Teaching the Alphabet

Teaching the alphabet can be very easy as well as enjoyable when starting with a young child, grandchild or any child that comes near you for that matter.

Even now everyone in our home is trying to coax our eighteen month old grandson to recite those all-important twenty-six letters.

teaching the alphabet

When Do You Start

It is still a hotly debated question over exactly "when" to begin. But, I have found that if they are not interested, they will certainly let you know. As long as it remains fun and you use creative and varied approaches, then I think age eighteen months or younger in some cases, is just fine.

Some resources such as the Abeka phonics texts and similar preschool materials exist to help you whenever you choose to teach your child their letters.

Introduction of Letters

One of the best ways of introducing each letter has been to choose one at a time while hitting as many senses of the body as possible. What do I mean?

Well, introduce one letter at a time to your young learner. Then, try to stimulate as many senses such as hearing, smelling, seeing, touching or tasting. That's what I mean.

teaching the alphabet

At this point you will just be instructing them to recognize and say the names of the letters. The letter sounds can be mentioned now but should really be stressed after they can recite the alphabet.

Using the Senses

An example using the letter "Aa" when teaching the alphabet might look like this…

  • Sight – have your child look at flashcards and learn to say the names of the letters shown
  • Hearing – have your child listen to a fun alphabet song or poem that stress the letter "Aa"
  • teaching the alphabet

  • Taste – how cool would it be to sample some "Aa" foods like apples, apricots or "Ants on a Log" a.k.a. celery with peanut butter and raisins on top
  • Touch – use magnetic letters and trace the letter shape and practice selecting the letter "Aa" when it is called

    Tip: Keep the magnetic letters in a covered, metal cake pan which can serve as your magnetic surface and also offer easy storage

  • Smell – I don't want to be gross here but, when an ant that is spelled with an "Aa" is crushed between your fingers, it has a definite odor that will stay with your child or an apple pie can be used

Some Other Activities

A few other ideas for teaching the alphabet to your child are listed here:

  • Make a lapbook or notebook with your child using pictures of things that begin with each letter
  • Use homemade modeling clay or cookie dough to form each letter
  • Create large letters on the computer and print on cardstock paper. Cut each letter into three or four pieces and have child try to put their "puzzle" back together
  • Use a stencil to trace the outline of each letter of the alphabet. Then use small pieces of torn construction paper and glue to fill in each letter
  • Use a quality children's toy such as the V-tech type pictured above and your child will learn the letter names in no time!

Start using some of these ideas and you will quickly and easily have your child, grandchild or someone else's child reciting the ABC's too. Once that is accomplished, then it will be on to phonics and learning the sounds of these important twenty-six letters.

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