WHY IS LEARNING THE ALPHABET IMPORTANT?
The ABCs are the building blocks of language. Before learning to read, kids must be able to recognize each letter and know the sound connected with each letter. Once armed with that knowledge, a child is well on the road to a lifetime of reading!
So, how do you make learning letters fun? Ask a child if they want to practice the alphabet and they will probably say no. But ask if they’d like to play letter detective? You might get an enthusiastic yes!
LEARN THE ALPHABET WITH SHORT VIDEOS
Everyone loves to sing the alphabet song, but did you know there are lots of other songs to sing that can help you remember the alphabet? Try out this Sesame Street favorite!
PIPE CLEANER LETTERS
Use pipe cleaners to help your child learn letter shapes, talk about the sound of letters and put letters together to form words.
You can make pipe cleaners into any shape. Put two or three pipe cleaners together to make really large letters. You can also cut the pipe cleaners, with adult supervision, to make smaller letters.
Decide what letters you want to create. Write the letters on a piece of paper so your child can see what the shape looks like and how to match it with a pipe cleaner.
Now unbend them and start again with new letters and words!
I SPY SENSORY BAG
- Take a piece of paper and cut it to fit inside a plastic zipper sealed baggy.
- Write letters at different angles on the paper. If you write uppercase letters, underline the letters that could be flipped like M and W.
- Put the paper into the baggy, then fill the baggy partway with dry white rice.
- Seal the baggy firmly and add tape so it doesn’t open and spill rice all over!
- Make a list of the letters so you and your child can check them off as they are spied, or use the pdf list above.
- Now ask your child to begin their hunt for letters and mark them off the list as they go.
- As they get better with letters, do the activity using short sight words. If you don’t have rice, try it with small pasta, other grains, or even cake sprinkles!
Make learning magical with magic letters that your child reveals as they paint over them!
Use a white crayon or candle and write letters on a white piece of cardstock ahead of time so your child doesn’t see what you write. Start with lowercase letters, as these are usually the first letters preschoolers learn. Press down quite firmly for the “magic” to work well as the letters are painted over. If learning letters is new for your child, you can start by writing one letter several times on your card. Don’t try to do every letter in one sitting, it may take a fun activity and make it not-fun.
Prep the painting station by getting out small cups of food coloring or watercolors, a cup of water, and a paintbrush.
Now for the fun! Give your child the paintbrush and ask them to paint over the card to see what letters they can reveal. Make sure they use plenty of water on the brush along with the colors. Do they know the letter? Can they say the sound it makes? How about words start with that sound?
As they learn more letters, write out short words like “at” or cat” and then their name.
Go on an alphabet hunt and see how many you can find. Can you find them all?
Make a list or a chart of all 26 letters with a line or box next to each one. If you have a printer at home you can download our pdf and print it.
Hunt around the house, while driving, running errands, or walking around the neighborhood. This is a fun activity for trips to the grocery store, too, when it’s safe to shop again.
Ask your child to mark the letters off the list as they find them, with a checkmark or a sticker.
Want another alphabet hunt idea? Write each letter on a piece of paper and hide them around the house for your child to find!