How to Make Letters of the Alphabet with Small Twigs
Explore the alphabet with twigs and branches in this outdoor literacy activity. Small twigs can be shaped into letters of the alphabet as you enjoy nature and fine motor play with preschoolers.
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Exercise, fresh air and hands-on discovery are natural benefits of making the backyard, nature trail or local park your classroom.
Outdoor activities provide opportunities for kids to explore and learn in natural surroundings.
Start a conversation about the importance of conservation, animal habitats, or the different types of trees you see as you enjoy a nature walk!
Letters of the alphabet made with twigs
In this activity, kids choose and arrange small branches and twigs to form letters of the alphabet.
Some public areas may not allow removal of materials. Kids can still benefit from exploring their natural surroundings, then use craft sticks or pipe cleaners to shape the letters.
We have trees and bushes on our property where we gather pine cones and tree branches for crafts and activities. For the alphabet, we collected branches lying on the ground from a variety of trees, including maple, poplar and elm.
We were able to break some twigs with our hands to get them the length we wanted.
We cut other branches and twigs to length with pruning shears, a job for a grownup!
This photo provides examples of how we shaped the letters.
A: 3 small twigs
D: 1 small twig on the side, 1 twig bent in the middle
C: 1 small twig broken in two places to allow it to curve
L: 1 small twig with a natural curve
We were able to gently snap a lot of the twigs to allow them to bend without breaking them apart completely
O: 4 small twigs arranged in a circle
S: 1 twig gently bent without breaking!
V and Y: natural joint (fork) of a branch
X: 1 twig placed over another
More options for learning through play:
- Use branches to make one or two large letters instead of the whole alphabet.
- Line up alphabet letters across a backyard deck or trail. Measure the length of the alphabet as well as individual letters.
Making an alphabet is a great way for kids to engage fine motor, sensory and language skills while having fun with outdoor play.
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More alphabet activities from Preschool Toolkit blog.