Does your preschooler know all of the planets but not all of the alphabet? If so, I have a free download for you: planet alphabet activity.
I don’t know what sort of market there is for this outside of my household, but if you have a preschooler who knows all of the planets and space objects but resists alphabet flashcards, then these cards might work for you, too. My Astronomonster #1 has been requesting to play the “planet game” a couple times a day since I introduced these. Basically, it is a matching game with a word/name card and an image + initial letter card. The word cards are all placed face up on the table, and the image cards are held in hand to be matched up with the appropriate name/word cards. The initial letters on the image cards give a clue to matching them up with the word cards. When all cards are properly matched, we pick up the pictures and mix up the word cards to play again.
It can be tricky when multiple objects begin with the same letter, such as Mercury, Mars, and Moon. Then we look at other letters in the name card and try to “sound out” the name. It’s been working pretty well for us, though, and my preschooler is learning his letters better than ever. I just wish I knew of other images to put on cards in order to represent the entire alphabet. I’m missing D, F, H, I, K, L, O, W, X, Y, Z. (I don’t think I have T in this download set yet, but I’m planning to make one for Telescope.) If you can think of other easy-to-recognize space images for the other letters, let me know with a comment to this post. I may use Io for I, or Iapetus. Maybe Kepler for K, Hubble for H. Hmm…
Right now we’re using hand-drawn cards. The first set I made with construction paper and mounted it on another sheet of construction paper for strength. The second set is made on poster board. If you print the set I posted here, you may want to paste them to construction paper or laminate them for durability.
The first set I made featured only planets plus dwarf planet Pluto. The second set I made included the Moon, the Sun, a Galaxy, Ceres, and Asteroids. The template I have posted here as a PDF includes the Sun and planets, Moon, Pluto, Galaxy, Rocket, Quasar, Black Hole, Rover, Nebula, Eclipse, and Comet. You can keep out any cards you don’t want to work with. I’ll post a follow-up if I make more cards. If you have suggestions for space-related, easy-to-recognize images for the remaining letters of the alphabet, please post a comment, and I can make cards for those items too.
- If two sets are printed, the image cards could be used for a game of memory.
- The image cards could also be used to learn the names and order of the planets.
Here is the PDF download link: Planet Alphabet Cards