Simply print out our free alphabet cards and you will be ready to start playing some great alphabet learning games with your child. (It is perfectly fine to print the cards on paper, but if you want to make them more durable you may wish to print them on cardboard and even laminate them).
These free printable pages contain 102 cards, broken into four groups of 26 as follows:
1) Uppercase letters A through Z
2) Lowercase letters A through Z
3) Upper and lowercase letters A through Z
4) Images of simple objects starting with each letter A through Z (for example, for letter a the image is of an apple)
Game 1: Matching Pairs
The traditional version of this game is excellent for helping develop your child’s short term memory. But by playing the game with our letter cards you will also be giving your child a great head start with the alphabet.
1. Choose any two sets of 26 cards*.
2. Shuffle the cards and lay them face down on a table in rows, (four rows of 13 cards works well).
3. Players take turns picking up two cards. If the cards form a pair (for example, the letter c and the cat image), the player keeps those cards and has another turn. If the cards do not match, the player returns them and their turn ends.
4. Once all cards have been collected, the person with the most pairs wins.
During the game make sure that you talk about the letters as they are picked up. For example, if you pick up the card featuring a rainbow you can mention you hope your next card is an “r” because rainbow starts with a “rrr” sound.
*If your child is just starting with the alphabet you may prefer to print two copies of one set of cards. This will ensure that the matching pairs will be identical, rather than just related.
Game 2: Snap
1. Select either the first half (A through L) or second half (M through Z) of the alphabet and gather the cards from each of the four sets – 52 cards in all*. (It is fine to play with the whole alphabet but this will result in fewer opportunities for snaps).
2. Shuffle the cards and deal them all out to the players.
3. Players take it in turns to lay a card down (face up) on top of the previous one. If two matching cards are played in a row, the first player to slap their hand onto the pile and shout “Snap” gets to pick up the pile.
4. If someone calls snap incorrectly you can enforce a penalty, (for example, requiring them to give one card to every other player). However, if playing with very young kids you may wish to skip this step.
5. Once a player plays their final card they are eliminated.
6. Play continues until only one player is left – they are the winner.
*For younger children you may wish to simply print off four copies of the one set of cards.
Children will be just as happy playing Matching Pairs and Snap with these educational cards as with any other ones. As with many of the best alphabet learning games the actual learning will be invisible to them – they will be too busy having fun!