Most children know the ABC song by the time they’re 3 or 4. However, many children don’t learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet by name until they start school.
Here are some helpful tips as to how and when to teach your child their alphabet.
Remember: Every child is different, thus they develop and learn differently then their peers.
- Be patient. Some kids learn faster than others. Just remember that they all eventually do learn.
- Line up the foam letters, or magnetic letters on a refrigerator, and sing the ABC song. Next, remove a few of the letters and sing the song again. Whenever there is a missing letter, clap instead of singing the letter. This is a fun way to have the child focus on the letters she is singing.
- From time to time mix in some of the letters your child has already learned. If you don’t review, he or she may likely forget them.
- You can teach your child the sound associated with each letter by simply making the sound whenever you pick up or play with the letter. For example, if you’re playing with the letter s, whenever you move it through the water say, “Here comes the S…!”
- Try to associate every letter of the alphabet with a word. That way, if your child forgets the letter, he or she may still remember the word. For example, the word for A could be apple because apple starts with an A.
- Reinforce what your child has learned by pointing out the letters whenever you see them (in books, on billboards, on signs, everywhere).
- Try not to have too many letters in the tub at once. It may confuse your child.
- Don’t feel that you have to introduce the letters in order–you don’t.
- Follow up with a slow, simple ABC song that allows the child to point to letters while singing.
- You may want to use a calendar as a way to plan or record the letters you introduce each week. Or if you want to keep it simple, get two bins–one for letters to be introduced and the other for those that have been introduced already.