Once your child knows the 26 uppercase and 26 lowercase letters, there is another challenge to present to him. Children are exposed to print in many places in the environment, from store window signs to print in their favorite story book. And this print comes in all sorts of fonts, from clear and familiar fonts to stylized fonts. Adding to the confusion is the discrepancy between some fonts and letter formations. In particular, the lowercase a and lowercase g can be written in very different ways. Then there are the different styles of W and Y, some using curved lines and others using only straight lines that meet in sharp points.
This uppercase/lowercase letters in different fonts matching game gives children the chance to see a variety of letter fonts and become familiar with them. While it is impossible to show children every font of every letter, they will soon realize that there are sometimes variations in letter formation. Time, exposure and experience will help children confidently identify all sorts of letters. As with the other memory-style matching games I previously added to the the School Sparks’ website, you can begin with as few or as many letter pairs as you want to make the game sufficiently challenging for your child.
Before turning the cards face down for the game, ask your child to make matches and name the letter on each card. When he can confidently match several different letters, he will be ready to turn those cards face down and play the traditional Matching Game.
The letters in some fonts may need to be intentionally taught to children. For example, the variations in the lowercase a and lowercase g might be confusing to children. Sometimes the g has two loops instead of just one and the a has a small loop under a curve instead of a large loop with a small line attached. So take the time to teach these letters to your child as you did when you were introducing the lowercase letters earlier. This time, show your child just one letter and its variations. When he can identify the letter consistently, introduce another letter. Occasionally children would ask why the lowercase a and lowercase g are so different in another font. I could only answer that some printers like to get fancy and that the variations in font and styles made letters more interesting. That response seemed to satisfy them.
To reinforce and extend learning, you can highlight one letter on a particular day. To highlight this letter, give your child some markers and old magazines. Ask him to circle the specific letter each time he sees it. Or give him some cutting practice by asking him to cut out the letters from the magazine’s pages. Of course, those letters can then get pasted on a page to highlight the variations your child found. Encourage him to find the letter in a variety of fonts and sizes.
Or, play the “I Spy” game with letters when you and your child are out shopping. Ask him to choose a specific letter and point it out each time he sees it in a store window or on a sign or display.
Lastly, you can ask your child to call out the names of letters he sees on greeting cards. These cards usually have colorful and fancy lettering that can be fun as well as challenging for children to identify.
Happy letter hunting!