Looking for hands-on learning activities to fit with a colorful theme? Whether you are delving into rainbows or having fun with a painting theme for preschoolers, this alphabet activity fits the bill. Alphabet matching activities for preschool are an essential piece of the literacy puzzle. Your students will form an important foundation as they gain confidence in naming letters and matching uppercase and lowercase letters.

– Life Over C's painting alphabet matching game for preschoolers

Recommended Grade Level:

Paint Theme Alphabet Matching Supplies:

  • Printer/Ink
  • Paper Cutter
  • Laminating Supplies (optional)
  • Scrapbook Paper (optional)

Learning Letters in Early Childhood:

PREPARING CHILDREN TO READ
LETTER RECOGNITION AND MATCHING CASES PROVIDE VALUABLE BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR CHILDREN WHEN THEY BEGIN TO LEARN LETTER SOUNDS.

Preschool literacy centers should provide lots of opportunities for children to explore these lines and shapes we call “letters.” To a child, they really are just shapes. It takes a lot of exposure for them to begin to understand that each letter has a special name and a unique sound. Vary activities by offering coloring pages, games, worksheets and activities.

Creating alphabet letter matching games for each of your themes throughout the year ensures that the content stays fresh while giving the children multiple opportunities to explore, play, and learn about letters.

I like to laminate the letter cards and keep them at the literacy center. I also limit the number of letters I place at the center for the first half of the school year (or longer). All 26 letters (52 total) can be overwhelming for many early learners.

This paint-themed alphabet matching printable features 26 uppercase letters on colorful paint cans, and 26 lowercase letters on paintbrush jars.

And because we teachers love multi-tasking, you can also use the free alphabet matching printables in other ways:

  • Students that master letter names can use the same cards to learn letter sounds.
  • Use the alphabet uppercase and lowercase matching cards to practice alphabet tracing skills.
  • Practice writing the letters with shaving cream, using the free printable as a visual aide or mat.
– Life Over C's

What Can Preschoolers Learn From Letter Identification?

IDENTIFYING LETTERS WITH preschoolers
LEARNING LETTERS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP ON THE WAY TO READING SUCCESS. MATCHING WORKSHEETS AND GAMES PROMOTE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE ALPHABETIC PRINCIPLE.
  • The Alphabetic Principle is the concept that letters represent the sounds in our spoken language.
  • Children begin understanding the alphabetic principle by talking, singing, rhyming and manipulating sounds orally.
  • As preschoolers continue to improve language skills, they can begin to associate printed letters with spoken sounds.
  • Understanding how letters and sounds relate to each other is an important piece of the “learning to read” puzzle.
– Life Over C's Paint Alphabet Matching game for preschool

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn Letters?

The alphabet matching game printable (free) is a great way to help young learners develop into overall well-rounded students.

Visual Discrimination

Learning letter names requires the ability to see different lines, shapes, angles, and formations. Ultimately, this improves visual acuity and discrimination.

Coping Skills

Many children find the alphabet matching free printable calming. Since matching the letters requires concentration, it can teach children a healthy way to relax.

Memory

Kindergarten worksheets and games that require matching provide hands-on practice that supports memory growth, which letter helps to learn sight words.

Social Skills

If you choose to implement the matching activity as a game, it gives students important opportunities to take turns, follow rules, and behave with good sportsmanship.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper or cardstock
  • Printer
  • Laminator/laminating sleeves (optional)

How to Make the Activity:

Step One:

Print two copies of the alphabet matching free printable letter cards on cardstock or scrapbook paper. I like to use patterned paper so the cards are not see-through.

Step Two:

Cut the cards apart. Laminate for durability, if you wish. Cut the letters apart.

– Life Over C's Paint Alphabet Matching game for preschool

Step Three:

To play the alphabet letter matching game, lay the cards out face down in a grid. Take turns turning over two cards. If the uppercase letter matches with the lowercase letter, it’s a match! Players keep all matches and go again until they turn over two unlike cards. Keep playing until all cards are matched.

Grasping and flipping cards over and over again is wonderful for fine motor skills!

– Life Over C's Paint Alphabet Matching game for preschool printed on scrapbooking paper

Extend the Activity:

Sequencing

Use either set of letters, mix them up, and see if children can put them in ABC order.

Letter Sounds

After students master the alphabet uppercase and lowercase matching challenge, use the cards to explore letter sounds.

Play Dough

Engage the sense of touch by using the letter cards as play dough mats to practice forming each uppercase letter.

Name Necklace

Use yarn and a hole-punch to assemble cookie chain necklaces using the letters in students’ first names.

Process Art

Print the cards on regular paper to use with an art activity or painting activity where you roll marbles through tempera paint to make designs.

Face Up

Use the free alphabet matching printable for an easier game by placing cards face up in a grid. The same rules apply, but kids can see all the cards.

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– Life Over C's painting alphabet matching game for preschoolers
– Life Over C's painting alphabet matching game for preschoolers
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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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