Teaching my daughter the alphabet wasn’t a quick simple process. It took a few years of mixed strategies to get the alphabet to stick inside her brain. I never concentrated on teaching her the ABC song because I didn’t want her to only remember the sequence of letters I wanted to make sure she actually recognized the letters themselves. We did the letter of the week concept several times before it actually sunk in with her.
Now about two years since we began our alphabet journey she knows her letters and their letter sounds. It took practice and constant repetition. After we completed a letter of the week practice a few times through she then began her learning to read journey. In which my husband and I bought a 50 first sight words box set.
In order to motivate her and get her excited about learning the letters of the alphabet and their sounds I made weekly letter of the week goodie bags.
Goodie bag ideas…
-temporary tattoos beginning with the letter of the week
-dot stickers with the corresponding letter written on them
At the time my oldest daughter received her alphabet goodie bags my youngest was less than a year old, although she was real young I wanted to include her in the learning fun therefore my husband and I bought her alphabet cloth tiles to give her a new one each week as her special alphabet surprise.
For a good letter of the week foundation you don’t really need to do anything fancy you don’t even have to be all that creative about it. Each week you can draw a letter on a piece of paper and have them trace it with finger paint, markers, a paint brush, whatever they want to use. Talk to them about the sound of the letter, and mention words that start with that letter. Ask them what words they can think of.
If you want to do something a little more fancy then just tracing basic letters, you can turn letters into simple animals, foods, whatever you and your child can think of. My daughter decided to draw a cat for the letter C. Just have fun and remember it’s not about being perfect it’s just about exposing children to letters and beginning sounds often because the more exposure the better chance they will remember it.
Below are books that my daughter enjoyed reading, in which really helped her to recognize letters.
Below are posters my husband and I recently bought to help promote additional letter recognition practice and to focus in on learning sight words and vowels.
Below are games and tools I used to help keep my daughter’s interest.
My daughter enjoyed the alphabet bean bags, sometimes we would throw them in a laundry basket or a little bucket as she would call out the letter. Other times she would make us an alphabet road we both had to follow and avoid touching the floor.
Another activity that kept her interest involved placing alphabet magnets into a small container and fishing them out using a toy magnetic fishing pole. Sometimes we would use alphabet cards she had to read off and match different pictures and letters to. In the beginning I only placed 4-8 letters in the pretend ocean at a time.
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