I Found 5! A Fun and Easy way to Practice Letter Identification

Originally posted 07/25/2015; Updated 10/07/2021

Letters are all around us. On signs, products, our clothing! One of my favorite ways to work on recognizing letters is to have children look for the targeted letter in their environment. Then when they find it, do a special dance and make a mark on one of their fingers. When all five fingers have a mark (usually a marker dot), we give each other a high-five.

It's a motivating and quick game that can be played just about anywhere when you are out in the community. You can even do it when you are looking at books together. Or looking at a menu!

Pick a letter that is motivating or meaningful. We picked E since Big Sister's name starts with E. I usually play the game with a focus on all capital or all lowercase letters, but it's up to you when you are playing with your child!

Here is what we found at our house and it took only a few minutes to play:

In all honesty, it has taken me longer to type this post than it did to play! She was very proud when she found each letter E and loved taking the last picture.

Tips for Success

  • for the first time you do this, pick a letter you know she'll do well with! That way next time, she already knows how to play and can spend more time and energy looking for the letters

  • use a light colored marker so that you can wash it off easily (blue takes multiple hand washings and scrubbing!)

  • you can mark capital letters on one hand and lower case letters on the other for some variety!

  • take pictures (like we did) and send them to a family member. Grandparents love to see what their grandkids are learning and then your child will be able to explain what she did which reinforces the activity!

  • this activity can work with numbers, too! Think license plates and aisles at grocery stores! So fun!

The most important thing to remember is to make learning fun. This treasure hunt for letters fits the bill! What will you look for?!