The child will distinguish between letters and numbers, helping to reinforce recognition of both.
Learning Area(s): Reading and Writing; Math
- Magnetic numbers and uppercase letters, or foam letters and numbers
- Cookie sheet or table
Place about 10 numbers and letters (mixed together) on the table or cookie sheet in front of your child. Have him sort them into two categories: numbers and letters. To begin, you can hold one up and identify it for your child, or ask him if it is a letter or a number, and which letter or number it is.
If you are using a cookie sheet, your child can sort the numbers to the top of the sheet and the letters to the bottom (if the numbers and letters are magnetic, they will easily slide up and down).
- If your child is having trouble, it would be helpful to first identify each letter and number and start with a small number of each (for example, three numbers and three letters) and work up to more.
- Note that some letters may resemble numbers and vice versa (for example “I” and “1”, “E” and “3”). You might want to start with those in each category that are most distinct (the least confusing) and then point out the similarities and differences between those that may confuse your child.
- If your child has mastered sorting numbers and uppercase letters and is ready for a challenge, add lowercase letters to the mix! Encourage him to sort uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers.
- You can also use different containers for sorting letters and numbers, for example two buckets, or a bowl and a plate, or a toy dump truck and a box with a lid. After separating all of the numbers and letters, your child can dump one pile into the other pile to mix them all up and play the game one more time!