Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 15 Minutes

As you probably already know, children love to take a turn with cell phones. Surprisingly, many of them can navigate through screens and apps without missing a beat! This activity encourages children to use the camera feature of a cell phone to store their findings from a letter hunt.

  • cell phone with built-in camera
  • alphabet letter cards

Step 1: Tell your child that she is going to do some detective work and you want her to take evidence photos with your camera. Tell her, “You’re going to be searching for specific letters all around the house. You might find the letter in many different places: book covers, magazines, food boxes, the refrigerator, on the labels of the laundry, on shampoo bottles – they could be anywhere! When you find the letter you’re looking for, take a picture of it. Then, keep looking for it in other places and take pictures when you find those too. After you have found a bunch of them, come back to me so we can look at your evidence photos!”

Step 2: Open the camera on your phone and give your child a tutorial, if needed.

Step 3: Give your child an alphabet card and have her name the letter and make its sound.

Step 4: Send your child off to search for three examples of that letter!

Step 5: When your child returns from her detective work, review the photos together. Ask your child to show you where the letter appears in the picture and name the item on which it was found (the item itself does not need to start with the target letter; the letter just has to appear on it).

Step 6: Choose a new letter and repeat the fun!

Set out specific items before the detective work begins. You may choose an area on the floor to set out certain books and magazines, cans and boxes of food or safe household items, and handwritten items. Assist your child with finding the target letter, if needed.

Ask additional questions during the photo review. Name the item in the picture and ask your child to state the beginning sound, a rhyming word or another word that begins with the same sounds as the item in the photo.