Easy DIY Alphabet Sorting Game

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Do your kids like to sort things? Mine sure do. On a regular basis I seem to find my daughter sorting plastic plates and bowls stolen from the kitchen into coloured groups (whilst surrounded by a million toys). Don't get me wrong, I think it's great. Sorting and organising are great skills and important developmental milestones. I just wish I had known I could have spent $5 on plastic coloured dinnerware instead of $50 on various toys.

But back to sorting. 

I realised the other day I had several incomplete sets of alphabet cards (my daughter's other favourite game is to hide cards around the house so we never have a full set of anything). I was in a 'use it or lose it' mood, but I was sure we could find something to do with them.

What I came up with was so easy to make, used all the mismatched alphabet cards in the house and entertained my daughter's love for sorting. Here's what you do:

  1. Find some envelopes. We had a stash in the cupboard, but you could use ones from old Christmas and birthday cards or even just fold and glue paper. You'll need 26.
  2. Stick one side of the envelopes to paper/cardboard/or even a wall so you have 26 pockets. I used the back of two old posters.
  3. Write the letters of the alphabet on the envelopes. I wrote the uppercase letter on one side and the lowercase letter on the other (as shown in the picture above) because the cards I had had both upper and lowercase versions. I also believe there's no point in avoiding the fact that both upper and lowercase letters exist. They are there in every book a child looks at, so you might as well tell them about them from the start!
  4. Find some alphabet cards. You can buy these pretty cheap, but you could also just type out the alphabet in a large font, print it out and cut the letters up. I'm a big believer in the KISS philosophy: Keep It Simple Stupid!
  5. Get your kids to sort the alphabet cards into the right envelopes. 

And there you go! Fun, easy learning. 

Just one word of caution: You may come across letters on your cards that are not written the same way as you have written them on the envelopes. When this happened to me, I simply explained to my daughter that some letters can be written in different ways and then I added the second (or third) version to the envelope. 

And here's a fun play tip: tell your kids they work at a post office and are sorting mail. I got an extra half hour out of the game when I suggested this!

Hope you have fun!