This post is sponsored by Reading Eggs, an online reading program for kids. As part of our Back to School Basics series we are featuring activities that practice preschool concepts like colors, shapes, alphabet letters, numbers, and name recognition. As part of our series we are excited to partner with Reading Eggs to offer all of our readers a free four week trial. You can read more about Reading Eggs and what I think about them in my recent review post. Today we are focusing on letter recognition using a simple and fun paper plate alphabet game! To play this alphabet game all you need are... markers (we used do-a-dot markers) paper plates a hole puncher ribbon scissors tape soft ball (we used a popple) Prep-ahead To get started you need to prep your paper plates and write several alphabet letters on them using a marker. Then you need to hole punch the tops of the plates so that there are two holes on the top of each plate. Next you want to string your ribbon through the tops of the plates to make a big banner!! Hang your banner across a doorway or big open spot (using tape) and then you are ready to play our alphabet game! When we learn about alphabet letters at our house we always focus on the letters in our name first... because they are usually the most meaningful letters. Next we grabbed a soft ball and got ready to start playing! The goal of the game is to call out an alphabet letter on the banner and then try to hit it with the soft ball. Sometimes we'd just throw and throw and call out which ones we ended up hitting instead. This game is addictive! My kindergartener (almost first grader) and preschooler (almost 4) had a lot of fun with this game. In fact, after watching my daughter play for a little bit my older son was begging to play too. It is amazing how much fun throwing toys at new things can be! As the kids got better at hitting the letters I moved the banner up higher and higher to make it a little bit more difficult. My son loved standing really far back and my daughter loved sneaking up as far as she possibly could to the banner. This activity worked on hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills (throwing), and letter recognition. It would be easy to adapt as you teach other concepts such as math or more complex reading. Once you are done playing again and again this simple banner could easily be used in a child's bedroom as an inexpensive decoration. You could also jazz it up a bit with decorative accents (stickers, paints, etc.) to make it look even better. I love having my child's name hung in their room beceause I think it is a great way to introduce them to alphabet letters in a meaningful way that is important to them. We love to be creative and engage in active learning games where we are moving and learning. Sometimes we like to sit down and challenge our brains in different ways too, like on the computer (or tablet), which is why I've been enjoying doing the Reading Eggs program with my preschooler. You can read more about this great online reading program here. If you missed it earlier, all Toddler Approved readers are invited to sign up for a Reading Eggs FREE four week trial. Just click here to sign up. Don't forget to TELL YOUR FRIENDS so their children can also try Reading Eggs for free! Please note this offer is valid NOW through 8/31/14. I would love to hear about other ways that you've used paper plates for learning? Pass along your ideas please! If you want to check out more from our Back to School Basics series, go here. This post will be updated daily with the new activities we are sharing! Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Reading Eggs, an online reading program for kids. All opnions are mine. Although I am compensated for my time and effort to share posts, payment does not guarantee a positive review. I only recommend products and services that I would personally purchase for our family.