Teaching the alphabet is a foundational skill for kids to learn in order for them to be able to read and write. For some kids, learning their ABC’s comes easily while for others it is a struggle. Every child learns differently, so what activities help your child gain letter knowledge and other pre-reading skills can differ between one child to the next.
When is Your Child Ready to Learn Their ABC’s?
It’s never too early to start introducing your child to concepts of print…but, that doesn’t exactly mean break out the flash cards and start drilling your toddler on which letter makes the /d/ sound. Instead, let your child’s natural curiosity lead the way while using play, books, and their environments to guide them.
Where Do You Start?
The best place to start introducing your child to the alphabet is on your lap. Getting your child interested and excited about books is the perfect way to start helping your child develop habits they will need to build their pre-reading skills. If a child is motivated to explore print the rest will slowly fall in line. So, how do you make reading fun? By keeping it playful, natural, and relevant. Read books that you enjoy on topics that interest your child. Choose books with lengths shorter than your child’s attention span so that it ends before their patience does. Keep it light, cheery, and fun.
What Comes Next?
When it comes to teaching your toddler or preschooler the only hard and fast rule is to remember play. Kids learn through play. As you play with your child pay attention to what interests them. Things to look for are:
- What does your child point out or discuss?
- Does your child ask questions?
- Is your child actively engaged in the activity or easily distracted?
- What does your child add to play?
For example earlier this week, while my son and I were playing with a letter recognition sensory bin, my son just couldn’t sit still. Instead of identifying letters he was much more interested in tracing them in the shaving cream with his Hot Wheels. In the past, the alphabet car wash had always been a huge hit with him, but a year later he was over it and ready for the next thing. Taking cues from him wanting to draw his letters with his cars we came up with our ABC Road Construction Kit which he has loved!
So, if you are stuck on what to do next with your child, engage them in play. They will lead the way 🙂
Ways to Play with the Alphabet
Below you will find all the ABC posts that have been shared on Parenting Chaos.
Have fun playing!!!