Lions, tigers, and bears. Oh, my! Don’t forget about those monkeys! There’s something about zoo animals that fascinates children. Zoo theme preschool lessons are a great way to explore a variety of curricular objectives and learn about zoo animals in the process!
The Monkey and Banana Alphabet Matching Game Printable is a FREE alphabet matching activity for preschool! Your students will LOVE the monkey graphics so much they won’t even realize they’re learning valuable stuff! This printable is a perfect fit for your zoo animal theme preschool classroom. Print and prepare for loads of independent exploration and learning about letters.
Teaching Upper and Lowercase Letters in Pre-K:
As adults, we quickly forget what it was like to learn the English “code” of letters, sounds, rules, and variations. If you can see through the eyes of a child for a moment, you might remember that letters are nothing more than shapes and lines.
Teaching children the alphabet allows them to feel confident as learners when they move forward to learn the sounds of each letter.
Learning letter names forms an important foundational concept of print, which is the idea that letters are a code that represent sounds that we put together in specific ways to make words.
Although children don’t need to know all 26 letter names before learning the sounds, this concrete background information helps tie the new information (sounds) to the letter name.
It just makes good sense to introduce young learners to letter names and sounds as soon as they are interested. Preschool teachers should use lots of repetition and lots of hands-on learning projects for students to explore and retain letter names in their own time. Worksheets and rote memorization are not the best options!
Expand your activity library with these amazing resources!
How to Use the Monkey and Banana Alphabet Matching Game for Kids
The alphabet matching printable prints off easily with two pages of upper case letter cards and two pages of lowercase letter cards.
Materials for the Monkey and Banana Matching Game:
Get the Supplies Here:
Don’t worry about making a special trip to the store. You can get all the supplies for this activity right here.
- Scrapbooking paper
- Laminating Pouches
Setting up the Game:
All you need to do for this banana alphabet game is print the cards, cut them, and laminate (optional). I always laminate if I plan to use more than once or at a learning center (which is always:)
As with most early learning activities, there’s more than one way to play the free alphabet matching printable game! You’ll want to have an idea of where your learners are at in the process of learning letters. You might only use 5-10 matching sets at a time, or more or less, dependent upon your students.
You can lay the cards out in a grid to play memory match, where each player flips over one card and then another to try to find a matching lowercase/uppercase pair. If a match is made, the cards are kept by that player and they get to go again!
If you don’t want to play a memory game, you can deal out one set of the alphabet matching cards printable and place the other set in a draw pile. Players take turns drawing a card from the draw pile. If they have a match in their hand, they can keep it and draw again. If not, play moves to the next person (think Go Fish)!
More Learning Activities to learn Uppercase and Lowercase Letters
The more hands-on experiences you give kids with letters, the more they will learn! It’s simple: Learning sticks when we provide opportunities for kids to actively engage and explore on a consistent basis.
You don’t need to create elaborate activities for letter matching and word games. Just look at the supplies around you and see how you might implement a game or activity that lets young kids explore and learn.
Hide one set of uppercase letters around the room. Children draw a card from a set of lowercase letters and try to find its match.
- You can make this into a relay, an independent exploration, a writing activity where children draw each letter they find on a word grid, or a quiet time activity where children sneak around with magnifying glasses!
Place plastic letter tiles of each type into the sensory bin. Children must find a tile from the bunch, pull it out, and then find its match on a letter card or grid placed outside of the sensory bin.
- Use as many or few letter pairs as your learners can handle with confidence. Don’t overwhelm your students with all 26 letters at once until they can handle it. You can also play a matching game by placing letter tiles face down and taking turns flipping over two cards to find an upper/lowercase letter match.
Make simple sensory bags with plastic sandwich bags, flour, water, and food coloring. Then, students can easily practice forming the letters while strengthening fine motor skills. You can also use the bags for writing numbers, shapes, and doodles!
Our Favorite Alphabet Books:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging books:
AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went FirstWild Animal Babies: An Alphabet BookP Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book EverChicka Chicka Boom Boom (Board Book)Eating the AlphabetTouchThinkLearn: ABC (Baby Board Books, Baby Touch and Feel Books, Sensory Books for Toddlers)LMNO Peas: Book and CD (The Peas Series)