Looking for alphabet activities that your kids can do independently? Something that will keep their attention for longer than five seconds? Do you have a set of pattern blocks? These free printable lowercase alphabet pattern block mats are perfect!
Kids can use the pictures to guide them in creating each letter of the alphabet, match the shapes and find the letters that match. All without you needing to sit beside them the entire time. Giving you time to focus on small groups or to just take a breather. Plus, pattern block activities build spatial awareness and help children learn shapes and colors!
If you love these lowercase letter mat task cards, you’ll also love my Uppercase Alphabet Pattern Block Mats.
Learning Lowercase Alphabet With Pattern Block Templates
HANDS-ON LEARNING IN PRESCHOOL
FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES THAT ALSO INVOLVE LITERACY AND MATH SKILLS STIMULATE THE BRAIN IN MULTIPLE WAYS.
It is a good fit to use these lowercase pattern block printables with young children because lowercase letters are the ones they will see most often in written text. Starting with lowercase letter practice will help set a strong foundation for reading and writing. These pattern block cards are so much fun for kids too!
Pattern block alphabet letters look a bit different than letters children will see in text. Discuss with students how it is different than we would write it. Challenge them: is there another (better) way you can form the letters with the set of blocks?
This will actually help them remember the correct shape of the letters because more of their brain and body is involved.
We also talk about the pictures on the left side. These are all pictures of words that begin with the letter on the mat. This is a great opportunity for practicing beginning sounds.
The last part of the mat is to count the number of each of the shape used, adding another math component to the pattern block pictures. It is fantastic to integrate a little math with our literacy stations! We cross off each shape or you can count the number of each block and write them inside the block picture.
In addition to learning lowercase letter names and sounds, you can pose additional questions to young learners.
- Do you have this letter in your name?
- What is your favorite letter? Why?
- What letter sounds are fun to make?
- Do some of the letters look the same/different?
What Can Preschoolers Learn While Building Lowercase Letters With Pattern Blocks?
PATTERN BLOCK ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
FINE MOTOR MUSCLES ARE IMPORTANT TO STRENGTHEN BECAUSE KIDS NEED THEM TO WRITE LETTERS AND NUMBERS AND WORDS.
Preschoolers will love building letters with blocks! In addition, they will “secretly” learn:
- Letter names
- Letter sounds
- Initial sounds in words
Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn Letters?
Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning letters in early childhood helps prepare kids to learn how to read when they enter kindergarten.
Background Knowledge: When children begin to learn about the shapes we call letters, it sets their brains up for success. Soon they will need to understand that each letter represents a different spoken sound.
Understand Reading: Children with letter knowledge can easily make the jump from naming different letters to understanding that letters are truly a code for how to read.
Improve Fluency: The goal before learning to read would be to be able to effortlessly name letters, both uppercase and lowercase. That ease makes the transition to learning sounds much less difficult.
Make Connections: Preschoolers often learn letter names, letter sounds, and how to write letters simultaneously. It helps them make connections as to how they all relate to each other and to the bigger picture of reading.
How to Make The Lowercase Letter Snap Cube Mats
Print out the free pattern block templates. Using some sort of protector for printable activities is a must for me. Both lamination or dry erase pouches work well and have their own benefits.
Lamination is more permanent but dry erase pouches are quicker. If choosing to laminate, go ahead and do so. If you choose to use the pouches, add the pattern block alphabet cards to the pouch. Either way will allow the cards to be written on and reused.
Start with any letter. You can go with A-Z or completely random. A great way to start is to use the letters in the child’s name.
We start the activity off by discussing which letter it is. We say the letter name and start with beginning sounds. I point to the picture and ask what the picture is and then emphasize the beginning sounds.
Next we build the letter with the pattern block shapes while using the pattern block designs on the sheet. When the pattern block letter is formed, we use the dry erase marker to mark the shape and circle or trace the letter.
Finally, remove the pattern blocks, wipe the mat, and repeat with a new letter!
Shape ID: Use the mats to focus solely on shape recognition instead of letters. Children can identify each shape as they place it on the template.
Sensory Bin: Add another way to work fine motor skills by hiding the shapes in a sensory bin. Kids have to sift and find a shape before placing it on the mat.
Play a Game: Make it into a game! Sort shapes into six numbered piles beforehand. Kids must roll a die and choose the designated shape only to build a lowercase letter.