Teach Your Child the Alphabet – With Hands-on Activities

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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!

alphabet

·       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.

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·       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.

doughletters

·       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.

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·       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.

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·      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

foam-alphabet-fish-4

 

·       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!  

Available now:

superhammy_poster_large
The Super Hammy ABC poster featuring Super Hammy and his friend, Little Mouse. Every classroom and refrigerator needs one! From DC Canada Education Publishing

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.

“I will defend
the importance of bedtime stories
to my last gasp.”
-J.K Rowling

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