Alphabet Sticks

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Remember the personalized puzzle sticks I made recently for a few birthday and Christmas presents?  I included a set of these alphabet sticks along with them.

I had incorporated Popsicle sticks into several classroom activities in the past, and they inspired me to come up with this activity set.  I used fancy colors for my initial creation, thinking they would be a more lively option.  However, once they were completed, I decided that plain sticks would be more versatile.  Although you can find these wooden wonders at your local dollar store, they're actually a better deal at Amazon.

I labeled the sticks with both capital and lowercase letters along the center and each tip.  I did this so that the sticks could be used both vertically and horizontally.  I had initially planned for these to only include the alphabet, but decided to throw in some numbers on the other end, to offer more playing opportunities since I had the space.  I tried to mix the order of the numbers up a bit, so that they wouldn't correspond much to the order of the letters. 
Once the sticks were complete (I let them air out for a few days on our porch, to allow the permanent marker smell to dissipate), I created a card with ideas for how to use them.

Some of these ideas are:
  1. Put the sticks in alphabetical order (can be done both horizontally and vertically, with just capital or lowercase letters)
  2. Match upper and lower case letters together
  3. Have your child find a specific letter
  4. Match a letter stick to an object beginning (or ending) with that letter
  5. Turn all the sticks face‐down and play Concentration
  6. Use the letters on the tips to play a game of Go Fish
  7. Put them in numerical order
  8. Have your child find a specific number
  9. Create fact families
  10. Build doubleand tripledigit numbers

You can download and print the idea card for free here.

Although she's still a bit young to really make use of these, I went ahead an made a set for Gv at the same time.  She has already spent quite a bit of time playing with them, so I can't wait to see her enjoy them more fully when she gets a bit older.

Can you think of any other great ideas for this set of craft sticks?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Updated to add:  I just discovered another great use/activity for craft sticks over at Mommy Needs a Coffee Break.  I will definitely be creating a set like this in the future!  

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