From babbling da-da or ba-ba to clearly saying grampa or bye-bye, it is a heartfelt delight for the parents to hear their kids talking. By the age of 2-3 years, children start understanding simple words and certain sentences. They are able to repeat the words used most often at home which is a sign that he/she is verbally active and also attentive towards the language, words and the tone in which the words are spoken. For instance, when you say ‘No’ or ‘Don’t’ in a sharp and serious tone, the child understands the tone and discontinues what they were about to do.
When your child starts communicating with you using small sentences, then your child is ready to learn the alphabets. Learning alphabets is a prerequisite for building a strong foundation for children to be able to read and write so ensure that you make this learning journey fun and exciting.
We understand that teaching children is not an easy task and can be frustrating at times so we have listed a few general tips to give you a head start and help you as well as your child get familiarise with educational pursuits effortlessly, so have a look –
– Make it a habit – Make learning alphabets an every day habit. Every morning at breakfast or at bedtime, reiterate the alphabet you want them to memorise.
– One letter at a time – Do not overburden your child. Focus on one alphabet at a time. Once your child learns that letter and its sound, then you can teach another one and so on. There is a possibility that your child might learn some alphabets quickly than others so know that it is okay and with time, they will learn.
– Learning the letters in their name – Help your child recognise the letters used in his/her name. Write your child’s name on a chalk board or with alphabet blocks to make it more visual. This allows them to remember more than one letter and the sound of it as well.
– Read more – Be it nursery rhymes to short stories to picture books, just read to them. Ensure that the reading material has big letters and point your finger on each letter/word as you read them to help them identify the alphabet and its sound.
– Learning with the help of your child’s interests – Using your child’s interest, for learning purposes, is a great way to draw their attention. For example, if your child likes to play with playdough, you can make alphabets from it using different coloured dough for different letters or you can bake/buy alphabet shaped cookies and use them to teach phonics.
– Keep it fun – Learning does not have to be boring or a monotonous activity especially for pre-schoolers so find as many fun ways you can to make learning simple and enjoyable for them.
5 Fun Ways to Teach Alphabets to Pre-Schoolers
1) Alphabet song/rhymes
One of the most common and easiest way to learn the alphabets is singing the alphabet song. There are several alphabet songs available on the internet nowadays. For instance, “The Alphabet Song” by Jack Hartmann is quite good.
You can even make your own personal rhyme for each alphabet (one/two lines would suffice too) and sing to your child. You should sing the song/rhyme repeatedly to help them memorise the order of the alphabets and also the phonics.
2) Books and Puzzles
For introducing the alphabets to your child, ABC books are good way to start. Big letters and colourful images attract the attention of kids and helps them memorize the letters with association to the picture shown.
*Tip: Lower-case letters may be confusing for children at times to identify the alphabet so begin teaching letters with upper-case to make it easier for kids to recognise the alphabets.
Puzzles are an interesting way to learn the alphabets in order. There are various types of alphabet puzzles available. For beginners, the puzzle board with letter holes in it is recommended. The child has to match the colourful alphabet piece with the correct letter hole.
3) Using everyday items
One way to help your child learn at home is by using things available at home. For instance, you can teach your child to write the letter ‘C’ using noodles or the letter ‘F’ using straws, etc.
Another activity you can do is gather a few things starting with the letter you are teaching your kid, say the name of the object one after another and tell your child to repeat after you. For example, for the letter ‘C’, you can place a cup, car (a toy car, of course), cap, etc.
4) Letter sound games
Identifying the alphabets through its phonic or sound is important. There are interactive games available in the play store where the child can learn the sound of each alphabet. A simple indoor game that you can play is – write a few alphabets on the floor using tape and then ask your child to step on the letter you call out.
5) Match games
You can use the match game for – (i) matching alphabet to the object starting with that letter and (ii) matching the upper-case alphabet to its lower-case alphabet.
Learning alphabets is not easy for children. The learning speed of every child is different so allow them to learn on their own pace and do not compare your child’s progress with other children. Avoid getting impatient if they take more time to learn than you expected. Whenever your child makes the slightest of progress, appreciate them. Tell them how proud you are of their accomplishments. Reward them every time they get the letters right or speak the correct sound of the alphabet, etc. because this motivates them to do better.
You can also try some of or amazing alphabet tracing worksheets.
And just remember that all your child needs at this age is your love, support and the fact that you believe in him/her.