Jan 21, 2011 Jacqueline Gonzales
Parents often find themselves struggling with ways to teach their preschool children the alphabet. Here are some fun ways to teach them letters.
By ages two to three, most children start to show an interest in words and letters. While this can be an exciting time for parents, this can also frighten parents who may feel overwhelmed by the process of teaching their child something considered basic and almost hardwired into our brains. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to teach your child their ABCs and begin the journey of reading and writing.
Music has a powerful effect on all people, but in toddlers and preschoolers, music can make a profound effect on learning. You can use songs to teach your child the alphabet. Music, especially music with a fun rhythm or something short they can learn, will help your child memorize their alphabet. According to Rosalie Pratt, at Brigham Young University, children learn through movement. Singing and dancing with your child as they dance to songs about the alphabet will bond with them and teach them their ABCs. Also, playing or singing a song repetitively will help your child memorize the song and the alphabet. The most common alphabet song is “ABCs” sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” .
Crafts are a hands-on way for your child to learn their alphabet. Many crafts are available for teaching your child the alphabet, but one simple way is to actually make the letters. You can use cardboard, like a cereal box, to cut out the shape of the letters. Once you've cut out your letter, allow your child to decorate the letter using construction paper, glue, glitter, crayons or other craft items. A fun way for your child to decorate is to make the craft of an item along with the letter, for example a D that looks like a dog or an N that looks like a necklace. You can sit with your child and help as needed. Once the craft is completed, hang the craft around your home in a place that your child can see it. This will allow your children to remember the craft and the letter associated with it.
Worksheets, available at most educational stores and some major retailers, will allow a child to actually read, write and color the letter you discuss. Worksheets are available as coloring or copy pages. You can also find worksheets available online for free or a small price, either for a very large collection that includes information beyond your letters or for individual sheets.
Games are a great way to show you child their letters. While flash cards can be used as a game, games that interact with the world around them will give children a more concrete example of their letters. Games to play should include asking your child what letter an object starts with and finding things around your home that start with a certain letter. This allows them to see and feel things and to associate the letters with the object's name.
Reading to your child is the best way to teach them their alphabet. Books allow children to be immersed in a different and often enjoyable world while including letters. As you read a book, point out the letter you are trying to teach your child, so they can see and recognize that letter. Reading to a child at a young age can improve a child's ability to understand their letters and build up their own reading skills. While most books geared for children will do the job, there are books available specifically on each letter too.
Teaching Your Child the ABCs
Whatever methods you choose, whether it be through music, crafts, worksheets, games, reading or a combination thereof, the biggest thing your child will need to learn their ABCs is time and attention from you. Spending a half an hour to an hour a day, generally broken up throughout, will greatly increase your child's ability to read and understand their alphabet and develop a lifelong habit of reading.