Alphabet is the first step to teach language to a preschooler. But preschoolers are playful, and they can’t differentiate between a learning and a game. Hence, teaching them the alphabet can be quite tricky if you don’t make it fun. So, In this article, we will deep dive into how you should teach alphabet letters in a fun way.
At age 2, a child starts to show interest in learning. And, it’s the most appropriate time to feed the brain with some knowledge. A child is at its best when they have a responsive relationship with their parents or carers. It’s better if parents pay attention in these early years because they play a vital role. A child’s first teacher is his/her mother. Everyday play, activities, and exploration in a safe environment stimulate and engage them in active learning.
Following are things children learn by engaging in the environment:
- Listening Skills
- Interrogation (asking questions, “Why is the sky blue?”, “What is that?”)
- Control over senses like touch, taste, smell, hear, and vision.
What should a preschooler know before kindergarten?
- Alphabet Letters
- Identify Uppercase and Lowercase alphabet
- Match Uppercase to Lowercase letters
- Recognize the sound of the alphabet
- Able to write few letters
Best time to start teaching your child?
As we know, children start to show interest roughly at the age of two. So, It’s good to start between 15 months to 24 months. It also depends on our child’s curiosity level. Whether you start early or late, the way of teaching should be fun. Just keep your child interested in learning the alphabet; he will pick up quickly.
Teaching Alphabet to Preschool Kids:
If you are thinking about fun ways to teach your baby alphabetical letters, your search ends here! Here are the best fun ways to teach the alphabet to preschoolers in a fun way.
1) Read & Write Alphabet Books:
Indeed, a child might not be able to read the alphabet initially. But alphabet and picture books are a usual gift on your kid’s birthday. Preschoolers learn through visual surroundings, and their brain remembers things they see.
Just spend some time reading alphabet and picture books. Try to revise the same before bedtime.
2) Use Sandpaper Letters:
Letters mounted on a piece of wood or sand are “Sandpaper letters.” It teaches the figure and sound of the alphabet by muscular and visual memory. It mainly develops visual, tactile, and auditory senses. Firstly, they learn how to make the alphabet. Secondly, tracing the letter and saying/spelling enables auditory senses.
3) Solve Alphabet Puzzles:
Puzzles are the best to stimulate the mind. Puzzles like location words, place the alphabet, etc., are useful for developing cognitive skills. It also improves hand-to-eye coordination, fine motor, and problem-solving skills. A great educational gift for a preschooler!
4) Do a Dot:
Do a Dot is simply a marker with a spherical sponge as its tip. How can a dot marker help a child learn the alphabet? Well, the positive side of the dot marker is more than just teaching letters. For this, you will need dot printable/books and dot marker. A child needs to complete the dotted figure using a dot marker. The markers also improve hand dexterity, grip, and fine motor skills. Using different colors enriches their color recognition skill which makes it visual learning. Just remember to buy a skin-friendly one with minimal to no harmful chemicals.
5) Sing it or play animated videos:
This one is the simplest, sing the alphabet or take the help of animated videos. Animated Videos are the best because toddlers enjoy them. And, it’s essential to make learning fun.
6) Arts & Crafts:
Arts & Crafts are a simple yet cute visual reminder of what letters/alphabet look like. Drawing things related to an alphabet builds visual memory. Suppose H is for a house and the child tries to draw a house. It’s like a test for his memory. And, maybe better if he starts to recognize a few words. You can also match the box with figures on one side and the alphabet on the other side.
While performing such activities, get back to an earlier solved alphabet. Such switching of letters makes conscious grasping of letters. The practice is something you repeatedly do till you can do that thing with utmost perfection.
What is the Best Way to Teach a Child to Recognize Letters?
Toddlers are easy to distract, and if you get them interested in a task, they will do it without much effort. While teaching them letters by reading them, do not keep unrealistic goals.
- Teach each alphabet one by one with their respective upper and lowercase.
- Set goals for alternate days.
- Try different activities and figure out what works best because a child can be a better visual, auditory, physical, or verbal learner.
Touch and Learn:
Our mind never forgets what we feel. The best fit over here is “Sandpaper letter.” Many children learn quickly through their touch senses.
Touch and experience let your child recall the alphabet and draw them again. You can also make a surface for experimenting with it. Things required are sand or shave foam and a smooth surfaced board. Spread sand or foam over the surface and ask your child to make letters.
We all love Arts, and maybe that’s the reason children love arts period/lecture. Using art skills to learn an alphabet indulges them in learning and creates a piece of art. Things like Rainbow Writing, Alphabet Stamps, Dot Markers, and Letter Collage are among the best activities.
Eat the Alphabet:
Maybe a weird yet effective way of learning. Bring prepackaged foods that have crackers, ready to fry, cereals, soups, pasta made in the shapes of letters. You can also offer them alphabet-shaped cookies in snacks.
How to Teach Writing the Alphabet to 3 Years Old
Develop Hand-Eye Coordination:
Proper hand-to-eye coordination is important for a child. To improve it you can play a sport like a baseball.
- Encourage him to draw shapes
- Add Dot Markers into training. Dot Markers are useful in building coordination and control. (Whenever the child aims for a dot, the coordination needs to be pinpoint to make a perfect dot.
Exercise for Fingers and forearm:
ü Strength in fingers and forearm is crucial because it’s important for grip strength. To strength these two parts, the following is a list of options:
Use of stress ball, ask him to squeeze it
Play basketball and ask him to aim for the net
Give him play dough and ask him to make the alphabet
Write and Draw:
Simple yet effective, ask your toddler to draw things he sees (in the surrounding). Drawing eases gripping difficulty.
Well-recognized sources of brain boosters are puzzles. You can buy puzzles or even make them at home. Assembly puzzles are best for toddlers.
Identify and Eliminate Problems:
Implement these tips slowly and gradually. Do not hurry or aim for unrealistic things. Identify the difficulties your child is facing. Meanwhile, observe which type of learning helps your child. Implement few activities and gradually raise the level.
How to Teach a 5-year-old the Alphabet?
A child aged five is expected to know alphabetical letters easily. And, maybe he can also distinguish between uppercase and lowercase. The crucial part is to train the sound part. A child should read and recognize letters whether they are uppercase, lowercase, or flipped. Here are a few tricks to teach a 5-year-old.
Play and sing the ABC song with your child. Even you might have learned the alphabet by listening to ABC songs. So there’s nothing to be shy about. There are different variants in ABC Song, the simplest, the better! You may also go for Short Vowels, poems, rhymes once you accomplish the alphabet.
Identify the Letters:
Identification activity improves memory retention skills. Pick a magazine, book, newspaper, or alphabet chart and ask them to identify it. Suppose he/she gives the right answer, reward, or compliment them. Or else use any of the ways mentioned previously.
This way is best for powerhouse children! Just kidding, powerhouse means very active children. You can try activities like letter hunts, sports and race, etc., for such children.
Suppose a race, your child’s name is of four letters. You will need four bowls and few pieces of paper. Create chits for four bowls, each with only one correct alphabet and the rest 6 to 10 chits with random letters. Align it sequentially. You can also make it more competitive by calling a friend of your child. Just say Ready, Set, Go! He will try his level best to find the correct alphabet and reach the finish line. Apart from the name, you can also give new words.
Things to Remember
- Toddlers take time to develop motor skills and learn things at first. So don’t get frustrated or lose patience. Have faith and help them.
- Please encourage them to draw and write.
- Strengthen their fingers (through various activities)
- Observe what works best for your child (as every child is different)
- Focus on training alphabet recognition
- Start by writing their name.
While teaching toddlers, it’s essential to teach them uppercase, lowercase, and flipped ones. Suppose letter M flipped is “W.” Meanwhile, in lowercases, b flipped on y-axis makes d. On the x-axis, it’s p. Thus, it’s recommended to start with simple lowercase letters. You can also start from uppercase because there’s only M and W, which might jumble a child. So it’s better to study uppercase and then go for lowercases. However, there’s nothing to worry about lowercases. Only a few children face difficulty while learning lowercase letters.
These were tips and tricks to teach the alphabet to preschoolers in a fun way. We have also discussed writing and auditory skills. So try to implement it and keep track of letters your child faces problems with. Usually, the last few alphabetical letters, “U to Z,” are difficult for toddlers. Use different ways to let them master the alphabet! Teach them adequately in a regular manner. Do not ever force them.
It might waste your time too. Previously discussed tips are only to stimulate the thought process and teach alphabets in a fun way. Use such tricks regularly, consistently. Do not overdo anything on a single day or two because we want to stimulate, not annihilate!