{Play} Alphabet Sticks and Pencil Holder

October 6, 2011 in All Posts, Play

When I was growing up, the little wooden sticks we used to craft with were called “tongue depressors.”  My parents would bring them home for us to play with and they were sturdy, smooth and free.  Nowadays, there are these things called “craft sticks,” which you not only have to pay for, but have to suffer their thin, splintery poor quality.  Regardless what you call them, there are endless learning and crafting uses, which is why I’ll shell out the $4.99 for a pack.

Our latest activity using craft sticks:  Alphabet Sticks!

I had no idea what a big hit these would be with both Jane and Sam.  Except for things like pretend baking and Water Painting, we usually can’t craft and play together because Sam is still in the eating everything phase and hasn’t grasped the concept of taking turns or working on your own project.  So, I was glad when both children enjoyed this activity.

Here’s what you’ll need for this super fun learning activity and how to do it:


  • jumbo craft sticks (or swipe a few tongue depressors at your next doctor’s appointment)
  • small alphabet stickers (we got ours from the $1 Target bins)
  • an old pencil holder (optional)

Step 1

Have your toddler peel the stickers off herself.  It might be a little difficult at first, but eventually she’ll get the hang of it.

Step 2

Have your toddler place the stickers on the craft sticks one at a time.  The stickers don’t need to placed at the top as we did – that’s just what Jane decided she wanted to do.

Step 3

Learn your letters or create words!


Create a holder for your sticks using an old pencil holder or other cup by sticking extra letters around the cup and sealing it with Mod Podge.

You’re finished!

For Younger Toddlers

If you have a younger toddler (Sam is 16 months), he can also practice letter recognition and sounds.  He’ll also love simply manipulating and exploring the Alphabet Sticks and cup.

LEARN!  Fine motor skills, alphabet, letter recognition, letter sounds, concentration, grasping (for young toddlers), hand-eye coordination (for young toddlers)

Linked up to The Play Academy.

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.

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