Simple Egg-Carton Letter Sorting Game
By Jen Kossowan, Mama.Papa.Bubba.
Jan 9, 2015
With the holidays passed and winter in full swing, it’s the perfect time to prep a few simple learning activities to enjoy with your little one in the coming months. When doing so, I try to do two things; create activities that are playful and fun, and make them with items and materials that we already have around the house. It’s a surprisingly simple task if you keep a few recyclables on hand and don’t mind rummaging around a little bit, and that’s exactly what I did when creating this very simple letter sorting game.
What you’ll need to create a simple letter sorting game for your little one is:
- an empty egg carton
- a permanent marker
- dot stickers (not required, but useful)
- several small objects that begin with the letters of the alphabet you decide to focus on
Now let’s get started, shall we?
1. First off, choose the letters you’d like your game to focus on. If your egg carton holds six eggs, you’ll need six letters and if it holds 12 eggs, you’ll need 12 letters. These can be letters that your little one knows well already (a great way to build confidence and comfort), letters that he or she is still learning or often mixes up, or a combination of the two. Because my little one has mastered her consonant sounds but sometimes still mixes up the trickier vowel sounds, I chose to go with those (plus ‘y’).
2. Get started by writing the letters you’ve chosen on the dot stickers. While you can write directly on the egg carton, I like using the dot stickers as it allows me to easily swap out letters and change up the game when I want to.
3. Next, stick one letter sticker on the side of each egg hole. This will allow the letters to remain seen, even when the holes begin to fill up with objects.
4. This step is completely optional, but if you’d like, invite your little one to decorate the outside of the egg carton. Mine wanted me to write the name of the game on the outside of the box before she covered it with colourful stickers. I think this step is fun and helps build excitement, plus it gave me a few extra minutes to finalize the small objects I wanted to include, which was helpful.
5. Next, place the items you’ve collected in the lid of the egg carton and invite your child to explore them. This is a great time to talk about their names and emphasize their beginning sounds if you wish.
6. Let the game begin! By now, your little one has probably figured out how to play the game and is raring to go, but give as much direction and support as you feel he or she needs. If letters are still fairly new to your child, make the game really fun and low-pressure by sorting each object together and giving lots of high fives and encouragement along the way. If your child is already fairly confident when it comes to letters and their sounds, step back and let him or her enjoy the game independently until help is needed.
7. When done, have your child close up the carton, give it a good shake (this is always a fun time to sing a little song or do a little dance), and reopen it while holding it upside down. You'll have both had a fun break and you'll be ready to play another round! Enjoy!
If letter sounds are still a little bit too much for your child, use your egg carton to make a simple colour sorting game instead. It's very similar to the letter sorting game and appeals to little ones who are interested in exploring colours. My daughter enjoyed hers for months and months on end.
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