Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fun with the ABCs

Although I don't believe that learning the alphabet is a prerequisite for reading, eventually every kids must master the ABCs. I do believe that kids have a natural curiosity and desire to understand the language of letters and writing. Here are some fun ideas to encourage your little one's desire to learn the ABCs.

- Even before your child can write with a pencil, you can teach him or her to write the ABCs. Use a shoe box with an inch or so of sand in the bottom. (If you don't have sand, use wheat flour instead, or spray shaving cream on the table and write in that-it wipes off easily.) Use magnetic letters or blocks as templates.
-magnetic letters + fridge = ABC fun. You can usually find magnetic letters at The Dollar Tree. Buying a few sets will ensure that you can spell many words without running out of letters.
-Another Dollar Tree find that I saw just last week is a foam puzzle of lower case letters. The store has carried these before, and my sister-in-law gave me one last summer. We've loved it! It's great for giving kids exposure to lower case letters since many puzzles only show uppercase.
-Ask you child what words they want to learn. Common ones are their name and the names of family members, favorite toys, and things in the home. Write these words in large letters on paper and tape them to the fridge. Kids can learn these sight words quickly, and you can always add more. What joy they feel when they see one of "their words" somewhere else and recognize it!
-I'm not usually a huge fan of flashcards because I feel that they often take the fun out of learning, as well as taking reading out of context, but if kept as a game, letter flash cards can be fun. My two year old will actually bring me the bag of letter flash cards and ask to play. We usually get through about half the deck with him saying the letter on one side and the name of the picture on the other. He doesn't get them all right, but we just keep right on going until he's ready for a new activity.
-If you're feeling crafty, I love these rag quilt letters for kids to play with (the patters and tutorials are free). I'm working on a set right now, and they really aren't hard. I love that they are something to play with and learn with.

These are just a few ideas...please leave a comment and share what you've found to be fun!

1 comment:

  1. What cute ideas, Janice! I'm glad I checked your blog. I love all your fun ideas. My kids love flash cards because it usually involves some type of running or jumping game or some silly game we come up with. We also have had a lot of fun just learning the letter sounds (no letter names until they already can read). Thanks for the post!


Thanks for sharing your ideas! I love to hear and learn from others!