How to Make Letters of the Alphabet with Small Twigs
Kids can make the letters of the alphabet with twigs and branches in this outdoor literacy activity. Enjoy nature and fine motor play with preschoolers as you shape letters with small twigs.
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The benefits of making the backyard, nature trail or local park your classroom include exercise, fresh air and hands-on discovery!
During outside play, grab the opportunity to start a conversation about the importance of conservation, animal habitats, or the different types of trees you see as you enjoy a nature walk!
Twig Letters of the Alphabet
We have trees and bushes on our property where we gather pine cones and tree branches for crafts and activities.
Related: Pine cone trail outdoor activity
We collected branches lying on the ground from a variety of trees, including maple, poplar and elm.
Books about Trees (affiliate links)
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 at home or in the classroom.
How to make twig letters
Build your letters of the alphabet on a cardboard canvas.
- Make the letters any size, depending on the size of the cardboard.
- Break some twigs with your hands to get them the length you want.
- Cut other branches and twigs to length with pruning shears, (#ad.) This is 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 ways to play and learn with twigs:
- 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. Measure individual letters.
Making an alphabet is a great way for kids to engage fine motor, sensory and cognitive skills while having fun with outdoor play.
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More alphabet activities from Preschool Toolkit blog.