5 Ways to Utilize Magnetic Letters

Magnetic letters are a great tool that can be used in so many different ways. This is why this tool is perfect for the classroom as well as for at home learning! So what can they do besides just hang out on your fridge and take up space??

  1. Just let the play! Sounds crazy but you don’t always have to give your kids rules or directions. Just give them the letters and sit back and watch what happens. You will be amazed and what they will do. Young children benefit from using seeing and manipulating magnetic letters. This helps them build a great foundation of recognizing letters. It is also interesting to observe them. Watch and looks for patterns in their play, they may just surprise you!

2. The Name Game: Starting with a child’s name is always a success. Children are motivated by learning things that interest them, their name is most definitely one of those things! I give my students each an index card with their name on it and at our literacy centers they build them. Once they are successful allow them to choose names of friends or family members. This is a very minimal prep activity and is so important! You can take it one step further and begin to work on initial sounds once the names are built!

3. The Word Game: Students aren’t just motivated by names, words are a big hit as well! This is where you can really get creative. You can do seasonal words, sight words, words in the same word family, really anything. You don’t even have to give them the word, you can just give them a picture and have them spell the word using the magnetic letters!

4. Build a Word: In my small groups I use magnetic letters often, especially around the time we are working on word families. I will build C-A-T and have them read it. Then I will replace “c” with “h” and have them read the new word. You can even have your students lead the change for the others. This is a great phonemic awareness skill that many students often struggle with.

5. Identifying Initial Sounds: I lay out all the letters in the alphabet. Each student picks a card with a picture on it, for example “dog”. Then they have to find the letter that matches the initial sound of their picture. You can turn it into a game by putting in “skip” cards. At the end whoever has the most cards wins! My students tend to do better when there is a game involved so I always like to include that option!

What I love about these ideas is that they don’t necessarily have to be done in a school setting. I use all these same ideas on my own children at home. I have a magnetic board in their play room with letters on it. Sometimes I give my 4 year old specific things to do. My 2 year old loves to just play with them. He sorts them in his own way and when he’s done I talk to him about what he did. I love hearing his thought process and even at 2 it’s amazing what he comes up with! Give it a try!

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