When Kaitlyn (now three) was not much older than one year old, my husband was shocked on night to realize she could point to and tell you what each letter of the alphabet was. We had never made a concerted effort to teach her. As best as we can tell, it happened through her simply reading an alphabet book she loved at bed time each night.
Teaching the alphabet to your child is as simple as exposing your child to the alphabet. Here are some ideas for helping you expose your child.
- Alphabet Song: This is a simple one. Sing the alphabet. Over and over. And over again.
- Alphabet Books: Brayden and Kaitlyn have each had a favorite alphabet book that they wore out. Brayden's favorite was The Alphabet Book. There is no shortage of alphabet books out there. You can find them with a variety of items represented or specific to suite a special interest your child has. You child might have a favorite character like Elmo. Elmo has an ABC Book. Once you have the book, the next step is to read it, and read it often.
- Magnetic Letters: You can also get magnetic alphabet letters. There are the classic Magnetic Letters. One of our favorites is the non-traditional LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set.
- Alphabet Posters: You can also do alphabet posters. You can point to the letter as you say it.
- Letter of the Day: And don't forget the letter of the day! Each week, you can focus on a different letter. Practice writing it, look for items around you that start with it, focus on the sound of it...make it a part of your day! Adjust your focus on the skill level of your child.
- Shows: Leap Frog also has an excellent line of movies that teach the alphabet, phonics, and reading. LeapFrog - Letter Factory is the best one for starting out, but I love all of them. There are also two shows on PBS that I love for learning letters: Word World and Super Why!
- Various Activities: In addition to these basics, you can do all sorts of fun activities to learn the alphabet. We have several ideas for you on this blog under Alphabet.