This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Teaching Baby Letters

This idea evolved over a few days. We have these Sassy Counting and Spell Bath Appliques. McKenna (9 months old) likes to play with them during her bath. After bath time, I let her hold on to one as I take her to her room and get her dressed. She has eczema, so I spend at least 15 minutes just on lotioning her after a bath, so I really have to provide her with things to keep her happy and still while I do so. And thus, this activity was born. It can be done anytime, but I think just at each diaper change will give you plenty of practice time.

I would start this as soon as baby is old enough to hold on to these letters. Activities are hard with babies because you don't see results as quickly as you do with toddlers, but I promise the day does come when you see the fruit of your labors. This would be appropriate for as long as your child is in diapers, and perhaps at times even beyond that.

I am going to assume you are doing this at the changing table, but you can do it anywhere.
  1. Choose a letter to store at the changing table/station. Choose a letter your baby can possibly say. For example, most baby start babbling consonants such as "d", "m", and "n"--not "q", "v", or "t". Choose a letter appropriate for your child.
  2. Place baby on changing table.
  3. Hold up the letter. Let's say you are doing B. Hold the letter so baby can see it and say, "This is a B. The B says "Buh." One of my favorite letter movies--okay, my absolute favorite--LeapFrog: Letter Factory has a catchy tune for what each letter says, "The B says, "buh" the B says, "buh." Every letter makes a sound. The B says, "buh." I sing this song.
  4. Then give the letter to your child.
  5. As you are changing the diaper, say "Buh-buh-buh" over and over as your child shows interest.
  6. Change the letter as desired, but don't think you need to do it often. You can stay on the same letter for as long as your baby shows interest in it.
After two days of doing this, McKenna started to purposefully say the letter sound I was saying. We only did it at diaper changes.

As your baby grows into a pre-toddler, you can add things like what the letter stands for. "This is a B. The be says 'buh.' Be is for Bear, and Ball, and Brayden."

As your pre-toddler starts to talk more, you can ask her to repeat a word B is for.

As your pre-toddler moves to toddler age, you can give her a few words and ask her which on starts with B. You can also ask her to think of a word that starts with B.

This is a simple activity that can both make diaper changes a little easier for you and teach your child about the letters of the alphabet!


Angela said...

This is so cool because I was thinking during bathtime last night that I'd love to make it more educational for our trio and was wondering if there were letters that would cling to the tub and could be sucked on! Thanks so much! Great minds think alike. Thanks for the info on Letter Factory, I've seen it around and will look for good deals at garage sales for that series. Thanks again!

Redheads said...

Awesome! We have those letters, and my Sophia loves to carry one out of the bath and hold on to it while we do diaper change/PJs. I never thought to teach her about the letter she was holding!!! I am usually so focused on my task of changing diaper, lotioning, hair brushing....I guess that is the difference between first time mommy and a veteran mommy like yourself! Thanks for the idea! Can't wait to get started!

Rachel Stella said...

I love this activity. I do something similar, and I even do it to the leap frog song. It really is a catchy tune! I think I'll start doing this even sooner with the next child--as soon as they can hold the letters as you suggested.


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