Most of my students are 2 years old, which means we aren't doing a lot of sitting and writing. We are building letters with blocks, finding letters in our names, matching friend's names to their photos, and learning songs with alliteration and sign language. We use all kinds of art and crafting techniques to design letters.
One activity the children seem to enjoy is finding letters in the grass. For one of my son's birthday parties, I bought construction spray paint for games in the yard. It stays on for around 2-3 weeks and is easy to apply. They mostly request that I write their names, which works because that is the main focus of our alphabet studies.
We start our letter provocations by focusing on letters with horizontal and vertical lines. I do this because those are the first type of intentional marks that young children make, after scribbling.
Alphabet Freeze Dance
Materials: construction paint, radio/YouTube
Prep: Paint the letters you are focusing on in the grass. Make them large enough for a few children to stand on. I used upper & lowercase together to make the area for each letter larger.
How to Play: Play the alphabet song. While the music is on, children can dance, walk, or run around. Pause the song when one of your letters is said. Children stand on that letter. Repeat.
This is an activity that can be modified to practice other skills, as well. You could do shapes, numbers, colors, animals - just about anything so long as you had a song to play.
We danced to this upbeat tune:
How do you play with the alphabet to encourage learning?