As a non-teacher, we don’t really know when kids are expected to learn something, or what’s easiest for them to learn first – the alphabet or its sound. But, we must do what we can to help the little ones in learning their alphabets. You will have to assist them at initial stages of the various games/ activities that I have listed below; but once they get a hang of it, they are by themselves.
Magnetic Alphabets and Board
My son is very fond of sticking his magnetic alphabets and numbers on the magnetic board. He would just pick random alphabet and put it on the board. As a result, the board was full of all numbers and alphabets.
While talking to my cousin, who has been a pre-school teacher, she suggested this activity to me. I wrote Capital A – Z on the magnetic Board. The kiddo stuck the magnetic alphabet over the respective alphabet written on the board.
He went crazy after this activity !!! We did this at least 3-4 times every day during his summer vacations. Since my 3 year old already knew his capital letters, he didn’t need my help here.
Advancing from the above activity, I wrote capital A-Z and asked him to place the capital magnetic alphabets on the written alphabet on the board and place the respective small alphabet by its side.
Here he needed help from me initially – he would keep asking “Mumma what is this” for various small alphabets he did not know. After a while, I realised, he was not asking me too many of them anymore – just b, d, p and q. Soon that also stopped. He knew his small alphabets!!! I am happy and proud, that he can easily differentiate between “b” and “d” which are apparently very confusing for new learners.
Later, I did a similar activity with him for small a-z. Every now and then, you may keep telling him the sound each alphabet makes and what it stands for. You will be surprised what you kid may come up with!! Like my son said, “Mama, D for Doraemon!!!”
If you do not have a magnetic board, you can do this similar activity on a chart paper. For the alphabets, you may use any toy alphabets you might have from a peg board, foam alphabets or blocks. Alternatively, you may write the alphabets on small square pieces of paper or cardboard. Just write A-Z on the paper and ask your kid to place the alphabets on the respective alphabet written on the paper.
Alphabet Puzzle / any other game
There are plethora of games available in the market today – wooden puzzles, jigsaw, blocks etc. which are not even very costly. You may buy any game according to your child’s liking. My son is into jigsaw puzzles big time, nowadays. So we got him this A-Z Jigsaw Puzzle. Its illustrative, and has different pictures for each alphabet than what he is generally used to.
This was my son’s first introduction to alphabets. We got him this when he was a year old! And he has been stuck to it since then. We got a simple one for him, with both capital and small on the same board. But there are many available in the market/ online, with separate big and small alphabets and with lovely illustrations too !!
Object placement on alphabets
We did this game just recently. I got many toys and small things from around his room, and asked my son to place each object on the alphabet with which it starts from. It was a fun game and again he learnt new things like “W is for Wolf”.
Again, you can play this game on a paper. Just write A-Z on a paper and ask your kid to place the objects accordingly.
Books and Songs
Additionally, use books and rhymes for alphabet recognition. You may even trace the alphabets on the book by holding her/ his little finger. Introduce your little one to books at an early stage and go beyond just the regular alphabet book.
Finally, do whatever activity you can, look around the house, at your kid’s toys, what you can come up with. Remember, alphabet recognition matters, the medium can be anything.