Alphabet kitchen for toddler play

I recently bought a set of large foam alphabet and number shapes from Target which I have planned to use for for my grandson’s bath time play but they sat in a bag in the kitchen for a week when I realized, they didn’t just have to be for the bath tub.

So I let my grandson sit down and help me open up the package and take them all out. He sat for quite awhile taking the foam shapes out of the plastic container then putting them back into the container and then he lost interest in them…

Which was fine, because it was nap time.  So while my grandson was sleeping, I decided to set up an alphabet invitation to play in the kitchen…

When my grandson got up later, he found an entire alphabet kitchen just waiting for him to explore. To make the foam shapes stick, I simply dipped them in some water and they easily stuck to just about every smooth surface in the room…

He found shapes on the refrigerator…

And on the doors…

And on the drawers and cabinets…

And on the dishwasher…

But he spent most of his time playing with the letters that grandpa had stopped by and stuck to the big glass windows of the patio doors…

As my grandson played, he would sometimes knock all the letters and numbers off to the floor. At other times, he would try to stick the shapes back on the door or cabinet…

And sometimes, he would bring me a letter or number and I would be able to say, “Thank you for the number 2!”  or “You found that on the refrigerator, are there any more on the refrigerator?”…

In other words, part of my grandson’s play experience invited the opportunity to expand vocabulary and introduce numbers and part of my grandson’s play led to stretching, reaching, bending, sticking, and interacting with me…

And because we needed a little water to stick the foam shapes around the room, we had a slight bit of water play going on too!

Now, I will put the letters up next to the bathtub (well maybe)…

Available on Amazon

Looking for more ideas on toddler play? Click here to check out what I have saved on Pinterest!


By |2012-07-23T13:27:17+00:00July 23rd, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Brenna July 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Nice use of alphabet letters and sticking them all over the room. My preschool students like playing in alphabet soup

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      I love the alphabet soup Brenna – I will share!

  2. JDaniel4's Mom July 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    It such fun to play with letters. It looks like these will stick everywhere.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      They just about do and did!

  3. WeeMason's Mom July 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    What a good idea – I know my son quickly got bored with his alphabet refrigerator magnets, but I bet if he found them in unexpected places, his enthusiasm would return!

  4. artsy_momma July 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    That’s a fun idea to use them other than in the bath tub! I have often contemplated buying those for my son when he was 1 & now that my daughter is 1, but am just too worried that they would have spent the majority of the time eating them instead/ruining them :/

  5. What a great way to introduce letters and vocab all while moving and exploring!

  6. Mud Hut Mama July 24, 2012 at 6:26 am - Reply

    This is such a great idea. I never would have thought to use water to get them to stick. I’m always hesitant using magnets with toddlers – this is a great alternative.

  7. Susan Case July 24, 2012 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Love this. Such a lucky boy to have you for a grandmother. You’re in the playing mode a lot, right? Great! I’ll be right over.

  8. tstarmom July 24, 2012 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Great idea! I’m always looking for different ideas to teach Jake his abcs and I’m sure he would love this. I’ve been following your blog for about a month now and you have a lot of great content. Thanks for taking the time to share. 🙂

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