How to Use Scrabble Tiles for Early Literacy Games

Scrabble® tiles can be used in literacy games with preschoolers to support early learning. Sort, count, spell your name and more, as you explore the alphabet with these fine motor activities.

games kids can play to practice alphabet

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Board games offer great opportunities for family fun. But you don't always have to play by the rules!

In this activity, I share new ways to use Scrabble tiles with early learners who are just beginning to recognize letters and words.

Scrabble is one of my favorites because it sharpens math skills, challenges word power, and easily adapts to different skill levels, so everyone can play! 

I have some fun options for playing with wooden Scrabble tiles. You can probably come up with other ideas when you and the kids get together for family time.

Many board games such as Snakes and Ladders and Candy Land are made specifically for kids. And of course there's Scrabble Junior!

Other games, like Bingo and Monopoly, have kid versions that invite everyone to enjoy these popular games.


Literacy games with Scrabble® tiles

We have the 50th Anniversary Edition of Scrabble. I love the way the board is able to rotate so each player has the board facing him on his turn. The squares on this board are slightly inset so the ridges hold the letters in place.

  • This game board certainly isn't necessary to enjoy the play value of Scrabble tiles.

Watching younger kids play with the board and tiles one day sparked the idea for this post. I am excited to share some ideas for using the tiles with kids who are just learning to identify letters.

Visit our Literacy Pinterest board for more activities!

Four ways to play with letter tiles


Scrabble game board kids activities


1. Place all the tiles on the board.

Lining up the letters in rows is a great fine motor activity.

  • Ask your toddler or preschooler to name letters they know as they add them to the board.

  • Pick out simple words with older kids. Can you see 'bar' and 'ear?


2. Make a graph on the board.

Line up matching letters in vertical rows.

Count the number of letters in each row.


Letter tiles for preschool literacy activities


3. Fill the trays with letter tiles.

This activity uses letter identification and counting skills as well as fine motor skills.

  • Count the number of tiles in the tray and name the numerical value of each letter.

  • Sort letters by value from highest to lowest.

  • Older kids can add up the numbers to determine the total in each tray.

Can you find words in the letter combinations pictured here?


Spell kids names with Scrabble tiles

4. 'Write' your name on the board in tiles.

Kids can find the tiles with the letters of their names and place then on the board.

  • Look for the number values on each letter. Add the numbers for each name.

  • Is the name placed horizontally or vertically?


Literacy games with early learners using letters of the alphabet tiles


Simply having the letter tiles accessible can provide an opportunity for kids to explore letters.

Gradually introduce letter sounds, alphabet rhymes, and letter combinations to spell your child's name or make simple words.

Can you think of other ways to learn with letter tiles? Remember, you don't have to play by the rules!

Fun ways to use Scrabble® tiles in preschool games


More activities with letter tiles from kid-friendly bloggers:

Make Words with Scrabble Tiles from Creative Family Fun

Scrabble Tiles for Learning from Happy Hooligans

Father's day Gift: Mosaic Coasters from Naturally Educational


Crafts using wood tiles:

Picture Frame with Scrabble Tiles from Home Crafts by Ali

Acronym Magnets from Kids Activities Blog

Teacher Appreciation Gift from Teach Mama

Family Wall Art from Crafty Morning

Scrabble Tile Wall Art from Artsy Craftsy Mom



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