Need an outdoor alphabet activity? Try this easy letter recognition activity you can do in a kiddie pool with toddlers and preschoolers!

Rescue the ABCs from the kiddie pool with these fun fish nets! Preschoolers and toddlers can learn to identify and name the letters of the alphabet through quick to set up sensory activities!

How do you teach letter recognition to preschoolers?

Letter recognition is one of the many literacy skills kids learn in preparation for kindergarten and beyond.

When you begin to teach kids letter recognition, here are a few tips:

  1. Start with familiar letters, like the letters in their name.
  2. Introduce a few letters at a time and then add more in slowly.
  3. Sportscast the names of the letters while you play (Instead of saying, “What letter is that?” say, “Wow, you pick up the letter A! A is the first letter in your name.”
  4. Sing the alphabet song while you play!
  5. Talk about the sounds the letters make.

What you need for this outdoor letter recognition activity:

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RELATED: Need more simple alphabet ideas? You’ll love all 25+ alphabet activities we’ve collected here!

Set up for this Scoop the ABCs activity is so quick and easy!

  1. Fill up your baby pool with water.
  2. Add in some foam letters and some other fun toys (like the plastic toy fish we used).
  3. Give your kids some fish nets and they’re ready to play!

How to play:

Encourage kids to scoop up the foam letters and other little toys.

As your child picks up a letter you can talk about it. “You caught a T! T is in the word turtle” or “T makes the /t/ sound!”

Scoop, play, talk about the letters.

Avoid quizzing your kids and saying, “What letters is this?”

Let your kids drive this activity and adapt it based on their interests. We started out rescuing letters and later moved into sorting the fish by colors.

Simple extension activities for this letter recognition activity:

  • Say the letter sounds as your child picks up the letters.
  • Have your child guess the letter sound before you tell them.
  • See how fast you can pick up the letters.
  • Pick up the letters in alphabet order while you sing the Alphabet Song.
  • Hunt for the letters in your child’s name (or other favorite words).
  • Build words using the foam the letters.
  • Draw the letters on the pavement with chalk and match them after you fish them out.

Need some other fun ways to play with foam letters? Here are 20 more awesome ways to use foam letters from Powerful Mothering.