In Reading for Our Lives, I describe the critical importance of teaching kids their ABCs. And by that I mean far more than the song. We need to teach our children letter names, sounds, and shapes, so that they know them all—uppercase and lowercase—by the end of kindergarten. 

I believe that teaching this is well within the capacity of even the busiest parents, especially if you start as soon as kids are old enough to recognize letters, around three years old. 

Effective everyday practice can be as simple as pointing to a letter, tracing its shape with your finger, and saying something like, This is an A. A says /a/. You make an A with one long line, another long line, and a short line in between. But sometimes you’ll want to mix things up and use games to keep your child’s attention. Here are some of our printable resources to jumpstart letter fun.

Alphabet Bingo

Help your child practice letters and letter sounds while exploring your neighborhood together with this free printable download that includes four bingo sheet designs.


DIY Letters – Laminated Letter Parts

Even before kids have the motor skills to write, you can start teaching them how to form letters by giving them laminated letter-part cutouts to assemble into letters.


Alphabet Board Game

Board games teach children fine motor skills, taking turns, patience, and problem solving, and they can even help improve academic skills. But, most importantly, they’re fun! Use this tutorial to make a personalized board game that reinforces alphabetic knowledge and gives you a unique opportunity to bond.



Every app and workbook alike asks kids to draw a line from a picture to the letter it begins with. This literacy activity is everywhere for a reason—it works. Our fun, interactive upgrade to this classic activity puts the letters at the center of a wheel that kids can clip corresponding pictures to.


Uppercase Letter Tracing Printable

Tracing the shapes of the letters is a gentle introduction to writing them free-hand. Our alphabet tracing printable is 26 pages, with one page for each letter. The black-and-white pages are low-ink friendly. We recommend putting the pages in a presentation book with plastic sleeves or laminating them, so you can wipe off the writing and use them again as often as you like.


Lowercase Letter Tracing Printable

In this companion alphabet tracing printable, your child can practice writing lowercase letters. Though often overlooked by parents, lowercase letters  appear with greater frequency in the books and materials kids will read as they grow so they’re worth teaching to preschoolers, too.


No printer? No problem. 

Ready to build up your letter-teaching toolkit? Check out these simple, effective, inexpensive tools.

Here are links to some of our favorite letter activities you can create with everyday household items.

Alphabet Fishing Game

Alphabet Flash Card Game of War

Alphabet Soup

Sand Letters

Playdough Letter Lessons

And, of course, we’ve got some recommended books for you!

Every word in the entire English language, every word your child will ever read or say, is made up of only 26 letters. Learning the alphabet is the gateway to reading, but in order to master it, kids need to relate the letters to their names, sounds, and to real-world objects. These dynamic, effective, and diverse alphabet books help get the job done.

9 Great Alphabet Books to Help Kids Learn to Read