This fun preschool literacy activity is a great way to help kids identify and sequence the alphabet while getting some exercise and even saving the universe!
A few weeks ago we studied space as our preschool theme, and did so many fun activities along with it. We made balloon rockets, straw rockets, learned about how planets orbit the sun, and made craters on the moon. I wanted to add some more literacy-based activities into our plans, and I came up with the idea for this rocket ship rescue game. I knew immediately that Little Man would love it, and I was not disappointed. Here’s what we did and how you can recreate it!
Rocket Ship Rescue Alphabet Game
- rocket ship (mine was a simplified version of this tutorial, but there are tons online)
- 26 clothespins, each with a different letter of the alphabet written on it
- paper plate
- printed picture of earth (I used THIS one from Pixabay)
What we did:
- First, we made our rocket (we actually did this on a previous day as a preschool activity and then used it for this, too). Follow this tutorial if you want more instruction, but basically you’re making a rocket with a paper towel roll and some paper and glue. Note: I did find that I had to glue the top of the rocket onto the paper towel roll with hot glue…otherwise it kept coming off.
- Once you have your rocket, you need your planet earth. I simply printed an image of earth and glued it to a paper plate.
- Write each letter of the alphabet around the edge of your paper plate.
- Gather your alphabet clothespins. I already had these because we’ve used them for other activities, but they’re easy and cheap to make if you don’t already have them.
- Now you’ve got all your materials!
- While your child is busy when another activity for a few minutes, hide your clothespins around the yard (you could also do this inside if the weather isn’t good). I clipped them to various trees, bushes, etc. in our backyard.
- When you’re ready, set the stage for your child. I told Little Man that we were going to play a game where he was going to be an astronaut and that his space mission was to collect letters of the alphabet from around the galaxy and bring them back to earth on his rocket ship. Once he collected all the letters, his mission would be complete and earth would be be safe. You can make the story as elaborate or simple as you want, but Little Man likes anything where potential destruction is imminent, so I played up that part for him.
- Play! He happily set about his task, clipping his clothespins to the rocket as he found them and coming back to earth to unload each time he felt like it was full. I had to help him toward the end to find some of the harder letters, but he was fully engaged in the activity for a good 15-20 minutes!
This was a great activity for gross motor (running around the yard), fine motor (clipping/un-clipping the clothespins), and alphabet matching and sequencing. We even added in numeracy skills at the end as we counted how many letters were still missing. Hooray for activities that develop so many different skills.
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