Free printable alphabet cards for learning to read

Use these printable alphabet cards as sounds flashcards or in games

When your child’s beginning to learn to read – or just curious about letters – you need a few alphabet resources at home to refer to. This set of printable alphabet cards is free to download and comes in large and small sizes – so you can choose whether you want to print the small ones or save the big ones to your phone’s books app for on-the-go activities.

Choose the smaller version of the pdf if you’d prefer to print the cards out and use them in games and as hard-copy flashcards. It’s the one on the left above.

Related: 5 essential pre-reading skills for your preschooler

What can you do with these letter flashcards?

If you just want your download right now, scroll to the bottom of the post.

The most obvious option is to use the alphabet cards as simple flashcards. Pick out the sounds that you think your child knows and show them each one in turn, inviting them to name the sound. Or select a new sound to teach them and show them the card to familiarise them with what it looks like.

If your child’s learning alphabetical order, you can ask them what letter comes before or after the one you’re holding – but that could be quite challenging.

Flashcards are an easy way to grab some quick practice but you might want to inject a bit of fun into you phonics activities by playing a game.

lower case alphabet cards

Using flashcards in games

Here are a few ways you could use your printable alphabet cards in a game to make learning phonics fun.

Play snap

Print off two copies of the cards and cut them out – it helps if you can print them on card or laminate them to make them easier to pick up for little hands. Now make them into a pile and shuffle them. Spilt the pile in two and give half to your child, keeping the rest yourself. Take turns flipping over a card to see if it matches the previous one laid down. Shout ‘Snap!’ if it does. The person who ends up with all the cards wins.

Note: Little ones can take a while to get used to flipping the cards over correctly.

Did you ever wonder why kids learn the alphabet out of order? I explain in this short video:

Play pelmanism

Pelmanism’s another great way to have fun with alphabet cards. Again you need a double set because you’ll be looking for pairs. This time, place the cards face-down on a table and show your child how to turn over 2 cards and check whether they match. Ask them which letters they’ve turned over. Now encourage them to try and remember where they have seen a card before so they can make more pairs later. The person with the most pairs wins.

Once your child knows most of the letters, they might also enjoy playing ‘Go Fish!’


Phone-friendly version of the alphabet cards – or playdough mats

Do you prefer not to print stuff out – but you’d still like a set of flashcards? No problem!

When you click the download link after signing up below, grab the big version of the printable and save it onto your phone in the books app. That way, you can jump in there and flick to and fro asking your child which letter they’re seeing. You can also hand them the phone and ask them to flick through and find ‘a’ then ‘s’ then ‘i’ and so on.


Playdough mats

Want to create a multi-sensory activity for your child? Print off the big version of the alphabet cards and laminate them to make mats. You can then have your child cover the letters with playdough to build familiarity with the shape of new letters. If they roll out ‘sausages’ to create the letters it becomes a great motor skills activity for finger strength.

Okay – ready to grab your alphabet flashcards?

Sign up below to get access to my resource library, where I’m adding new free tools for education and family life regularly. You’ll find common words flashcards to download too.

Related: First 100 words flashcards free printable

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