Are you wondering how to teach the alphabet to preschoolers? Or just looking for ideas? You’ll find hundreds of ideas for playful learning at The Measured Mom.
My oldest had a fascination for letters before she could talk. Even though she didn’t even call me Mommy until she was over two, she knew all her letters and added the sounds as soon as she could talk. Her younger brother picked them up just as quickly.
But it doesn’t work that way for everyone — and when my third little one was pushing three and still knew only a handful of letters, I knew I had to try a different tactic.
In fact, my decision to start a letter of the week study at our house and keep myself accountable was the very reason I began this blog. I’d like to share some simple ways to teach the alphabet to preschoolers – and direct you to a giant set of resources that will keep it fun!
How to Teach the Alphabet to Preschoolers:
1. Read, read, and read. Read nursery rhymes, rhyming books, picture books and chapter books. Just READ.
2. Notice print in the world around you. Call attention to exit signs, the toothpaste tube, and the Cheerios box.
3. Explore the alphabet, letter by letter. I didn’t get this far with my first two kiddos. While it would have been a great idea, they picked up their letters without a lot of extra attention from me. And – I’ll be honest – it was pretty tough just making it through the day when I had three kids ages three and under.
But I’m ready now! We don’t do a letter a week — it’s still too busy at our house for that. If you follow my blog, you’ll notice it’s more like a letter a month (*blush*). If you do this at your house, I recommend taking about two weeks for every letter. That will give you lots of time to…
- read books for each letter
- do fine motor activities
- learn simple rhymes and songs
- create some fun crafts and art projects
- make math connections
- have some sensory fun
4. Keep bringing it back to the whole alphabet. Of course we don’t want to keep the letters a secret until it’s time to learn them! If we’re doing a lot of meaningful activities, we will keep coming back to the whole alphabet. If you’re looking for ways to do this, you’ll love my Alphabet for Kids Pinterest board.
5. Be flexible. You may find that after a few months of letter of the week, your child suddenly recognizes every letter. Awesome! Don’t feel tied to this series. Pick and choose what (if any) activities you’d like to continue with. Even if you don’t continue letter of the week, your child will still benefit from listening to the many wonderful books I recommend in my alphabet book lists. You might also enjoy choosing some crafts and process art activities to do each week. And the math activities certainly don’t need to be tied to a particular letter.
4. Keep it fun. Kids this age learn best through play. They don’t need fancy flash cards or loads of worksheets. They need a variety of activities to stimulate their brains and to reach them the way that they learn best. You know your children better than anyone. Choose the activities that your child needs — the ones that your child will love. I’ll provide a big set of ideas for each letter — not so you’ll do every one, but so that you have a lot to choose from when you pick what works best for your kids.
We will be exploring the uppercase letters in this order:
E, F, H, I, L, T, V, W, X, K, M, N, Y, A, Z, C, O, G, Q, B, D, J, P, U, R, S
(This order is recommended by handwriting for kids because it progresses from easy to hard in terms of letter formation.)
As we begin to explore each new letter, I will provide a link below to all the crafts, playful learning, book lists, and sensory fun. Enjoy!
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