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Recognizing letters using small heart candies.


Take out a handful of candy hearts and place them on a table. Look at the hearts together and let your child name the letters on them. Point to one of the candy hearts and ask if it has a particular letter in it. If it does, have your child point to the letter. Give the candy to your child if she points to the correct letter.

Find several pairs of candy hearts with identical messages, such as "I Love You," "Smile," and "E-mail me." Mix up the hearts and put them on a table. Let your child match up the hearts by looking at the first letter of each message.

Mix l tablespoon water with 6 drips of food coloring to make an edible "ink". Dip a toothpick into the ink and use it to write the letters of your child's name on the back of candy hearts, one letter on each heart. Help your child arrange the hearts to spell out her name. If you wish, let your child use the Personalized Hearts to decorate a frosted cupcake or cookie.

Use the edible ink from the activity above. Collect twelve candy hearts of the same color and divide them into pairs. Write a different letter on the back of each pair of hearts. Use the hearts to play Concentration with your child. Place the hearts on a table, edible ink letters side down. Let your child turn over two hearts to look at the letters. If the letters match, he keeps the hearts. If the letters don't match, he turns the hearts back over. Take turns looking for matches until all six pairs have been found. To make the game more challenging, put out more pairs or try matching upper-and lover-case letters.

Variation: Find matching phrases and play concentration trying to match these phrases.