Children need a variety of tools to help them understand the world around them. Learning the alphabet is one of those essential tools. Early learners need encouragement, love, and a variety of different approaches to successfully learn their ABCs. It is important to maintain a positive approach to education early learners. They can be trying at times, and tend to learn at their own pace. Finding strategies to teach the alphabet to your child can be overwhelming. Use these ideas to begin this journey into your child’s early education.
Letter Matching: Cut 3 x 5 inch index cards in half. Write each letter on an index card, creating a set of 26 cards. You need 2 sets altogether to make this a matching game. Once your cards are complete, you have a variety of different ways you can play this game.
- For children just starting to recognize their letters, place the cards right side up and have your child match the letters. Only use a couple of letters at a time to limit confusion.
- For children able to recognize their letters, place several letters upside down and have your child find their matches. Start with only a couple letters and work your way up to all of them.
Letter Bingo: For children that already recognize their letters, this game is perfect. Create a make-shift bingo board using cardstock and bright markers. Each column is a different color and each box has a different letter (you can re-peat letters if you want to). Call out a letter and color and have your child place an item on the appropriate square. If you use small pieces of candy, this game can have an instant reward!
Letter Puzzle: Draw the shape of a large letter on a piece of cardstock (about 2 feet tall). Cut the letter out of the cardstock and then into 3 large pieces. Have your child piece together the letter.
Grab Bag: Place a handful of letter magnets into a bag. Call out a letter and have your child find the letter in the bag. The better your child gets; the more letters you add to the bag.
Letter Find: Think of this as a scavenger hunt. Grab a handful of magazines, children’s books, cookbooks, etc. Have your child find a specific letter in the resources you compiled. A more advanced child can spice up this game by finding items that start with the letter you are teaching. Example: if you are teaching your child about the letter D, they can search for items that start with D, such as dogs.
Fill in the Blank: Draw the outline of a letter on a piece of paper, leaving several sections blank. Have your child fill in the blanks. You can also have your child trace letters.
Letter Box: Create a letter box out of an old box or a laundry basket. Tape the letter on the outside of the box (use tape so you can change the letter every time you teach about a new letter). Have your child fill the box with items that start with the letter you are teaching them.
Mail Time: Gather several shoe boxes and tape a different uppercase letter on the outside of each box. Cut a slit in the top of each box. Create several small envelopes with letters (lowercase) written on the outside of the envelope. Your child must place the correct envelope inside the correct shoe box. This will help them practice matching lower and uppercase letters.
There are a variety of resources you can use to teach your child about their alphabet. The Kids Learning Station and Preschool Palace are great websites to discover preschool resources.
Your child can also master their alphabet and other essential skills at a preschool in Central PA. You can contact U-Gro Daycare, Children Central, Kindercare, and the Circle School for information about local preschool opportunities for your early learner.
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