Image by: Wendy

Image Identification of Words

Age Range
3-5 yrs
Setup Time
Under a minute!
Setup Location

Recognition of the letters of the alphabet and knowing the sounds they make is one of the key predictors of reading success. The alphabet is an invented system of symbols. Alone, each letter of the alphabet has limited value, but combinations of letters create words, the essence of written communication. In order to read an alphabetic language like English, children must learn the alphabetic principle—that letter symbols represent sounds. This knowledge is a critical precursor to reading words, since words are merely a combination of the letters that can be used to represent a word’s specific combination of sounds.


  1. Make word cards that start with familiar alphabets

  2. Go through 3 words together at one time and then repeat after a few minutes

  3. After a few rounds, let the child identify the words from the cards

Suggestion: You can also play letter card scramble by having children use letter cards to spell a CVC ('Consonant Vowel Consonant') word (like 'cat', 'mom', 'sit' etc.) that you write on the board. Then have them scramble the cards and put them back together by sounding out the word. Another twist is to have children write their names using the cards and then scrambling and putting them back together. They can also work with one or two friends/ classmates.

Be sure that children sound out letters carefully, as the purpose of the activity is to practice recognition of letters and their sound correspondence.

Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.