Tips on Teaching the Alphabet

Tips on Teaching the Alphabet

Do you remember learning the difference between the letters B and D? How to write your name? Or how to sound out the different sounds that each vowel makes? Learning the alphabet starts pretty early for infants and actually learning how to read can be a long and challenging journey for older children. It takes practice, a lot of patience, and a lot of dedication — for both parents and their kids. But like many things in life, when it’s broken down into stages, it’s much easier to handle.

At Children Smart Toys, we have a variety of child development toys that help parents and kids master the alphabet and the art of reading.

Between Ages One and Two

Obviously, not much actual reading or even naming the letters is happening between one and two years old, but there is a lot of learning and print recognition happening. Infants will learn that reading happens from left to right and from top to bottom, they may be able to recognize the first letter of their name, and they should be practicing holding a writing instrument like a crayon or marker to “write,” or scribble.

This age is the perfect time to use child development toys that implement song and music. The alphabet song, which is sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is a great way for children to begin recognizing the look and sound of each letter. Another thing to try is labeling various possessions with their name. Seeing the letters in a certain order will eventually help them learn how to spell their name.

Between Ages Three and Four

During the toddler years, children will begin to use writing instruments more frequently to create lines that go across a page like a book. Kids will also begin to learn and recognize some of the letters and the sounds they make.

To continue practicing letter recognition, have your child “write” some letters or short words using unique materials, such as shaving cream, molding clay, or spend an afternoon finger painting. Be creative as you’re thinking of ways to practice letter recognition — play a “name the letters” game as you’re driving around running errands, have them read the letters on cereal boxes, or keep magnetic letters on the fridge.

Between Ages Five and Six

By now, kids will be able to recognize all of the letters, associate the letters with their sounds, and should have a good “grasp” on the writing instruments, using three fingers.

Practicing the ABC’s is now more about properly forming letters on paper than it is about learning the letters themselves. You may still need to practice certain letters that are harder than others, or letters that have similar sounds, such as B and D or M and N. At this age, it’s important to always keep encouraging them and motivating them to keep trying and learning.

To make learning fun, shop at Children Smart Toys for engaging child development toys. Try using this Baby Wood Wisdom Letter or this Press & Learn Pretend Tablet. If you have any questions about teaching your child how to learn their ABC’s or how to write their name, please get in touch with us today!