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For parents, it can sometimes be hard to know when is the best time to start teaching your child about letters and how to go about it?
When to start "teaching" your child about letters?
I believe that Children need to be exposed to letters, through reading books with their parents, from birth. The entirety of their lives should be filled with books, words and text and learning about letters should be as much a part of everyday life as brushing your teeth.
Children will be learning about letters long before you intentionally set up activities or expose them to any explicit or purposeful teaching of letters.
You should know when your child is ready to start learning more about letters by them showing interest. Asking what a letter is, what sound a letter makes, what a word says, pointing out letters, recognising particular letters, attempting to write etc. are all signs that your child might be ready to learn more about letters.
How do I teach my child about Letters?
There are so many different "methods" and "programs" out there on the *best* way to teach Children the letters. Let's face it though, each child will learn and respond differently. Some will pick it up very quickly with minimum exposure and others will need multiple exposures before they have consolidated the learning.
At around the age of 5-6 they should be attending/completing a more formal schooling where they will more than likely be taught about letters (recognising them, naming them, their sounds, their shapes, their blends, writing them, building words etc). Therefore, your job before this time is recognising their interests and readiness and providing FUN and ENGAGING ways for your child to learn more about letters. I believe that forcing learning at this stage will only lead to your child resenting learning.
- Starting with the first letter/letters in their Name can be a good beginning point as your child will often be the most interested in knowing that. Having them recognise their own name is also a handy skill!
- Letters that have only one sound (eg M, F, S etc) can also be easier for your child to learn about.
- Adding in knowledge about vowels (a, e, i, o, u) early on can be useful as well as you require these letters for word building.
Above all, make it FUN and don't force it.
Here are "90+ FUN Activities to Help your Child Learn Everything there is to know about Letters"
|Alphabet Order Game [Learn with Play]
Actions for Early Literacy [Playdough to Plato]
Alphabet Soup [Malimoo]
Alphabet Boxes DIY [Smiling like Sunshine]
|Bottle Caps ABCs [Boy Mama Teacher Mama]
Alphabet Bath learning [Momma Fun World]
Alphabet Ball [Playdough to Plato]
Sensory Word Building Blocks [Critters and Crayons]
Monster Box Phonics [The Iowa Farmer's Wife]
|ABC Cup Hunt [Playdough to Plato]
Alphabet Cookies [Red Ted Art]
Coloured Salt Letter Writing [The Imagination Tree]
Candy Cane Letters Printable [The Activity Mom]
|DIY Salt Tray for Beginning Writers [In Lieu of Preschool]
Digging up the Letters of our Name [Teach Preschool]
Salt Dough Initials [The Imagination Tree]
Decorating Cupcakes with Literacy Skills [Learn with Play at home]
Dr Seuss ABC Book [Preschool Book Club]
|Foam Alphabet Painting [Mommas Fun World]
Find and Match Alphabet [The Activity Mom]
Fine Motor Letter Recognition [Rainbows Within Reach]
First Letter Sounds Activity [Crayon Freckles]
Freight Train Letter Practice [Inspiration Laboratories]
|Alphabet Goo [Learn with Play at home]
Giant Chalk Letters on Fence [JDaniel4's Mom]
Gross Motor Letters [3 Dinosaurs]
Glitter Letters [Mommy with Selective Memory]
|Handprint Alphabet [Red Ted Art]
Hopscotch Name Spelling Game [In Lieu of Preschool]
Hunt and Match Alphabet [Reading Confetti]
Hand Stamps. Letter of the Day [In Lieu of Preschool]
|Ice Letter Hunt [Reading Confetti]|
Playdough Letter Impressions [The Imagination Tree]
Alphabet Identification Game [Kids Activities Blog]
Letter Identification Fun [Lovely Little Bookworms]
|Kinderwebgames Online Letter Identification Game [Kinderwebgames ]|
|Light Bright Letters [Growing a Jeweled Rose]
Writing Large Letters [Playdough to Plato]
List of Alphabet Books [My Little Bookcase]
Letter Matching [Creative Playhouse]
|Milk Caps Spelling [Crayon Freckles]
Alphabet Matching Centre [Mommas Fun World]
Mosaic Board Letters [In Lieu of Preschool]
Magnetic Letter Painting [Growing a Jeweled Rose]
ABC Mat Game [Hands on as we Grow]
|Outdoor Sound Sort [Playdough to Plato]
Outside Alphabet Game [My Little Bookcase]
Alphabet Olympics [Playdough to Plato]
|Phonics Seeking Game [A Little Learning for two]
Playdough Letter Printing [Playdough to Plato]
Alphabet Parking Lot. Letter Identification [Crayon Freckles]
Push Light Letter Learning [A Little Learning for two]
|Rice Play. Find the Hidden Letters [Learn with Play at home]
Reading Race! [Playdough to Plato]
Alphabet Reverse Stencils [Mama Pea Pod]
Read My Mind Letter Game [Playdough to Plato]
Alphabet Rocks [The Activity Mom]
|Letter Sounds Spray [Train up a Child]
Dr Seuss ABC [Train up a Child]
Sticker Chart Alphabet [In Lieu of Preschool]
Sensory Style Alphabet Learning [Growing a Jeweled Rose]
Letter Scavenger Hunt [Hands on as we Grow]
Sorting Letters [Glittering Muffins]
|Alphabet Tree (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom) [Mommas Fun World]
Letter Treasure Maps [Reading Confetti]
Teaching your child the Alphabet [Boy Mama Teacher Mama]
Train Set Letter Play [Inspiration Laboratories]
|Upper case and Lower case Letters [The Activity Mom]
Uncover Whiteboard Marker Covered Letters [A Little Learning for two]
Using your Body to make Letters [The Activity Mom]
|Vintage Style Alphabet Cards Printable [The Handmade Home]
Very Cool Highway/Road Printable Letters [Making Learning Fun]
Video to Learn the Alphabet [kindersay]
|Writing with Water on the Chalkboard [Learn with Play at home]
Letter of the Week [Teach Preschool]
25 Ways to get your child ready to Write [In Lieu of Preschool]
Writing in Salt [Teach Preschool]
|EXploring with Letters [The Activity Mom]|
|A Year Long Study of the Alphabet [Teach Preschool]
Yarn Letters on Sandpaper [JDaniel4's Mom]
Funny Youtube Alphabet Song [DJC Kids Media]
|Letter Z Song [Kiboomu Kids Songs]
The ABCs Zoo online Learning Game [Fisher Price]
Zoo Animals Alphabet Video [Christie Abbott1]
I hope you found a great activity (or 2, or 3...) to help your child learn their letters.
If you have any more Letter Learning posts that you would like to share with us, you're welcome to leave them in the comments.
Happy playing and learning,
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