Here’s a fun letter sounds activity that you can set up in just a few minutes with a muffin pan, paper cupcake liners, and small objects from around the house! We’ve been loving using muffin tins for learning lately. Last week, we did a muffin tin coin counting activity, and while I was setting that up, I had made a mental note to try an alphabet letter sorting activity for Janie.

This activity is perfect for kids who can recognize most of the alphabet letters and are in the process of learning the letter sounds. This usually happens around kindergarten and first grade. My fourth son could not remember what the letters were called until after he turned 5, even though he was eager to learn. My daughter is already learning sounds at age 4 (turning 5 next month). Each child develops at a different pace, so it’s best to just go with the flow!

This activity would go well with our printable Beginning Sounds Memory Game.

To set up the activity, I used a marker to write letters on paper cupcake liners.

I chose capital letters because they are easier to identify. Janie knows many lowercase letters, but she still gets a few of them confused. There’s all kinds of controversy in the educational world about teaching the capital letters first vs. lowercase letters first. In my opinion, it’s not worth getting worked up about. They’re going to have to learn both eventually, and they will. Kids who write their names in all capitals at age 5 (because they are easier to identify and easier to write) will learn the correct way just fine by age 6. My two cents…

Also, I chose to use only consonants for now. It’s harder to hear vowel sounds at the beginning of words (much easier for a preschooler to hear the “t” in turtle than the “e” at the beginning of egg!). I had an old house key that I knew Janie would enjoy playing with, but I chose not to put both C and K in the muffin tin at the same time. We can do this activity another day and use the letters that we didn’t get to this time.

We found so many interesting things to sort in our muffin tin! A toy horse, a frog, a spoon, a lid, a dog, a button, a tiny roll of tape, dice, a bracelet, a ball, a crayon, etc…

We put more than one item in each opening. If you want this to be a totally independent activity, it might be good to choose just 12 items to sort. If a child got to the end and knew that the remaining item did not match the remaining letter, they would know that there was a mistake somewhere. Just a thought. We had fun stuffing the muffin tin with objects, however!

Have fun learning! Be sure to stop by our Muffin Tin Coin Counting activity as well.

Here’s another playful letter sounds activity – Alphabet Town.


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  1. Tamara Mar 11, 2019

    I like this idea and using it in my Head start class this week. Thanks! Tamara


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