It's still all about letter practice in Kindergarten! File folder games may seem a bit old school, but they are easy to make, easy to store, and interactive. These games below have students matching uppercase and lowercase letters. Another teacher gave me a few of these games when she switched grade levels, but I believe they came from Carson Dellosa. I personally like the file folder games that are already colored to help save time. :)
Do you have any of the Lakeshore Instant Learning Centers? I LOVE them so much that I have some for reading, math, and science. They are a bit pricey, so I had to use grant money and PTO money to purchase them, but they are worth it!! I love that they have things colored coded so kids know to get out the purple bag with purple letters and the purple game mat. Most of their centers come with activities for 4 kids. These centers also come with picture directions to help students remember how to play. You just put the game in a center and you're done! No laminating, cutting, coloring, sorting, etc. No, I'm not an affiliate for them, I just like how easy they are!
I worked 1 on 1 with this kid on matching up letters. He doesn't know any of his letters and he really struggled even matching these up. We talked a lot about the shape of the letters; straight, curvy, round, etc. but I wasn't even ready to start working on naming the letters. I didn't want to push him too hard, and I wanted him to feel successful at this instead of sad he didn't know the letters.
Here's some good ol' letter writing practice. It may be boring, but wipe-off markers make everything a bit more fun! Tracing letters helps student learn letter formation, height of letters, and how to follow the lines.
The students love playing "Pop" which I found at a teacher store, and is made by Learning Resources. Students pull out a letter, say what letter it is, and keep it if correct. If they draw a "pop" card, they have to put all of their letters back in the box. So simple, yet so fun! Differentiate this activity, by having your higher students do the letter and letter sound.
This ladybug letter game from Carson Dellosa can also be differentiated. Some students were working on matching up the letters, while some worked on matching the pictures and then had to say the beginning sound. Puzzles are always an easy center because they are self-checking and they don't need a lot of explaining. Centers can be a headache, so make it easier on yourself and students by throwing in some activities with little prep and easy directions.