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One of the first things many children learn is the letters of the alphabet. We sing the ABC song to them when they are children, and immediately they are able to sing it as well. However not only knowing the song, but they should also know how to recognize their letters of the alphabet.
Letter recognition is the first step in learning sounds, and learning how to read. So how do you teach your child their letters? Here are some simple, hands-on ways to teach the alphabet and get some alphabet practice in just a few minutes a day.
1. Environmental Print
What is environmental print? Environmental print is basically all the printed material that we see around us everyday. You may point out the “C” on the Cheerios box, or the “D” on the bag of Duplos. Notice the environmental print around you, and point it out to your child. When they start to become familiar, then begin asking them what letters of the alphabet they see.
2. Teach your child their name
Write your child’s name on a paper, and point out the letters in it. Then start pointing out letters of the alphabet in their names in other places, such as while reading. Your child will begin to recognize that letters of the alphabet combine together to make up words.
I love alphabet games such as the alphabet puzzles fom Melissa and Doug. There are so many different ways to play such as finding a certain letter of the alphabet, singing the alphabet song while completing the puzzle, and figuring out what letter of the alphabet comes next. Alphabet puzzles are a great way to practice letters and motor skills.
4. Foam Alphabet Letters
I use these alphabet letters in and out of the bathtub (we actually have three sets). One set stays in the bathtub, and my children will grab the alphabet letters and I say them. I will also ask again to find certain letters (find a M for Mommy) or spell their name. We also use these alphabet letters in their playroom to spell words such as mom, dad, cat, dog; that they recognize. After reading the word, I will point out each letter in the word. Another game we play is alphabetical order. I will give my children a few letters, and we sing the alphabet song, then put the letters in alphabetical order.
5. Alphabet Games
I really like (and probably own) all of the Vtech learning alphabet games. I like how my children can actually interact with the game, and listen to the sound.
Learning the alphabet is the first step in reading. By beginning at an early age you are setting up your child for success in reading. Alphabet practice daily is important in letter recognition. By playing fun alphabet games, using alphabet letters, or simply pointing out letters of the alphabet around you, your child will have a great head start in reading.