Letter tiles are a fantastic learning tool in kindergarten! Building a connection between letters and sounds is key to the foundation of reading. Using hands-on manipulatives like letter tiles is excellent for those kinder students to start understanding phonemes and sounds. Keep reading for fun and educational letter tile activities for kindergarten to practice those skills. Then, grab a FREE printable set of your own letter tiles at the bottom!
Use your own class set or grab the free printable at the bottom to get started with these hands-on SoR-aligned activities using letter tiles!
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All About Letter Tiles
There are many different variations of letter tiles! Some teachers use scrabble tiles, boggle dice, magnetic letters, or mini eraser letters. For kindergarten, an effective tool for your activities needing these would be colored square letter tiles. One color for consonants and one for vowels! Our freebie tiles can be printed on blue and red paper. Blue tiles are consonants and digraphs and red tiles are vowel sounds. Or for more differentiation, add yellow, green, pink, and white sheets of paper for the various sounds, as pictured below.
Check out our Sound Wall Bundle to review all the letter teams and sounds, which uses real mouth photos to help students form letters!
Benefits of Using Letter Tiles for Activities in Kindergarten:
- Help with letter recognition
- Practice decoding, encoding, and blending
- Start forming and reading CVC and CVC-e words
- Visualize the difference between consonants and vowels
- Great for hands-on learning
Now that you know how great letter tiles are, let’s talk about some activities to help students learn!
Letter Tile Activities for Kindergarten
There are many different educational activities for letter tiles beyond just asking them to spell a certain word. You can choose to do these whole group, in centers, in small group interventions, or one on one.
Here are some individual or small group activity ideas:
Switch It: Give students a word and then ask them to switch it to another word by changing one tile only. So you would go from cat to bat. Students would select the one tile to change. Next, you could do the middle sound, changing bat to bot. (They don’t always have to be real words.)
Word Ladders: Give students 3 letter tiles to build a CVC word. Then switch the initial sound so go from “cat” to “bat” to “sat” You can also add nonsense words like “tat” to practice applying phonics skills.
Memory: This is a fun game most kindergarten students will recognize! Using letter tiles is a great way for them to practice their memory skills and letter recognition. Give them a set of tiles with the letters “a, b, c, d, e, f”, flip them over on the desk, and they would have to flip them one at a time to match the tiles. Whoever matches the most wins!
Word Search: Students can find words hidden in a grid of letter tiles. This is perfect for them to practice their letter recognition skills. Create a grid with the letters “a, b, c, d, e, f, g”, and have them find all of the words that can be made using those letters.
Looking for more activities? These next ones are great for whole-group fun!
Spelling Bee: Create a fun spelling bee using the letter tiles! Students will be able to practice their spelling skills and cheer one another on. For a tricky one, you could give them the word “wish” and they would have to spell it correctly. Of course, we make this fun and not high pressure and everyone participates in all of the words.
Hangman: Have students play hangman using the letter tiles. They’ll be able to work on spelling and writing. This is a great whole group letter tile activity! Draw the hangman on the board with the blank spaces for “queen” and they would have to look at all their letter tiles and place them to the side as they get a letter wrong. They can place the correct letters in order at the top of their desks.
The best part about these activities is that they can be differentiated to fit the needs of ALL your students. For example, create easy or harder words based on skill levels. Or pair students up or make small groups where they can help one another.
- Each tile is a sound, not a letter: it’s important to focus on the sounds in the word and not the letters. Such as ch makes one sound!
- Encourage students to use the finger tap technique along with this: finger tapping is giving one tap for each sound on your finger from left to right. Thumb: /c/, pointer finger: /ă/, middle finger: /t/. Keep in mind, if you have a student using their left hand they would go pinky to thumb.
- Build words as they listen to the sounds: ask students to tell you what letter makes the sound /c/, then they search through the letter tiles for a c. Do this for each sound in the word before they find the tiles.
Letter Tile Free Printable
Now that you have some amazing letter tile activities for kindergarten planned, grab some printable letter tile cutouts of your own! Print the consonants on blue paper, the vowels on red paper, (or add additional colors as pictured), laminate, cut out, and use! So simple to make hands-on learning fun!
Just enter your information below and the Simply Kinder Freebie Fairy (who is busy creating tons of anagrams) will send that right over to your inbox. Already a subscriber? No worries! Unlock your freebie here too.
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This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!