We can sing ‘The Alphabet Song’ until we’re blue in the face, but even if our kids can repeat the song after us, they may not realize those sounds are connected to letters, and the letters are combined to make words.
These tips can help your child recognize letters and letter sounds, through activities that are completely age-appropriate. Best of all, they’re fun—so even if your toddler doesn’t immediately learn how to read letters, he will feel that letters (and reading) are totally awesome. And that’s the best, brightest start!
Take it one letter at a time
It can be confusing to see all 26 of the letters at the same time. So instead of breezing from A to Z, try the classic Sesame Street approach: ‘this day (or week) is brought to you by the Letter A, and th number 1.’
If it’s the ‘A’ week, put posters of the letter “A” around the house. Cut his pancake into the shape of an “A”, and serve it with apple juice. Point out things in the house and in the park that start with A. Remember to over-enunciate and repeat the ‘a’ sound. ”A’ is for ant. A-a-a-ant.’
Then go to the letter “B”, and then “C”. (Or, you can do all the vowels first, before going to the consonants.) Review periodically. Don’t progress until you’re sure that your toddler can tell the difference between the letters.
Tactile is child development speak for ‘use hands.’ Toddlers learn by touching and tinkering. Try simple craft activities. Cut out a large letter ‘A’ on a cereal box and have your child paint it or cover it with rolled up pieces of crepe paper or macaroni. Look for the letter ‘A’ in old magazines and newspapers and cut it out and paste on old cereal boxes. Your child can see how the ‘A’s’ look different but are still the same. Play with blocks, refrigerator magnets, and alphabet puzzles: ‘Where is the A?’
Keep it fun and light
Don’t drill your child. If you see your child is losing interest, take a break and back off. Trust that by mere exposure and repetition, your child will be able to get the concept.
Also look at your child’s learning style. Does your toddler like music? Then sing it. Appropriate an old nursery rhyme and change the lyrics: ‘Mary had a little A, little A, little A…’ If your child enjoys jumping and running, spread large foam letters on the floor. ‘Jump to the A! Jump to the P!’
To further enhance your child’s learning experience, read our article on how to develop your child’s curiosity.
Photo from article.wn.com