Whether you are planning on sending your child to a brick and mortar school or plan on homeschooling all the way through using these ideas at home can give your child a head start in learning. All kids are different and a method that may work for onc child will not work for another. Or you may find that using a combination of some or all of these ideas not only make learning fun for your child but make it stick as well. Some children are kinesthetic learners, while others are auditory, or visual. Take the time to find out your child's learning style and use it catch and keep their interest. Teach the sounds they make at the same time and your child will be well on their way to reading! Use these same methods to teach numbers.
7 Ways to Help Preschoolers Learn the Alphabet
- Begin with their name: One of the easiest ways to begin teaching them to identify letters is to teach them to identify their own name. Write it all over the place- on the fridge with magnet letters, in stickers on their bedroom door, backpacks, lunch boxes, etc. Help them learn to identify each letter by name and the sound it makes.
- Write them down: But don’t just use a pencil and lined preschool paper! Make it fun and change up the writing utensil and writing surface to keep it fun and new- chalk on chalkboard, white board and dry erase marker, or paint on an easel. Gently correct improper pencil grasps before they can become a bad habit.
- Flashcards: Whether they are loose or laminated on a ring, teaching letters and the sounds they make through repetition throughout the day will further enforce recognition.
- Learn through play: Use alpha blocks and as you play with your child identify the letters- “ Let’s stack this Y on the top of our tower next to the B.” Use foam letters in the tub-they stick to the wet wall and make bath time fun AND educational. Set out alphabet puzzles and make a game of taking turns to find letters.
- Read all about them: Read fun and engaging alphabet books and point out the letters as you read. Some of my favorites are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Dr. Seuss’s ABC, Goodnight Moon ABC, and LMNO Peas. Leave books laying scattered on low tables, in baskets beside a comfy chair, by their bed. Encourage them to look at them on their own as well.
- Use technology: I am not advocating for you to plop them in front of the TV or computer and let Cookie Monster teach them their letters. However, using fun characters and music whether it be an educational television show or a learning app for the iPad it can help reinforce what you are working on. Leapfrog makes a whole line of amazing toys for letter learning- Fridge Phonics for example- these are fantastic for waiting in restaurants and Dr.’s offices as well. We also put together a list of great FREE educational apps for you!
- Appeal to their senses: Have them copy you and practice writing letters in-shaving cream, salt, finger paint, pudding, snow, mud, and more. Use more than one of their senses and the lessons will sink in even deeper. When they are smelling, touching, and sometimes tasting as well as seeing the lessons will click.
Have another way to help Preschoolers Learn the Alphabet? Share it in a comment below!