In need of an outdoor alphabet activity? Try this simple letter recognition activity that you can do in a kiddy pool with toddlers and preschoolers!

Save the ABCs from the children’s pool with these fun fishing nets! Preschoolers and toddlers can learn to recognize and name the letters of the alphabet through quick-to-set sensory activities!

How do you teach preschoolers to recognize letters?

Letter recognition is one of the many literacy skills children learn in preparation for kindergarten and beyond.

If you’re starting to teach children how to recognize letters, here are a few tips:

  1. Start with familiar letters, such as the letter in their name.
  2. Enter a few letters at a time, then slowly add more.
  3. Sportscast the names of the letters as you play (Instead of saying, “Which letter is this?”, Say, “Wow, you’re recording the letter A! A is the first letter in your name.”
  4. Sing the alphabet song while you play!
  5. Talk about the sounds the letters make.

What you need for this outdoor letter recognition activity:

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RELATED: Need More Simple Alphabet Ideas? You’ll love all of the 25+ alphabet activities we’ve gathered here!

Setting up for this Scoop the ABCs activity is so quick and easy!

  1. Fill your baby pool with water.
  2. Add in some foam letters and some other fun toys (like the plastic toy fish we used).
  3. Give your kids some fishing nets and they’re ready to play!

How to play:

Encourage children to pick up the foam letters and other small toys.

When your child picks up a letter, you can talk about it. “You caught a T! T is in the word turtle” or “T makes the / t / sound!”

Draw, play, talk about the letters.

Avoid questioning your children and saying, “What letters are these?”

Let your children advance this activity and customize it according to their interests. We started by rescuing letters and later moved on to sorting the fish by color.

Simple extension activities for this letter recognition activity:

  • Say what the letter sounds like as your child picks up the letters.
  • Let your child guess the sound of the letter before you tell them.
  • See how quickly you can pick up the letters.
  • Save the letters in alphabetical order as you sing the alphabet song.
  • Look for the letters in your child’s name (or other favorite words).
  • Form words with the foam the letters.
  • Draw the letters on the pavement in chalk and match them after you’ve fished them out.

Need other fun ways to play with foam letters? Here are 20 other great ways to use foam letters from Powerful Mothering.



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