Thank you for coming back to Azy Reading Journey website, where our goal is to make learning fun. We love to use magnetic letters. They had proven to be very useful in a time when we were trying to help Azy settle down and focused. In this post, I will be reviewing magnetic letter, and sharing 10 awesome ways to teach preschoolers with magnetic letters.
We started teaching Azy to read a few months before his fourth birthday. Since he was going to daycare, we thought that it would have been easy. However, shortly after we began, we realized that it was not going to be as easy as we thought. So, we had to start looking for ways to make teaching him interested and fun.
While making plans to teach Azy, we decided that we were going to use a reading program. The reading program would be the main teaching tool, and we would add new materials at intervals. After doing some research, his mother decided on purchasing the Little Champion Reader.
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Based on our experience, we know that using a Reading program can be very helpful in teaching your child to read. I wrote a post about the Little Champion Reader; you can read more about it here.
There are numerous ways in which you can use magnetic letters to teach your child at home. In reviewing magnetic letters, I will be sharing 10 out the many ways how we used and are using magnetic letters in learning activities that we do with Azy.
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Multiple Ways To Use Magnetic Letters To Teach Preschoolers
Some fun learning activities using magnetic letters are:
1. Magnetic Letters and Printable Worksheet
2. Magnetic Letters and Tray
3. Magnetic Letters and Books
4. Magnetic Letters and Plastic Easel
5. Magnetic Letters and Educational Toys
6. Magnetic Letters and Puzzle Set
7. Magnetic Letters and Double-Sided Learning Board
8. Magnetic Letters and Flashcards
9. Magnetic Letters and Cups
10. Magnetic Letters and Poster Board
♦ Magnetic Letters and Printable Worksheet
As mentioned above, using magnetic letters helped Azy to settle down after we started teaching him. We started off with the Reading program, and was following the “Suggested Weekly Viewing Schedule.”
This started with watching the DVD, using the Flashcards, moving on to the Phonics Book, then finishing up with the Printable Worksheet. Please note that the order is suggested, you can choose to do differently.
As we continued daily, things were looking good. Azy loved to watch the DVD. The Alphabet Train was the first lesson, and he was enjoying that. However, as we continued to do the lessons, we realized that Azy was losing interest. That surprised us, because we were looking forward to seeing him getting more involved.
Please note that I am not blaming the Reading program. We believe that overall, it is a great program, and we still use it occasionally. We believe that Azy was not ready to take on all four lessons at once. Therefore, we had to look for other ways to teach him. Azy loves to play, so we also had to find learning activities that would hold his attention.
There were some magnetic letters and numbers on the refrigerator, and Azy liked playing with them. So, we tried using them with the alphabet worksheet that was included in the Reading program.
Azy traced the letters on the worksheet, then we reviewed by having him place a magnetic letter on the corresponding letter on the worksheet. Azy welcomed the new activities and started to show more interest in doing them.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Tray
When we started doing the activities with the magnetic letters and worksheet. Azy was doing better, but was still not settling down. We tried an activity with magnetic letters and tray, and Azy showed more interest.
Along with using the magnetic letters and printable worksheet, we were using flash cards. These flash cards were included in the reading program, and a tray.
As we continued to teach Azy, we realized that he was unable to recognize and identify the letters. He could sing the letters of the alphabet, but he did not know them. Therefore, we had to slow down and use less letters. You can read more about that in this blog.
At that time, Azy was sitting at the dining table when he was doing the activities. The magnetic letters were placed on the table, and we helped Azy with identifying them. We started with the letter “A” on the printable worksheet.
Azy tried to find the matching magnetic letters on the table and put it on the tray. If he was unable find the letter, we gave him a hint. He was told to look at the shape of the letter on the worksheet. Then, find the letter on the table that looked like it.
The next day we added “B” and “C,” and continued to add new letters daily if Azy was ready. During this time, we took frequents breaks. However, as we continued to do the activities with the magnetic letter, Azy started taking less break.
He wanted to spend more time doing the activities. After seeing Azy’s positive response, we decided to continue using the magnetic letters, and that decision turned out to be a great one.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Books
Some of the magnetic letters and numbers were missing from the ones we had, so we bought a set. Azy started to get excited when he saw the colorful letters and numbers.
We still had good days and bad days, but Azy was enjoying the activities with the magnetic letters more. He was also getting better at recognizing and identifying the letters.
In addition, to using the printable worksheet with the magnetic letters and tray, we also used books. Three of the books that we used are: “A” is for Apple, An interactive alphabet, with tracks to trace and flaps to flip and wipe clean Early Learning Activity Book.
We also used Highlights’ Write-On Wipe-Off Let’s Write Letters. Wipe off books were used to trace letters, and the “A” is for Apple book was used to test knowledge.
The “A” is for Apple book was designed to help kids learn the shape of the letters. However, we were using it to help Azy learn the letters. The wipe clean Activity Book and the Write-On Wipe-Off Letter Writing books were also being used to help Azy with learning the letters.
All three books can be used for ongoing learning, and we plan to use them for a long time. Azy preferred doing the activities in the books than with the printable worksheet. That is understandable, because the books were very colorful, and he could do more in them than on the worksheet.
When using the wipe off books, we asked Azy to find the letter “A.” He placed it on the tray, then trace it in either the wipe clean or write-on wipe book. Azy continued with “B, C, D” and so on.
Doing letter activities were also helping Azy to focus slightly better.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Plastic Easel
Since Azy was learning more, we bought more magnetic letters and numbers and continued to use the letters daily. Using more letters and doing different activities was helping us to see which activity or activities were helping Azy the most.
Azy was getting more willing to do the activities. We decided on doing everything alphabet to see how that would work.
This would also show us if using magnetic letters would help to make Azy reading journey more interesting and fun. Azy was enjoying the activities with magnetic letters, so we spend more time doing them.
This was helping him to do better at recognizing and identifying the letters. When we saw that Azy was getting a better understanding, we started working on saying what a letter is for.
For example, if he takes up “A,” he was now learning that “A” is for Apple. Occasionally, we allowed him to try doing an activity by himself. Azy was supposed to take up a letter and tell us what the letter is for.
However, instead of putting the letter on the tray, he would now put it on a Plastic Easel or a Double-Sided Learning Board. Azy loves grouping letters according to color.
Most of the activities that Azy was doing, were done in some form of game. Using games to teach Azy was making teaching and learning so much easier and fun.
Playing games using the magnetic letters on a regular basis was definitely helping Azy much better that we could ever imagined.
Sometimes, we challenged Azy to tell us what the letters are without reminding him. Azy took the challenge and we were surprised to see that he was able to identify more letters than we expected. Visit Ebay to see different kind of Easels.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Educational Toys
We purchased some Leapfrog DVDs, and Azy was watching the LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD daily. This was also helping him to recognize and identify the letters. Initially, we held back from adding the LeapFrog DVDS. Thinking, it would be better to wait until Azy was focusing more. However, he kept asking for them so we gave them to him.
It took some time for him to start interacting with, and responding to what was going on the DVDs. However, eventually, he was singing along and repeating what he was hearing. Surprisingly, as he watched them daily, they helped him to focus better.
As Azy continued to show improvement in letter recognition and identification, we added new material to keep learning interesting.
We also worked on some activities using his Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe. As the name stated, touch and learn. When Azy touches a letter, he hears what the letter is.
Letter activity was done by giving Azy a magnetic letter, and asking him to touch the letter on the Activity Desk. For example, when he touched the letter “A,” the activity desk say “A” is for apple, plus other information about “A.”
Azy would repeat the letter and say what it is for. While Azy is doing this activity, he is also tracing the same letter in the wipe clean book.
Since the activity desk is very sensitive, we also used it in “off” mode, to test Azy’s knowledge, by asking him to touch specific letters. You can read more about the activity desk in a review I wrote.
In the video below, you will see Azy putting some letters on the Plastic Easel
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♦ Magnetic Letters and Puzzle Set
Azy has two puzzle set: Spark Create Imagine 2-in-1 Magnetic Alphabet & Puzzle and the Spark Create Imagine 3-D Wood Alphabet Puzzle Set. By the time we started using the puzzle sets, Azy was learning colors. Even though, he was learning more letters, they helped him with letter recognition, identification and colors.
Since he was doing better with the letters, sometimes, we allowed him to choose the activity that he wanted to do. There was a time when Azy only wanted to use one or the other puzzle set to do the activities. Before the puzzle sets were used in the activities, Azy used them before or after the daily activities.
So, when we started using them in the activities, he was already familiar with them. Puzzle pieces for the 2-1 Magnetic Matching Puzzle has the letter and an animal. When this was introduced, Azy was given a letter to put in the corresponding spot on the puzzle.
He announces the letter (for example “A” is for Alligator), then puts it on the board. The letter and picture on each puzzle piece helped Azy to more easily identify the letters.
Therefore, magnetic letters, were used to test and strengthen his letter knowledge. When magnetic letters were used, Azy said what the letter is, what the letter is for, then place the letter on the puzzle board.
The same was done with the 3D wood alphabet letters puzzle. We gave Azy a letter and have him placed it in the correct slot on the board. The Imagine 3-D Wood Alphabet Puzzle is all wood, the letters are wood and they are not magnetic.
The letters are big and sturdy. Magnetic letters were used to see if Azy could find the correct spot, because there was no picture on this puzzle.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Double-Sided Learning Board
As we continued to use magnetic letters to teach Azy, we added new materials periodically. When we added the Double-Sided Learning Board, he was already leaning colors. He was saying what a letter is for, and the color.
Getting the opportunity to choose the activity occasionally, was keeping Azy fully engaged. He could choose from several materials to use with the magnetic letters.
The Double-Sided Learning Board comes with both letters and numbers. Letter and number are magnetic and are bright colors. This is great, because they can help your child to learn colors.
One side of the board is magnet and the other side is a chalk board. So, this can be a very useful tool to help teach your child. The board is big enough, and Azy often placed multiple of the same letter in rows.
There were times, when he chose the double-sided learning board to do the activity daily. When Azy identified the letters, he placed them on the board. He identified them again when he took them off the board.
When we first played the games with the magnetic letters and the Double-Sided Learning Board, Azy did not placed the letters in alphabetical order. The goal was to help him recognized and identified the letters. Putting them in order would come later.
In addition to using the Double-Sided Learning Board and magnetic letters, Azy used the LeapFrog Go-with-Me ABC Backpack. If he was unable to identify a letter, he asked Mr. Pencil to help him (especially the letter “M” and “W.”) We also played more than one games using cups. Sometimes, the letters were put in a cup, Azy closed his eyes and took out a letter. He identified the letter, say what the letter is for, and the color then he puts it on the board.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Flash Cards
When the flash cards were added to the activities, Azy was already doing very well in recognizing and identifying upper case letters. So, we wanted to start teaching him lower case letters, numbers and counting.
We were still doing the activities with upper-case letters, and asking Azy to put the matching lower-case letter on top of them. However, he was a little reluctant to use the lower-case magnetic letters. We had the flash cards for a while, but had forgotten about them.
The flash cards were found when my niece was helping Azy with the activities one evening. She asked if we had flash cards, and I checked and found them. When we started using the flash cards, Azy was more willing to do the activities with the lower-case letters.
Using the Letters and Numbers flash cards was another way to help Azy learn the lower-case letters. Maybe, because the cards have the spelling of the word (for the picture) in lower-case letters.
When Azy used the letters flash cards, he said what the letter is for. For example, “Aa” is for apple or ant. He then said the letters that spell apple and ant. After that, he put an upper-case and a lower-case letter on each card.
It took some time for Azy to settle down and enjoy the lower-case letters activities. He still wanted to use the upper case instead of the lower-case letters. So, we started doing the activities with him putting lower-case letters on top of upper-case letters.
In addition to using the numbers flash cards to teach numbers and counting, we also used them to help Azy learn lower case letters and colors. You can read my blog to learn more about the activities with magnetic numbers and flash cards here.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Cups
This activity is a follow up to the magnetic numbers and cups. Azy was progressing well in the activities including letters, numbers, colors and shapes. So, we started looking for some fresh activities to use to reinforce what he was learning.
After reviewing several, we decided that hands on activities seem like a good choice. I mentioned above, that we played a game that Azy took letters out of a cup. With this game, letters are placed on the cups.
We bought some supplies including plastic cups at the Dollar store, and wrote numbers on the bottom of the cups. Azy’s auntie Rochelle, tested how well Azy was learning the numbers. The cups were laid out and she pretended she did not know which cup to put a number on.
It was wonderful to see Azy showing her which cup to put a number on. He enjoyed playing this game and wanted to play it repeatedly. So, we saw that as an opportunity to play the game using magnetic letters and cups.
In the game with the magnetic numbers, we also used upper case and lower-case letters “Aa Zz Yy” because we were helping Azy to learn the letters in his name.
The magnetic letters and cups game, is similar to the magnetic numbers and cups. Upper case and lower-case letters are written on the bottom of the cups. Azy takes up a letter, identifies it and says what it is for. He also said the color of the letter then he looked for the cup that has the letter written on it.
Visit our Facebook Page if you would like to see the video with Azy and his auntie Rochelle playing the games with the magnetic numbers and cups.
♦ Magnetic Letters and Poster Board
Some of the other supplies that we bought at the Dollar store, were used to make a Poster Board. Auntie Rochelle made a very colorful poster board for Azy. The board has shapes, colors, numbers and upper-case letters. Azy loves to play with his toy cars.
So, his aunt thought that we should make a board for hands on activities. Along with the poster board, we use foam blocks and toy cars.
Upper-case letters are written on the foam blocks, and Azy rolled a block. After rolling the block, he used his toy car to locate the letter on the poster board. Azy loves this activity because he gets the opportunity to move about rather than sit and do the activity.
Sometimes, he left a car on each letter on the poster board. In this activity, when Azy located the letter, he identified the letter, say the letter sound, letter color, and say what the letter is for.
This poster board will be around for a long time, because we will use it to do multiple activities. Numbers activity was done with the poster board, and we will be doing lower case letters and shapes.
However, the lower-case letters activity was delayed, because we need more foam blocks. Azy loves the activity, not only because he can move about, but also because he has fun using the toy cars to find the letter.
At this time, we are using two cubes with letters, but we will be getting more when they are available at the local store. Upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers will be written on the foam blocks.
Later on, we may put words, color and shapes on them. You can read more about the poster board in this blog.
Children Love Fun Learning Activities
We love using magnetic letters because we saw how much they have helped Azy with settling down and learning. I talk about 10 activities that we did using magnetic letters. However, we do much more than 10; and we also do activities with magnetic numbers as well.
I hope you have learned about some fun ways how you can use magnetic letters to help your child learn.
Magnetic letters are colorful, and can be used in multiple activities. So, if you have any magnetic letters on your refrigerator and are not using them, you can start now. If you would like to learn about more ways to use magnetic letters, check out this Pinterest board.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review on Magnetic letters, and 10 awesome ways to teach preschoolers using them. I would love to hear from you, are you using magnetic letters to help teach your child? How is it going?
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
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Hello, my name is Jackie. My family members and I are teaching my grandson Azy to read and I am writing about the challenges and the joy that comes from doing so. My goal is to write articles that will encourage and help parents and others who want to do the same for their kids or other children. Thanks for travelling along with us. Blessings, Jackie