How to teach your child the alphabet without difficulty?
Learning the alphabet is one of the first steps toward reading and writing, so many parents are concerned whether their child will manage to master this challenge: not only do they have to learn all the letters, but also the order in which they appear.
However, these 15 tips will help your child master the alphabet without difficulty.
How to teach your child all the letters of the alphabet?
Around the age of two, children already begin to exhibit a curiosity about letters and memorize the order in which they appear, so this is a good time to slowly start teaching them the alphabet.
The first step the child needs to overcome is to familiarize themselves with the shape of each letter, and only then can they learn their order by heart. Later, when they start to learn to read, children will begin to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters. However, learning to recognize all letters is enough to begin with, and learning the order in which they appear will follow.
15 fun ways to teach the alphabet
It is important to teach your child in a direct and illustrative way which is age-appropriate and relatable to them. Some children master the alphabet immediately, while others need more practice and repetition. It doesn’t matter if your child belongs to the former or the latter group, you need to be patient and try to make the learning fun so that they don’t become stressed and develop an aversion toward letters and words.
The following games will help you with that:
1. Use alphabet blocks
Colorful blocks with letters are a great way for toddlers to simultaneously learn the alphabet and develop their motor skills, such as gripping, holding and moving. When your child is older, ask them to arrange the blocks in alphabetical order, to write their name using blocks, and later, some more complex words. Start with shorter and simpler words and help them to progress to longer and more complex ones.
2. Play ABC songs
Children love songs, and it has been proven that songs help them adopt new knowledge. Whether they are learning their mother tongue, or a second language, one of the basic methods for learning the alphabet are ABC songs. Find an appropriate song and play it for your child, you will see that they will soon learn it by heart, and thus the alphabet as well.
These songs are useful because, in addition to music and lyrics, they also have a video in which the shape of each letter is shown so that the child will simultaneously learn how a letter looks, and how it is pronounced.
In addition to simple songs where each letter has a corresponding tone, another great method to help your child master the alphabet is to use songs that introduce the letters of the alphabet and words that begin with each of the letters. You can find a number of these songs online, play some of them to your child, and they will soon ask you to play the one they like the most again.
3. Read alphabet books
Children love stories and one of the most efficient ways to adopt knowledge in early childhood is through storytelling, so children will best learn the alphabet from books. Get one of many ABC books for learning letters and read them to your child over and over again. The child will have fun and after a few readings, they will begin to memorize letters of the alphabet.
4. Have your child learn the alphabet from coloring books
Coloring books are another great tool for learning the alphabet. You can find a large selection of specialized coloring books for learning the alphabet in bookstores. In addition to learning the alphabet, the child will also learn about shapes and colors, developing fine motor skills such as coloring with precision, and having fun in the process.
5. Picture alphabet or alphabet learning charts
Another great way to learn letters are illustrated charts containing every letter of the alphabet with a picture of an object or an animal the name of which begins with that letter. This way, your child will simultaneously learn letters and new words, i.e. master the picture alphabet. There are also alphabet paired cards where you place all the cards face down and then reveal one by one, matching the pairs. As the child improves their command of the alphabet, you can give them more complex cards containing two letters for example: AB, and the child should continue the letter sequence, adding the letter C in this case.
The ability to recognize letters on the flash cards is one of the indicators of how your child will later adopt more complex skills, such as reading and writing.
6. Use different devices
Video games or educational toys are also a great way to learn the alphabet. For example, there are toys where each button represents a different letter and an animal the name of which begins with that letter, so when the child presses the button, they will hear the sound the said animal makes. This way, the child will learn letters, words, types of animals, and sounds they make.
7. Visit interactive ABC websites
You can find several ABC websites online. By pressing a button, the child will see an illustrated list of words that begin with that letter. This is particularly amusing for children, because they become active participants in the learning process by choosing which letter to press, while at the same time learning new words with the help of illustrations.
8. Be creative
A great way for you to teach your child the alphabet while having fun together is to use stickers. You can choose stickers in 30 different colors to match each letter. Write a letter of each sticker and then post them in the appropriate order on the wall of the child’s room. This way, the alphabet will be visible at all times, and the child will memorize it with ease.
9. Alphabet puzzle
Another great method for learning the alphabet involves alphabet puzzles. Pieces of these puzzles are made of letters and illustrations of objects that begin with each letter, and the child’s task is to put the puzzle back together. This is a particularly effective learning technique because it combines tactile and visual skills, while also enabling your child to develop their vocabulary.
10. Point out different letters when you are outside with your child
Learning the alphabet doesn’t have to be a strictly indoor activity carried out with the use of different educational tools. Before they start school, children are extremely curious about the world and easily learn new things, so use this opportunity to teach them the alphabet. When you take your child to the shop, park or playroom, point out different letters you see along the way and ask them to identify them.
11. Surround the child with letters
A great way to teach your child the alphabet is to integrate letters into their daily activities. If your child likes to play with toy cars, make racing tracks for them in the shape of letters and ask the child to identify the letters while playing. In addition, you can arrange the child’s meals in the shape of different letters, and ask him/her to identify them before they start eating. This way, your child will unconsciously pick up the alphabet while doing other things they enjoy.
12. Have the child write letters in the snow or sand
When you go to the mountains, or the beach, your child can have fun while learning something useful at the same time. Encourage them to write one letter every day in the snow or sand. They can be giant letters or small ones, depending on what your child likes.
13. Bake letter-shaped cookies
Children like to get dirty, so it is no wonder they enjoy playing with dough. This is also their way of participating in adult activities, and helping their parents. Buy letter-shaped cookie molds and bake cookies with your child which you can also decorate together. Learning the alphabet this way will not only be fun, but tasty too. Bon appetit!
14. Introduce your child to uppercase and lowercase letters
As your child improves their knowledge of the alphabet, at some point, you should introduce them to uppercase and lowercase letters. Show them how each of the letters should look like, and then play a game. Buy, or make your own paired cards with uppercase and lowercase letters and ask the child to put the pairs together.
15. It is time for cursive alphabet
In addition to the print alphabet, the child should also learn the cursive alphabet, so you need to explain the difference between print and cursive letters, and compare them to each other. After that, you can play a game where the child needs to match a print letter with their cursive equivalent.
Be patient and have fun
Learning new things should, above all, be a fun and stress-free process. At an early age, children mostly learn from their parents, so use this period to watch them grow up and have fun together discovering new and interesting things that surround them. Be patient, supportive and motivate them, because this early stage of knowledge acquisition will have a great impact on their attitude toward learning when they are older.
So, have fun, laugh and enjoy the ABC journey together!