Alphabet Towers: a destructive way to learn letters and phonics

I just thought I’d share a fun letter game I’ve played with my son over years.  It’s a great game for kids who are high energy and learn best when you can use it to their advantage.  To teach him his letters before kindergarten I used to try all sorts of activities – writing letters in sand or shaving cream, painting, reading (but we do love books!), printables – you know all those fun Pinterest-y things to do, but he was just not having it. As a ridiculously active and spirited little boy, he needed a way to learn that involved action and fun.

One day, when we were playing with blocks, he was having so much fun knocking down the towers I started building them in different colors calling out the colors for him to knock down. I realized this concept could be used for other concepts as well. Thus the game of Alphabet Towers was born. I’ve even been able to adapt it from color recognition to shape recognition to letters to phonics. It just never gets old.

Duplo (we got a couple sets of the Basic Bricks close to 10 years ago and they have been beautifully loved by both kids since)
Lightsaber (or just a hand or foot)
Letter flashcards (or write letters on squares of cardstock)Alphabet Towers

Game play
Game play begins by building towers out of Duplo.  As the towers are completed, tape the letters to them. It is best to have the letters already picked out and maybe even have the tape on the back. I find that if there is too much delay between the building and the breaking, I’ve lost him.  Just that quickly.

Once the towers are set up, explain to him that there is a monster/Sith/bad guy/whatever in the city (but no people) and that he is Spiderman/a Power Ranger/a Jedi/etc (or she is Wonder Woman) and has to save the city.

One tower at a time, announce that “There is a monster in Building Letter T. We need a Jedi to destroy Building Letter T!”

 Alphabet Towers T

Or announce that “There is a monster in the building with the letter that makes the sound /p/. Destroy the building with the letter that makes the sound /p/!” to focus more on phonics.
Alphabet Towers P

Or to focus on initial sounds, announce that “There is a monster in the building with the letter that starts the word ‘Hat.’ Jedi, destroy the building with the letter that begins the words ‘Hat.'”
Alphabet Towers H

This is a game my little Jedi can play over and over again as long as he doesn’t get too out of hand and send Duplos flying everywhere.  Then we have to call it quits, but it is so much fun and he really learns and pays attention when learning with Alphabet Towers.

Or watch the video:

What do you play to make letter learning fun?  Leave it below or leave a link!

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