This edition of Teaching Tuesday is about letters. I would encourage you to introduce letters to your child at an early age, but NOT in a formal sense. There are many ways to incorporate the ABC’s into your day and have them become part of your play. Here are a few ideas that I used with our girls when they were very young.
- Read books that are centered around letters. One of my older daughter’s favorite books when she was around two years old was Dr. Seuss’ ABC book. Let’s just say I had it memorized! I have seen many cute books for young children that use letters as a basis for a story. Check these out at the library and read them during your reading time with your child.
- Play with blocks that have letters on them. For her second Christmas, my daughter received a set of very nice wooden blocks from my grandmother. They had letters in color on the sides. While these were great for building, they were also useful in playing other games such as finding letters that were the same and teaching letter names.
- I was able to find foam letter shapes that could be used in the bathtub. Both girls played with these, getting them wet and then sticking them up on the side of the tub. Again, we could name the letters or try to find the letter that started their name.
- One of the neatest things I found was a large rug that had the alphabet printed on it. It was actually decorative and very pretty; we bought it for our older daughter when she was about eighteen months old. In her room, she would play with her toys on it; however, she would also notice the letters and as we were playing on it, we would talk about what the names of the letters were. For some reason, she developed an affinity for the letter Z! It was one of the first letters she learned and she loved to find it in books and point it out.
- Using sidewalk chalk, write some letters on your sidewalk or driveway and see if your child can find a certain letter and jump on it.
- At snack time, form the shape of a letter on a plate with cheerios or another small snack food and see if they can name the letter.
These are just a few fun things we did together in an informal way to introduce the girls to letters. I’d love to hear ideas you may have used in this area with your children!