Learning Our Abc’s With a Letter Bead Necklace

Today we’re going to learn more about teaching the alphabet using a Letter Bead Necklace. So far we have talked about using Magnetic Letters and how they’re a much more concrete teaching method. Then we talked about using our Gross Motor skills to write our letters and our name. Now it’s time to learn how to encourage and motivate your child by creating a Letter Bead Necklace of their name. It also makes a great resource later!

Let’s Continue Teaching Their Name

As I said before, one of the most important words to your child is their name! They own that word. It’s how people identify them. If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, go back and check them out. It’s really good stuff. I’ve added links to the list below to help you find all the previous posts that discussed the different ways to teach the alphabet and their name that I’ve covered so far. Today we’ll learn about creating a Letter Bead Necklace!

Different ways to teach The Alphabet and their name

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Letter Bead Name Necklace

I use making a Letter Bead Name Necklace as motivation to learn the letters in their name. For every letter that they know that is in their name, they get a bead letter. If there are two ‘e’s in their name they get two ‘e’s. Until they have collected all of the letters that are in their name, you store them in a Ziploc Bag. Once they have earned all of their letters, they get to create and wear their Letter Bead Name Necklace. This really encourages them to learn those last few letters that are unknown!

Things You Will Need

  • Letter Beads
  • Cord or Yarn or String
  • Ziploc Baggie


To get started, cut some yarn or cord or string so it’s long enough to easily go on and off your child. You want them to be able to easily wear it so they can show it off to everyone. If you’re not sure how long to make it, loop the cord around the back of their neck and have it meet in the middle of their chest. When you hold it together, you should be able to easily remove it. Cut the cord and add it to their baggie.

Finding The Letters

Once they have learned a letter, let them look through the container of letters and take all of those letters out. I have them find all of the ‘k’s for example. When they have found them all, I have them choose the color that they want to keep and put it in their baggie. If their name has more than one of each letter, they would put that number in the baggie. It’s great practice discriminating between all the letters to find the one they want and it won’t necessarily be an easy task. If it’s too tricky, you might need to remove a few similar letters so they can be successful.

Adding the letters

Once they have collected all of the letters in their name, they get to string them on the cord and wear their Letter Bead Name Necklace! Many times children will get their necklace out when they are trying to remember how to write their name. It’s a great resource! Once they have created a First Name Necklace, you could start on a Last Name Necklace. Children of both genders love this activity.

These Are The Letters That I Use

I like the Roylco Bead Letters because they are chunkier and easier for little fingers to pick up. They come in a package of 288 lowercase letters and measure about 7 to 12 cm tall and 9 cm thick. They have a large hole so they are easier to string.  If you have Littles, they are recommended for ages 3+ due to their size, so be careful. They shouldn’t be a choking hazard due to the way they are constructed, but better safe than sorry. To make your stringing life easier, I also found this bead cord for you. It’s by Pepperrell and you get 12 laces in a package.

Let Them Do The Stringing

The fact that it has tips on it will make it so much easier for your child to add their beads. But, any cord or string will work. You might need to wrap tape around the ends so they don’t unravel and to make them sturdier and easier to thread through the bead holes. I know it’s faster to put it together for them, but this is a great fine-motor activity as well as an opportunity to teach that letters that make words go in a certain order and direction.

Other Options

Over the years I have used a lot of different letter beads, mainly because those were the only ones that I could find. Below you can see an example of another bead type that I have. I have also used the little square beads. The problem with all of these other types is that they are tiny and therefore, difficult for kids to grab and string on a cord. Usually, these beads only come in Capital or Uppercase letters. The only Capital in your child’s name is the first letter. Therefore, once I found the Roylco Bead Letters I stuck with them. 


Hands-On Learning

Hands-On Learning is the best! No workbook or worksheets were required in this activity. All of our ways to learn the alphabet are memorable and build on each other. When teaching the alphabet, you will not work on only one way until it’s mastered. You will work on all of these ways at the same time… just maybe not all on the same day!

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