Letter Of The Week Basket

Last week, I wrote about Annabelle’s personalised alphabet book that we created to help support her interest in letters and sounds. We have also been using ‘letter of the week’ baskets to help Annabelle tune into the letter sounds.

These have been great fun and she really enjoys helping me look for items to put in the basket on ‘change-over day’ and exploring the items in the basket throughout the week. Each week in the basket we put Annabelle’s alphabet book, a magnetic board and letters (upper and lower case), her ‘fridge phonics‘ game, a lace with letter beads, letter cards, and a variety of objects that begin with the letter of the week.

I used the ‘letters and sounds’ synthetic phonics programme that we teach in schools to determine the order  to introduce the letters. Letters are not introduced alphabetically, but in groups to allow children to start reading and writing simple words as soon as they have learnt a few letters.

Each week as I add the new letter to the magnetic board, I leave a few of the previous letters there so that Annabelle can begin exploring making words. With just the first few letters we can already make ‘as’, ‘sat’, ‘tap’, ‘tip’, ‘pit’, ‘sit’, ‘sip’, ‘sap’ and ‘pat’.

Our first letter was ‘S’ for:

‘Scissors’, ‘stars’, ‘stickers’, ‘squirrel’, ‘slide’, ‘socks’, ‘spoons’, ‘stones’, ‘sausages’, ‘soup’ and ‘squares’. (S is quite an easy letter, and all week things kept cropping up and being added to the basket like ‘saucers’, ‘stampers’, ‘Suzy’ …)

Letter basket - S

Next was ‘A’ for:

Letter basket - A

‘Annabelle’, ‘apple’ and ‘ants’. See, some letters are easier than others!! Thank goodness Annabelle begins with A or this basket would have been rather empty. I used a cutting strip with her name on, and the ‘design your own’ Lego mini-figure she made at Christmas to represent herself.

Now for T:

Letter Basket - T

T is for ‘Tractor’, ‘tree’, ‘tiger’, ‘ten’, ‘two’, ‘triangle’, ‘turtle’, ‘tomato’, ‘table’, ‘teddies’, ‘toast’, ‘torch’ and ‘Thomas’.

P was for ‘pink pencil’, ‘pig’, ‘parrot’, ‘Peppa’, ‘plate’, ‘potato’, ‘postman’, ‘post box’, ‘pom-poms’ and ‘penguin’.

Letter of the week basket

I was for ‘instruments’ and ‘Iggle Piggle’. A pretty tricky letter unless you have a spare igloo hanging around, or you trust a 3 year old with a bottle of ink … I don’t!

N was for ‘nest’, ‘nappy’, ‘necklace’, ‘nine’, ‘Noah’, and ‘Nathalie’.

Letter of the week basket

M was for ‘mixer’, ‘Minnie Mouse’, ‘monkey’, ‘mouse’, ‘mermaid’, ‘magnets’, ‘money’, ‘microphone’, and ‘milk’.

Letter of the week basket



D was for duck, dragonfly, dog, digger, Duplo, Daddy, dolphin.

Letter Basket - D

G was for goat, gate, game, girl.

O was for otter, orange, oblong (that was a bit of a cheat – we normally use the word ‘rectangle’ rather than ‘oblong’ but we were really struggling!)

Letter Basket - O

CK We put ‘C’ and ‘K’ words together as they make the same sound, Carrot, kite, kettle, cat, car, cake, caterpillar, king, kite, crisps, coat, cup, card.

Letter Basket - CK

E was for egg, elephant, elbow, engine.

Letter Basket - E

U was for umbrella and Uncle. (Annabelle joined in the photo as the basket was rather empty for this letter!)

Letter Basket - U

I’ll be honest – this might be called a ‘letter of the week’ basket but they don’t often get changed every week! Annabelle does look at the baskets regularly, but between days at work and busy weekends we don’t get as long to explore them as I would like. We are in no rush to push reading and writing – we are just following Annabelle’s interests so for now a fortnightly change over suits us fine!

I will update this page as we add more letters (and photos!) to our repertoire.

  1. David Sutherland.

    Looks very interesting.

  2. What a fantastic idea. We do something similar with J – we go outside or pick a room in the house, sometimes we even put on a timer (he loves the ticking timebomb sound!) and collect as many objects as we can starting with the sound. It has helped in that he remembers having to search for the items. I really like your baskets though – so great for being able to go back to them over the week and explore the items. The other thing we have been doing is making up songs – originally we used some of the jolly phonics songs with actions to help him remember the sounds but J found these quite dull, so we have created our own. This has helped a lot. Like you though, we are following his interests so we might stay on a letter for a while if he gets bored with it or sometimes just if there’s a letter he likes! What we do then is play games where I try to “trick” him – a-ha, here’s a toy tiger. That starts with a S doesn’t it!” I wasn’t too sure about the trickery,thought it might be confusing but he seems to love it 🙂

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