There are ENDLESS possibilities with letter cards and picture cards.
You can purchase letter cards and picture cards from any teacher supply store or I have seen them at the dollar store and grocery stores. If you'd rather not purchase them, you can easily make them by printing off pictures and making letters on a word document. Either way works great!
This activity can be effective for a wide range of ages/grades. Below I will give you some ideas of ways you can use this activity to help your child gain a better knowledge of letters and their sounds. This activity builds phonemic awareness; a key component of becoming a great reader and writer.
1. Match the letter to the beginning sound of the picture.
2. Play memory. This game is so versatile, easy and fun. I used it all the time with my first graders to practice vocabulary skills, spelling words, reading and writing skills, and math. You can play it however you want! Below is an example of matching the letter to the beginning sound of the picture. You can also match letters to letters (i.e. b and b) or letters to the ending sound of the picture (n to the picture of a hen). Have your child say the letter and it's sound 3 times when she turns over the letter card and have her say the name of the picture when she turns over the picture card. Have her do this each time she turns over a card so she is ALWAYS learning.
3. Verbal practice. You can simply point to the picture and have your child tell you the beginning sound it makes, or the middle, or the end, or all three!
4. Match the letter to an object in the house.
(B for Book)
5. Writing. While you are cooking or cleaning or just hanging out with your child, have him write (on paper, with paint, on a white board, using magnets on the fridge) the letter of the beginning sound of objects that are around you. As you're cooking you might point to the Stove and ask your child to write the beginning letter of Stove. It is helpful to point to the object so your child can see and hear the word you are saying. For more advanced children, you can have him write the entire word, write the middle vowel, or ending consonant. You can always switch things up by having your child use different methods of writing (as mentioned earlier) to make it fun and exciting.
Lastly, with any of these activities, you can switch roles and have your child be the teacher and you be the student! Children LOVE this and they continue to learn as they teach you!
This activity can be adapted to children as young as 3 years old and up to children as old as 10...or older! Have fun creating new ways to help your children become better readers and writers, as they continue to LOVE to learn.