I had some extra travel magazines that were ready to be recycled, but I decided to use them for an impromptu preschool lesson (I call them “games” when I talk to my daughter) first. This activity is ideally suited for 3-5 yr olds, but could be adapted for older kids. Here’s what you do:
1. Get a “clean” magazine (i.e. no racy ads or questionable photos) and a pen or marker
2. Go through it with your child having them find the letters of the alphabet in order. So, on the cover of the magazine, have them find the letter “A.”
3. Have your child trace the letter when he or she finds it.
4. Next, have your child draw a shape around the letter. For example, have them draw a square around the letter A, a triangle around B, a diamond around C, etc.
5. If they can’t find the letter on that page, continue on to the next page. We also focused on just the headlines and big type, not the tiny print of the articles. Since they are tracing the letters, you want it to be big enough for them to trace without getting frustrated.
This activity is a Look & Find, Alphabet, and Shape lesson all in one! Older kids could be required to find both upper- and lower-case letters for the whole alphabet, or trace the entire word, sound it out, etc.