I am so excited to share this Alphabet Cave Learning Game with you! I thought my girls would like it, but they ended up LOVING it even more than I even anticipated. I hope your kids will like it, too.
Lena and Maggie are obsessed with flashlights. They snatch them from my dresser nearly everyday to play with, and then I have to hunt them down again when I'm ready to check on them in their beds before I turn in. They love playing "cave" with each other, in closets, bathrooms, and under their covers. And they ALSO love playing detective stories where they hunt for "clues" around the house. I decided to turn those imaginative play themes into a learning game for Maggie.
This learning game requires so little time to set up that you can play this game RIGHT NOW without any special materials. You can also adapt it for other topics that your children may be learning. Here's how to play!
Gather Materials For An Alphabet Cave
- alphabet flashcards (or make your own with index cards)
Set Up An Alphabet Cave
Choose the largest room in your house that can get completely dark. It may be an interior bathroom or closet. You could also play in the evening, when other rooms may be dark, or just play with the lights turned off. I made our Alphabet Cave in Lena's closet.
Tape alphabet flashcards around the room. Adjust the difficulty based on the age of your child. I made them fairly easy for Maggie to find at first, and then later tucked them in nooks and crannies to make it more challenging for Lena.
Next, it's time for your alphabet explorer to come and find the letters! Give your child a flashlight. I added an explorer hat for good measure. Make sure to have them close their eyes as they enter the "cave" so the extra light won't give away any of the letters' locations.
Ask your child to use their flashlight to find the letters. They could search for specific letters ("Find the letter 'A'") or they could call out letters as they find them. Once they've found all of letters that you hid, have them leave the cave while you hide them again.
Lena and Maggie played a solid 6 rounds of Alphabet Cave and wanted to play even more!
Variations of Alphabet Cave
- Use number or sight word flashcards instead of letters.
- Show your child a lowercase letter, and have them hunt for the uppercase.
- Find the whole alphabet in order!
- Let your child hide the cards and YOU hunt for them.
- Ask your child to tell you a word that begins with each letter that you find.
- Tell your child a word and ask them to find the letter that it begins with.
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