In the fall, we get a little acorn obsessed. One day, my kids gathered a whole bunch of acorns from an oak tree in our yard. We washed them off and dried them, but the kids were a little stumped on what to do with them. I thought for a few minutes about what we could try, then I realized they would be the perfect manipulative for a letter match. My preschooler is currently learning her letters, but she doesn’t yet know that uppercase and lowercase letters can be the same letter. This activity helped her realize that each letter has a big and little version. Kids learning their letters will love this hands-on approach to letter recognition in the fall season.

fall acorn alphabet matching activity

Recommended Grade Level:

Acorn Alphabet Matching Game

  • Acorns
  • Construction Paper
  • Marker

Alphabet Activities for Kindergarten and Preschool

MATCHING THE ALPHABET UPPERCASE AND LOWERCASE

FALL LITERACY ACTIVITIES IN PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN ARE A GREAT WAY TO JUMP INTO THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH HANDS-ON LEARNING.

You probably already have almost everything you need for this activity! If you don’t have access to real acorns, purchase fake ones online or from a local craft store. You could also go on a walk to a local park and have an acorn hunt!

This is a favorite fall activity for teaching the letters because kids age 3 years and older can engage with nature, alphabet letters to learn and play at the same time.

You can practice naming letters as kids put the acorns on the correct letter, or if your child is ready, they can name letter sounds instead.

The alphabet matching activity can easily be placed at a learning center for students learning the alphabet in kindergarten or preschool.

In addition to matching shapes (letters), as they put the acorns together plus play with them you can get them thinking with questions:

  • What’s the name of this letter?
  • Does the uppercase letter look the same/different than the lowercase?
  • Are the lines straight/curved/both in this letter?
  • Which letters look similar? Different?

What Can Preschoolers Learn While Matching Alphabet Acorns?

FALL ALPHABET LETTER MATCHING

PRESCHOOL INVOLVES TEACHING THE ALPHABET ALL YEAR. START OFF WITH A FALL-THEMED ACTIVITY TO ENGAGE STUDENTS RIGHT AWAY.

Learning letter names and matching uppercase/lowercase letters is an early step in literacy instruction. It gives children a solid foundation upon which to build letter-sound knowledge and pre-reading skills.

In addition to learning letter names and identification, students will strengthen other skills:

  • Visual Discrimination
  • Scanning/Observation
  • Alphabet Knowledge
  • Letter Sounds

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn Letters?

Letter identification of both uppercase and lowercase letters forms an important foundation for learning to read. Hands-on activities make it fun and interesting for young learners.

Background Knowledge: When students understand letters of the alphabet and can name and match them, they have a lot of knowledge to draw from when they start learning letter sounds and basic decoding.

Connect Letters to Words: Learning letter names helps children make important connections, like each letter stands for a particular sound and when we string them together it makes a word.

Connect with Nature: Searching for acorns among the falling leaves brings a natural element into an otherwise academic activity. Kids can connect with nature while you prepare the letter activity, making it a special time.

Increases Automaticity: The more activities and games children play while learning letter names/sounds helps them develop automaticity. The easier it is to recall and match letter names/sounds, the easier it will be to learn to read.

How to Make the Acorn Alphabet Matching Game

Step One:

Go outside and gather acorns from under an oak tree. Most oak trees start dropping acorns in August, so there should be plenty to choose from in the fall (that is if the squirrels haven’t gathered them first).

This activity includes 26 two-piece acorns, one for each letter in the alphabet.

Step Two:

Wash any dirt off your acorns and dry them.

Step Three:

Use a marker to write A-Z capital letters onto your paper.

Step Four:

Write a-z in lowercase letter sounds on each acorn.

Step Five:

Give the acorns to your child. They choose an acorn, search for the matching uppercase letter, and place it on the mat. Repeat!

Extend the Activity

Sensory Bin

Place the acorns in the sensory bin with fall leaves, pine cones, or other fall foliage. Give children graspers to find and pinch the acorns before placing on the mat correctly.

Measurement

Use acorns to measure various objects. Just line them up along a marker, pencil, paper clip, etc. to determine how many acorns long each object is.

Acorn Names

Pull out the letters in your child’s name for them to practice mixing up and realigning the sequence of their name. Create extra letters as necessary.

More Activities You’ll Love:

author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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