There are many ways that your child can learn the letters of the alphabet. They can watch any number of wonderful children’s television programs and play educational games on a tablet or computer.
But here, I’ll show you some simple things you can do at home, the old-fashioned way. Despite all the fancy toys and games you can buy, I’ve found children often prefer home-made things.
Read alphabet books!
· Say the name of the letter and say the sound it makes.
· Ask the children’s librarian at your public library for ABC books, or buy them at the bookstore.
Teach the alphabet song.
· This is an easy way for your child to learn the letter names.
· If you don’t know the song, search for it on the Internet.
Play with letters in the bathtub.
· Buy some sponge letters. Float a letter in the tub at bath time and name it.
· Once your child knows a few letters, ask your child to find and sink specific letters.
Use soap paints in the bathtub.
· Write letters on the tiles with the soap paint.
· Have your child write the letters.
· Name them. Say their sounds.
· Write your child’s name on the tiles.
Make letters out of play dough.
· Roll out the play dough and shape a few letters.
· Print a big letter on a sheet of paper or cardstock and have your child cover the outline of the letter with play dough.
· Start with letters your child already knows, and then add unknown letters.
· Do your child’s name out of play dough.
· Demonstrate how to run your finger over the letter the way you’d print it. Then ask your child to do it.
· Give verbal directions while you model how to trace the letter.
· For an uppercase “A”, say: “Down, down and across” while using your finger.
· For a lower case ‘a’, say: “Around and down, around and down” while using your finger.
· There are many recipes online for homemade play dough.
Make a name card.
· Print our child’s name on a piece of cardstock or construction paper. Make the first letter a capital followed by lower case letters.
· Make the first letter about 10 cm. tall.
· Say the names of the letters.
· Go over the letters with glue.
· Provide colourful cereal circles, or mini-marshmallows for your child to glue onto the letters.
Paint letters with water.
· Give your child a bucket of water and a big paintbrush and let him or her ‘paint’ letters on the sidewalk.
· Say the name and the sound the letter makes.
Draw letters in the sand.
· Draw letters with a stick in the sand at the beach or in the sandbox. Name those letters. Say their sounds.
Draw letters with chalk.
· Draw letters on the sidewalk with chunky sidewalk chalk.
Fish for letters.
· Make fish with a letter printed on each fish.
· You’ll need 52 fish. Use this fish-template
· Print one letter on each fish: an uppercase ‘A’ on one fish, a lowercase ‘a’ on another fish, and so on.
· Attach a paper clip to each fish.
· Make a fishing rod using a small stick (a chopstick, a paint brush, a dowel).
· Attach a string with a magnet on the end. The magnet will pick up the fish by the paper clip.
· Make it easy. Put only 3 fish on the floor face down so you can’t see the letter.
· You can use only lowercase letters to start with. In time, you can add the corresponding uppercase letters.
· Your child will “catch” a fish, turn it over, and tell you the name of it.
· Always include letters your child already knows and add one new one at a time.
· If your child doesn’t know any letters yet, start with 3 fish, but when your child catches one and turns it over, you name the letter.
· Variation: Once a few fish have been collected; have your child match the upper case letter with the lower case letter.
· Variation: Lay out 5 different fish face up. Ask your child to catch a specific letter.
These are low-tech ideas but your child will have some hands-on fun while interacting with you!
To purchase the poster, click here: Super Hammy ABC Poster
Coming soon…my new Super Hammy ABC books in English and French from DC Canada Education Publishing.
Super Hammy – My First Reading Series. 15 engaging books for beginning readers.