Learning the letters of the alphabet is one of the first steps in learning how to read. Here are some ways I exposed our daughters to letters beginning when they were toddlers.
- Read books that are centered around letters. One of our favorites was Dr. Seuss' ABC book, but there are a variety of cute board books and picture books that use letters as the basis for a story. Check these out at the library and read them with your child.
- Play with blocks that have letters on them. For her second Christmas, our older daughter received a set of old-fashioned wooden blocks with letters on the sides. While these were great for building, they were also useful in playing other games such as matching letters that were the same and teaching letter names.
- I bought foam letter shapes that could be used in the bath. We would stick these up on the sides of the tub while saying the letters or trying to find the letters in their names.
- Decorate your refrigerator with those infamous magnetic alphabet letters! You and your child can play with them where they are or transfer them to a cookie sheet and take them to another room.
- One of the neatest things I found was a large, decorative rug that had the alphabet printed on it. We bought it for our older daughter when she was about eighteen months old. In her room, she would play with her toys on it; however, as we played, we would talk about what the names of the letters were. For some reason, she developed an affinity for the letter Z! It was one of the first letters she learned and she loved to point it out.
- Using sidewalk chalk, write some letters on your sidewalk or driveway and see if your child can find a certain letter and jump on it.
- At snack time, form the shape of a letter on a plate with Cheerios or another small snack food and see if they can name the letter.
These are just a few fun things we did together in an informal way to introduce our children to letters. I'd love to hear any ideas you may have as well!