How to Teach Preschoolers & Toddlers the Alphabets so they are Excited to Learn! + Free Printable!!
As we all know, reading is an essential milestone for kids. However, before reading can begin, we need to teach the alphabet – letter shapes, names of the letters, and letter sounds.
The steps that we follow are:
1) Read the Alphabet
2) Recite/Sing Alphabet
3) Teaching lowercase and uppercase
4) Match lowercase to uppercase
5) Trace Alphabet
6) Fun activity with Alphabet
7) Write the Alphabet
The key to a curriculum or unit for homeschoolers (or any learner) is to keep it FUN, engaging, and hands-on! Merely teaching the letters of the alphabet by doing a worksheet may not work for many learners. It can be tedious. But, when the child sculpts the letter from playdough, recites a fun poem, or makes a craft, learning will be fun, creative, entertaining, and long-lasting. Add in games, song, and movement, and you’ll have eager little ones, ready to learn!
We did not follow the order of Alphabets when we taught alphabets to our little one. We started with the letters in his name and to our surprise, Baby R was learning and was able to identify the alphabets in his name by 18 months.
Read The Alphabets
The easiest way to teach a toddler/preschooler is to read the alphabet to them. Read all sorts of alphabet books to your children even starting as babies. Read as many books as possible to introduce the alphabet, doing your normal read-aloud, point out the letters, and how you are using what is printed on the page to say the words.
Recite/Sing the Alphabet
Recite the alphabet to your children every morning/evening or sing the alphabet songs. Repetition is the key to the retrieval of information, in this case, Alphabets. Add music and movement! So important for little learners and there are so many great videos on YouTube that do this! I also love to incorporate tunes they already know into our learning.
You can also focus on a Letter of the Day or Letter of the Week. Try to find things in your house that begin with that letter. Sing a song using that letter, Create a scavenger hunt in your home. Look for objects that start with a letter, objects that begin with a specific sound.
Identification of Lowercase & Uppercase
Teach uppercase letters first as opposed to the wide opinion of teaching lowercase. The fact is that your child will learn all of the letters–uppercase and lowercase–before he/she learns to read. So why not start with the letterform that is easiest to learn?
Developmentally, it will be easier for your child to learn capital letters first. That’s because the visual form of the capital letters is more distinct. Take a look at this row of capital letters:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The only letters that could be flipped and mistaken for another letter are M/W.
Now take a look at this row of lowercase letters:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
With the lowercase letters, there are several pairs of letters that could be flipped.
b/d (flip on the vertical axis)
b/p (flip on the horizontal axis)
d/p (flip on the horizontal and vertical axis)
p/q (flip on the vertical axis)
n/u (flip on the horizontal and vertical axis)
So that’s why we recommend starting with the “easier” uppercase letters.
Matching Lowercase and Uppercase
There are so many activity-based learning to teach children to match lowercase with uppercase on Pinterest. These are my favorites:
* Simply write the uppercase letters and lowercase letters on separate sticky notes, and stick the uppercase letters up on the wall. Have your child place the correct lowercase letters next to their matching uppercase letters.
* The use of flashcards to identify uppercase and lowercase.
* The use of alphabet blocks or foam letters is a unique way to introduce upper and lower case letters to your little one. They'll be able to sort and match the 'big' and 'small' letters in no time.
Trace the Alphabet
By teaching your child to trace the alphabet, you are teaching him the curves and turns of the letters which is important to write the alphabet. For tracing the alphabet, you can use sandpaper tactile cards, tracing worksheets from our The Ultimate Alphabet Bundle
Activities with Alphabet
I love to incorporate activity-based, sensory play into learning alphabet letters. When children have meaningful activities with repeated exposure, they start to pick up on letter names. Get our free alphabet activity mat down in the box.
The following activities can be done by using our alphabet mat:
* As a coloring page
* As a play dough mat
* As a race track - to be used with small cars/vehicles
* As a sticker activity sheet - dot stickers
* As a nature activity sheet - Use of leaves, stones, twigs to fill
* As a sensory activity mat - Fill the alphabets with rainbow rice/pasta/beans or even sand
Write the Alphabet
Writing the alphabet reinforces what the child had learned. There are many worksheets/notebook which helps them to write and some activity focuses on writing such as writing in sand or writing in a sensory tray which is nothing but a tray filled with sensorial material such as rice, sand, salt, etc.
To reduce the overwhelm of parents/caregivers, we at The Toddler Prints have launched a new product "The Ultimate Alphabet Bundle" that will provide a one-stop solution for parents/caregivers who try to put together a decent activity-based curriculum for teaching English Alphabets.
The bundle has 8 activities for each English Alphabet that creates a systematic pattern for learning, writing, pronouncing the alphabets in a fun way. Our bundle can be used as you wish, one alphabet at a time in alphabetical order or by order of phonics. The product is designed by a mom of 2 yr old for Toddlers and Pre-schoolers keeping in their specific needs when it comes to introducing them to the world of Alphabets.
Happy Learning!! Don't forget to have Fun!! :)