Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Learning Letters & Reading With Cars!

There are so many ways to learn letters, letter sounds, and start reading with toy cars!  Today, I'm sharing one that takes absolutely no prep work!

If you're new around here, I suggest reading about how your young childrens' brains work and learn and why I think child-led learning is important.  Then you'll understand better why I love learning activities like this that use toys that my kiddos love, like cars.  Go ahead...read the other two posts.  They won't take long.

All done?  Now that you know how important it is to learn through play and using subjects and topics your children love, I'll tell you something about my kids:  they love cars!  Both my preschoolers and my kindergartener could play car games for hours!  If I use cars to teach things like letters, letter sounds, name recognition, and reading, my kiddos will pay attention and play along happily!  If you have some car-lovers too, this post is for you!

You can use those HUGE collections of toy cars (how did we ever get so many?!!) to teach letters and reading! Clearly, from the pictures, we simply lined the cars up to make letters.  You can approach this two ways:  1- Make it an official learning activity where you challenge your child to build letters with you.  2- Let it happen naturally.  I chose #2.

To let it happen naturally, I started building letters with the cars.  In no time, my children saw what I was doing.  They immediately lit up, got excited, and started rearranging my cars to make their favorite letters.

Of course, their favorite letters are their names!

But then, we made other letters, sounded out different words, and even built sight words!  It was a wonderful application of a skill they were learning, and a great way to transfer knowledge from one medium (writing on paper and reading in books) to another medium (toy cars and building/constructing letter shapes).  It uses more mental energy, more synapses, more creativity, and more problem solving to "write" letters this way.  It's also a lot more fun!

Eventually, they got distracted and wanted their cars to do other things.  Superhero cars need to rescue cars in danger, and princess cars need to visit their neighbors.  And that's okay too.

Have you used cars for learning?  I'd love to see what you've done!

Today, I'm joining with other bloggers to bring you ideas to learn and teach with small toys!  There are lots of car ideas here, and a few other small manipulatives!

Alphabet Car Wash from Learning 2 Walk
Sorting and Counting with Die-Cast Trains from Crafty Mama in ME
Directionality Activity with Small Cars from Teach Me Mommy
Forest Animals Letter Sounds Activity from Stir the Wonder
Learning Shapes with Toy Cars from Adventures of Adam
What Makes Ice Melt Fastest from Raising Little Superheroes
Fun DIY Phonics Game from Mum in the Madhouse
What Do Animals Eat? Classification Activity from Schooling a Monkey
Color Mixing with Toy Cars from The Kindergarten Connection
AM and PM Time Telling with Shopkins from Sugar Aunts
Sorting Animals Venn Diagram Activity from Mom Inspired Life
Hands-on Way to Learn Letter Sounds from School Time Snippets
Fairies & STEM Activities: Gardening with Kids from Edventures with Kids
Name & Letter Practice: A Painting With Toy Car Activity from Play Dough & Popsicles
Learning Letters & Reading With Cars! from Preschool Powol Packets
Shopkins Sorting from Still Playing School

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Jen Walshaw said...

I love how accessible this is. It is such a fun activity.

Unknown said...

This would be my sons idea of heaven - making letters with cars! His two obsessions in one place!