Letter Musical Chairs for Preschool
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Having activities that engage your students in gross motor movement and an academic skill is such a fun and easy way to reach your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. Gross motor movement is moving the large muscles in the body. It is so important for little learners to develop their large muscles to have strong fine motor muscles. Having strong fine motor muscles will help your students have better handwriting. Letter musical chairs for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students are also great for making handwriting fun for your more reluctant writers.
Setting up the letter musical chairs for your students. First, place magnet letters or a letter card on each dry-erase board with an eraser and marker for your number of children. If you write it, students will accidentally erase it. I place them around a large table that has enough room for all the boards and students. If you have a large number of players, you may need to split the students into smaller groups around multiple tables. Then, put the matching number of chairs as your players.
To play letter musical chairs, little learners walk and dance around the table while the music plays, working on their gross motor skills. I like to use Kidz Bop music since it has a strong beat, but any music will do. When the music stops, students find a seat and write the letter on their board. I have my little kids write it many times on the board.
When the music stops, students will write the letter that is on their board. If a student is struggling, you can go around and individually help students to make sure they are forming the letters correctly. Remember to keep letter musical chairs fun and not stressful!
You can have your students all write the same letter (the teacher models it, then students write it on their boards), everyone can write lowercase letters, or young children can work on uppercase letters. You can decide what your students need the most practice on. If you have older students, you can have them write sight words or vocabulary words. You can put different letters out each round or keep the letter cards the same for the game.
Don’t need letter practice? Try writing numbers with your students during this fun game of musical chairs. You could also have your students draw the corresponding amount of objects too or fill a ten frame. This is a fun activity for all class sizes.
For number practice, I put giant magnet numbers on the whiteboards for students to practice writing. I walk around and make sure their formation is correct and help any students that are having trouble.
Another gameplay option is drawing shapes. Use shape manipulatives, magnet shapes, or shape cards for students to draw when they sit in that seat.
When you first begin to play letter musical chairs, kids will go the wrong way a lot, and you will need to remind them to push in their chairs before you start the music. They will get the hang of it after a few rounds of gameplay and will be begging for a lively game of musical chairs every day!
Remember this interactive learning game on a rainy afternoon or when your students have a lot of pent-up energy! It is easy to prep, and your students are going to love it! I love that letter musical chairs is so versatile and can be changed to meet the needs of my students’ needs each time we play. It is such a fun way to practice the letters of the alphabet with a remake of this classic game.
Want more literacy games that are a favorite in my preschool classroom? Check out this video.
Check out this post about literacy stews for more hands-on ways to practice letters.
Grab this magnet letter activity set for more literacy practice in the classroom.
Check out my favorite literacy tools here!
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I’m Jackie, your go-to girl for early childhood inspiration and research-based curriculum.