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15 Tasty Ways to Teach Kids ABCs and 123s

Shar Petit

Published on: March 10, 2013

Alphabet pancakes

Patty Cake, Patty Cake
Take your pancake mornings to the next level with this idea for alphabet ‘cakes over at Anh's Food Blog. Simply fill a pastry bag with your preferred mix and get spelling! The kids will love writing out their fave letters griddle-style.


Number Watermelon Shapes

Cut by the Numbers
Number cookie cutters? Let us at ‘em! Crank up the cool factor of fruit and numbers with this clever idea featured over at Sugar and Charm. Slice up some melon, and then get the kids counting as they cut out the numbers. Just think of all the other fun foods you could cut out – dough, cheese, lettuce and more!


Lettered Hershey Kisses

This idea for lettered Hershey kisses over at The Nesting Bee is great for teaching letter recognition. Simply glue cutout letters on the bottom of the kisses, and set up a fun memory game for the kids. As they find matches, the kids can practice writing the letters or thinking of words that start with the letters – such a great idea for alphabet-themed parties!


Ice tray numbers

Count ‘em Quick!
This “cool” idea for ice tray numbers featured at Play at Home Mom will get the kiddos counting in no time. Pick up some number-shaped ice cube trays and animals shapes, fill them with fruit juice, and freeze! When they’re ready, the kids can count out the shapes and match them to the correct numbers. What a great warm-weather activity!


Marshmallow ABC's

Fluff Time
Homemade mallows? Let’s give it a try! This fun DIY over at Raspberri Cupcakes features a vanilla-bean marshmallow recipe and tips on how to shape the sticky sweets into ABC’s and 123’s. We may never buy the store-bought fluffs again!


Numbered eggs

Egg’s a Match!
We’ve all got ‘em in our recycle bins – the ever-so-craftable egg carton. Make a fun matching game for the munchkins like this one over at Love 2 Learn 2 Day. Number the carton slots 1 to 12 (not necessarily in order), and number the plastic eggs as well. Have the kids count out small pieces of food like M&Ms or peanuts to fill each egg, and then match them to the correct spots. Ready, set, learn!


Lettered muffin tin snacks

Name That Food!
Creativity is king in this foodie idea featured on the Fakin’ It blog. Muffin tins, letter cards, and alphabet-inspired foods make this a fun (and tasty!) learning activity. Head over to the full post to find out how mom of three Becky got creative with some of the letters…quackers, anyone?


Rice jar letters

Shake, Rattle, and Roll!
A glass jar, colored rice, and letter beads make for hours of letter-identifying fun over at Little Crunchy Mama. Mama Ehlane colored the rice my mixing it with a tablespoon of vinegar and some food coloring in a Ziploc bag. After the rice is evenly coated, dry it out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Fill the glass jar up with the rice and letter beads, and that’s one smart jar! Head over to the post for tips.


Jello number hunt

Jiggles & Giggles
This idea for a sensory Jell-O and number bucket over at Make, Do + Friend will get the kids going in a non-stop giggle fest. Mix the Jell-O according to instructions and distribute the number magnets throughout the mix when it’s semi-set. When ready, have the kids pull out the numbers in sequence, or opt for a no-rules number hunt!


Alphabet Cookies

C is for Cookie
Here’s a classic idea for alphabet cookies over at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. Mama Jamie’s delicious sugar cookie recipe and some eager little hands are all you’ll need. Head over to the full post for a step-by-step tutorial with action shots of her cuties getting messy and tips for how to shape the dough into perfect letters. After the kids spell out their names, they can rearrange the letters into countless spelling words!


Chocolate chip counting cutouts

Count your Chips
Why didn’t we think of this fun counting idea over at Toddler Approved? With some cute watermelon cutouts and a bag of chocolate chips (for the seeds), you’ve got an easy DIY activity for those beginning counters in your household. We’re sure your little sugar monsters will make cleanup a breeze!


Rainbow salt tray

Rainbow Tray
Here’s a hands-on idea for practicing writing letters featured at Learning 4 Kids. Simply line a tray (or old cardboard box lid) with colorful construction paper, and then dump a layer of salt or sugar on top that’s thick enough to cover the paper. The kids can draw their letters in the “sand,” erase, and start again – a great pre-writing idea that saves trees and is a lot more fun than markers and paper!


Odds and evens sorter

Odds & Evens
Here’s a great activity for teaching kids the concept of odds and evens featured over at The First Grade Parade. The kids can help make two new friends, Even Steven and Odd Todd. Then work together to practice making odd and even numbers and recognizing patterns. This example uses candy corn, but any small food will work. Head over to the full blog post to see how Mrs. Carroll’s class brought this activity to life.


Alphabet beans

Bean Bag
If you’ve got a marker, a bag of beans, and a steady hand, then you’ve got a homemade moveable alphabet like this one over at Criss-Cross Applesauce. Perfect for teaching the alphabet, spelling, and reading, throw this version in a small bag for a tote-able activity. And lost pieces can easily be replaced – DIY Montessori at its best!


Veggie letters

Spell Me a Veggie
This adorable idea at The Good Long Road brings alphabet books to life. Turn “P is for pea” into a fun activity by letting kiddos fill in the outline of the letter P with actual peas! So clever – think of all the other veggies you could make more appealing to eat. C is for carrot? B is for broccoli? Head over to the full blog post for set-up tips!

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