One Tissue Box, Three Toddler Letter Recognition Activities | The Speckled Goat: One Tissue Box, Three Toddler Letter Recognition Activities


One Tissue Box, Three Toddler Letter Recognition Activities

I'm just gonna say it : the best toddler activities are free toddler activities.

I'm all about finding ways to use the stuff I've already got to make fun learning experiences for my kiddo.

My toddler has been interested in his name for a while now- he recognizes the first letter of his first name. He often pipes up from his car seat, "E for EVERT!!!" whenever he sees an "E" on a sign in town. He also yells, "Kanga-burgers!!" whenever we pass Burger King, but that's neither here nor there.


Seeing as he's already shown some interest, I thought I'd come up with a couple fun activities to help him recognize the rest of his first name.

And I had one empty tissue box.

Here's what I did!

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Matchbox Cars

I made "parking spaces" for each letter. Then I put a little piece of painter's tape on each car, and wrote the letters on the tape. Easy.

This one was a great opener activity because it was pretty simple and incorporated another of his interests (cars). The cars all facing the same direction made this easier to self-correct and the fact that each car was a different color helped to differentiate the letters.


I wrote his name on the vertical wall of the box (so he could either match the clips to the 'parking spaces' or to the other side of the box), and then used a little painter's tape on each clothespin.

This had the bonus challenge of the fine-motor skills to pinch and clothes the clothespins, which took some extra concentration. Again, I used different colored clothespins to help differentiate the letters.

Memory Markers

We have a memory game that includes these little blue pieces. I used those for this activity, too. You could also use paper or cardboard or the caps of milk jugs... lots of options. Anyway. I put some painters tape on them and labeled them with the letters of his name.

This was just a little more challenging because there wasn't an obvious direction the pieces were supposed to go, and all the pieces look the same.

And of course, we spend a lot of time reading books about the alphabet, too ---

This kind of matching activity could be used for so many things - not just letters in the child's name. You could do any letters of the alphabet. You could do numbers instead (or write the numeral on the box, and then the corresponding number of dots on the pieces/cars/pins). You could use masking tape instead of painter tape and a crayon to turn this into a color matching box. Or maybe match shapes, or pictures of people with the first letters of their names to make this a phonetic matching activity. Lots of options.

In any case, it's free, it's fun, and it kept my boy's little toddler hands busy and learning!

Another quick tip-- As with most of the activities I do with my toddler, this is not a one-time thing. I introduce the activity, show him how to do it, and then give him space to complete the activity as many times as he'd like. In this case, I only showed him ONE of the box activities at a time -- the first few times this box was out, he only had access to the cars. Then a couple days later, I showed him the clothespins (and put the cars away), and so on.

Once he's not interacting with it anymore (sometimes after 15 minutes, sometimes after an hour), I put it away. Usually, I'll then bring it out every other day for a couple weeks or until he's not interested in it anymore. Having the activities put away for a day keeps the activity fresh and interesting and keeps him busy with it longer! This one tissue box has been used every other day, usually about 15 minutes at a time, for the past month. That's almost FOUR HOURS of independent play in the past month from just ONE box. Easy peasy.

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1 comment :

  1. Awesome! I've been looking for more things to do while in quaratine.