Ever get tired of singing the ABC’s over & over again? Do you feel like your kiddo is just singing along with the “words” or do they actually know what each letter is and looks like? I started thinking about this last week. Our daughter has really gotten into nursery rhymes & we love to listen to her sing her ABC’s. She is to the point now where she says every letter! But if I were to ask her, “Where is the letter A?” She would most likely hand me a different letter. She can sing it perfectly, but identifying letters is still a learning process for her.
This lead me to think of some fun ways I could incorporate learning letters into our everyday life with items or toys we may already have in our home. In honor of teacher appreciation week, I am here to tell y’all that learning letters can be so much fun! Learning is not always associated with worksheets! Back when I was a preschool teacher, I remember having to come up with so many different ways to teach the alphabet [and really anything in general]. You have to be creative! You can incorporate modern day ideas & learning techniques to teach your kiddos just about anything. And your kiddo will feel so rewarded after completing each of these fun activities. Which is the whole purpose right?! Enabling that independence that I touched on last week is key!
Learn more aboutHow to Encourage & Promote Independence in Your Child
No. 1 : Letterboard
I see these things all over the place! Like my kitchen for instance ;). But they aren’t just for cute & witty quotes or sweet bible verses you want to read every day. They can also be a wonderful way to teach you child the alphabet! It’s a great visual tool. Your child can be hands on with it, but the letters can be pretty small, so make sure you monitor them during this activity.
If your child[ren] are starting to learn the letters, up the challenge level a bit! Put the entire alphabet on the board, but leave out 3-5 letters. Have them put in the missing letters in the correct places. This can also be a great way for them to learn how to spell their names, & [you all know how much I advocate for this] helps them to work on those fine motor skills. I guess it’s the child development student in me, but that’s always an added bonus that makes me happy 🙂
I got mine on Amazon. You can get it at the link here!
No. 2: Chalk
So simple right!? I did this SO much with my littler clients doing ABA therapy. Mixing the fresh air and kids’ love of the outdoors with learning. My kids love to play with chalk & they can start practicing writing out their letters in a fun way! No boring pencil & paper!
This is the chalk we use & it lasts us forever!
No. 3: Bath Crayons
Bath time is everyone’s favorite time of the day in this house. Our daughter is always singing her nursery rhymes in the tub. When she starts singing her ABC’s, I like to get out the bath crayons or markers & write out some letters on the side of the bathtub. She loves to guess the letters I’m writing. We are starting to introduce the letters to our son too. He’s still pretty little, though. The night I took these pics, I was having her trace the letters I had drawn. She did pretty good! I love watching her try new things & absorb every ounce of knowledge I try to pass onto her! They really are little sponges.
We have always used the Crayola bath markers & crayons. They comes off easy, are non-toxic & are the perfect size for their little hands!
No. 4: Apps
My children are allowed 30 minutes a day on the iPad. I feel strongly about limiting their screen time, but I am totally not opposed to it. I do believe there are some educational apps out there that can help our children learn. This is one of them!
ABC Genius is an awesome app to help children learn the alphabet. They have different kinds of activities you can do as well. They have a simple game that tells you to, “Touch the A”, and gives you a little check mark and tells you, “Great job!” when you get it right. They can practice tracing, matching, differentiating between uppercase and lowercase, and tons of other stuff. The game is free, but you can pay a little to unlock a lot more games for your kiddos. Its very engaging and interactive!
No. 5: Letter scavenger hunt
You can turn a lesson for letter recognition into something super fun for your kiddos with this interactive game! You’ll need a sheet of paper, or whatever you have around the house to write on, for every letter. Then you post the letters in random spots around your house. Or you can make it a fun water play game as well. Get some water guns & whoever finds the letter first gets to shoot it!
This would be a really fun game for those older kids. You can make the hiding spots a little more tricky for them too!
Here are some other fun activities & props you can use!
No. 6: Matching & board games
There are so many types of educational games out there to help your child practice recognizing letters & eventually learning to spell words. There’s matching games, card games, board games, you name it. These can also help with differentiating between upper and lower case letters. They also have games that help you identify letters & match them up with the picture that starts with that letter. All so wonderful in teaching your kiddos the alphabet!
Here are my top choices for y’all!
No. 7: Food
Food is a fun & very reinforcing tool to use when teaching children any type of skill. I recently found some fun foods that come in ABC shapes! My daughter LOVES them. Sometimes I even make a mixture of regular macaroni and cheese and ABC mac n cheese, mix the noodles, & have her find the letters. When she finds them, she gets to eat them! Perfect reinforcement & it won’t feel like the kiddos are doing work, because it’s fun! I’ve also just gotten into this thing where I like to find fun cookie cutter shapes & cut their sandwiches into that shape! You can buy ABC cookie cutters & do the same! Or you can actually make ABC cookies! How fun!
No. 8: Foam letters & magnets
My last little items on the list here are so popular! I’m pretty sure if you have a friend with kids they have a fridge covered in those plastic or wooden alphabet letters. I sure do. You might also walk into their bathroom & see the foam bath letter scattered all over the tub! Again…guilty. These two items are perfect for little guys. Especially the foam letters. I really like these when first introducing letters. They can put them in their mouth & can be perfect little teethers. I like to try and spell things out for Paislee & then have her tell me what the letters are. Same with the fridge magnets. I’m in the kitchen for probably a quarter of the day [at least] and the kids are always following me in there. While I’m doing the dishes or cooking dinner I can ask Paislee, “Hey, can you find the P?” You keep them busy [which is always a plus] & they are practicing that recognition!
Here’s what we use!
Honestly, I think I’m going to start setting aside time every day to work on these skills with my kiddos! Working things like this into your daily routines is so important & can really set your child up for success when they enter preschool. When I taught preschool we would spend a week, sometimes two, on each letter. This will really help your child to learn and absorb all the info you teach them. Repetition is key!
Like I always say, I’m no expert, but I pray y’all have so much fun teaching and guiding your kiddos! That’s one of the many blessings of being a stay at home momma. You get to be apart of all the learning that takes place! It’s such a rewarding and warm feeling when you see them “get it” for the first time. Enjoy, & happy learning! 🙂
As always, God bless †
Dogtags, Dolls & Dinosaurs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com