them more sturdy and visible.
4. Divide your piece of large paper into two sections. Label one side with the uppercase letter and label the other side with the lowercase letter. Draw boxes around each of the letters corresponding to the number of each letter that you cut earlier. It’s important to draw these boxes so that during the hunt for the letters, your child will know how many they have found and how many they still need to look for. Attaching the letters to the boxes will also give them a sense of accomplishment while reinforcing the concept of distinguishing between uppercase and lowercase letters.
5. Attach a loop of masking tape to the backside of each letter.
6. While your child waits (and perhaps counts), go around your house “hiding” the letters by sticking them to objects and walls. If your child is too young or impatient, it might be a good idea to make this step part of your preparation and start involving them with step 6.
7. The fun part- finding the letters! Once all the letters have been hidden, walk with your child around the house looking for the missing letters. When your child finds a letter, they remove it from the wall and stick it to the appropriate side of the large paper in one of the boxes. The completed activity can be displayed, or you can reuse the materials to play Hide and Seek Letters all over again!