How to teach the alphabet to preschoolers

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 letter of the week resource the measured mom 590x590 How to teach the alphabet to preschoolers

 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…

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.

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!

© 2013 – 2014, The Measured Mom. All rights reserved.

pf button How to teach the alphabet to preschoolers

Comments

  1. Hi Anna!

    I love the A-Z Letter Recognition ideas on your site. I have a question for you. How much time do you spend on each letter? I will be babysitting a preschool aged boy this fall, but only two days per week. Thanks for your help and advice!

    • Anna Geiger says:

      Hello, Erika!
      Actually I spend several weeks on a letter, but it’s on and off – and it’s only because I’m creating a big resource for my blog. If I were not blogging, I would say 4-5 days per letter. So I think that doing one letter for two weeks might be a great plan for you!

  2. Hi, I just came across this website and love all your ideas!!

    Just wondering whether you finished the rest of the alphabet as I was hoping to start A with my little one but can’t seem to find any letters after A.

    Thanks again!

    • Anna Geiger says:

      Hello, Daksina! I’m sorry to say that no, we have not gotten past the letter Y, according to the order you see up above. We’ll start to introduce A later this month (I think), but we have not gone in the conventional order for the sake of forming the letters.

      I wish very much I could have this all done for you, but right now the expected completion is late summer/early fall of this year. This is because I share many other things on my blog as well – it also takes quite a bit of time to put the resources together. Apologies, and hope the fall is not too late for you to use some of the things I share!

  3. Love these ideas and love how you have it all organized, makes it so easy for me to implement! I have a daughter who will be 5 in 2 months and a boy who will be 2 in 1 month so I appreciate seeing how both your little ones projects turn out. That is what makes me want to use your ideas instead of some of the other LOTW plans. Although I plan to use it alongside the original LOTW curriculum at Brightly Beaming (http://letteroftheweek.com/index.html).

    • Anna Geiger says:

      Hi Amanda! I’m so glad this is useful for you. I can’t wait until the entire alphabet is done… slowly but surely! Thanks for sharing Brightly Beaming with me. I often refer to her book and song lists, but I see there is more there that can inspire me. I’ll be looking at her site often!

  4. I’m new to all of this teaching in a curriculum way. I will be trying to follow your letter sequence as we learn to write each letter. I just noticed that the sequence is for upper case letters. When do you introduce lower case letters? I don’t want to confuse my 3 year old just yet. I want to try teaching to see if I can do ok with homeschool in the future. I am hoping this will start with good things.

    • Anna Geiger says:

      Hi Heather,
      I have not had to introduce lower case letters in an organized way because after my kids start learning capital letters, they naturally start to recognize lower case letters when we see them in books, on signs, on toys, etc. I have not done structured writing practice with my 5 year old, but by the summer before kindergarten I’ll pull out some handwriting pages to help him practice writing them. A great way to teach upper and lower case matching (if a child is not picking them up naturally) is with games. You can find lots of ideas on my Pinterest board. http://www.pinterest.com/themeasuredmom/alphabet-for-kids/ Start simple with just a few letters to match and gradually add more. Let me know if you have more questions!

  5. Megan Diller says:

    I’m a preschool teacher (mixed ages 3-5). I am going to TRY to start doing letter of the week activities with my students. So what I gather from reading this post and the comments, you teach letter recognition/sounds in the same order you teach writing the letter (noted above, not in alphabetical order)? So if I would start these activities I should start with the letter E?

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing these awesome, hands on, and developmentally appropriate activities for FREE! You choose to help teachers by providing FREE resources, thank you!!

    • Anna Geiger says:

      Hello, Megan! I actually think it’s okay to teach the alphabet in whatever order you want, but when I started my preschool aged boys were not writing letters yet, so I wanted to keep it doable for them, and this order worked for us. If you do this order you can follow along with me since it will be a while until we get through the entire alphabet. :) But yes, we followed this order for all our alphabet activities. We also talk about the entire alphabet quite often, so this was not confusing for them. I’m so glad you are finding resources here to use! I was a teacher before blogs became big — that would have been helpful!

  6. Robin turner says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for taking the time to do this! You just made my life easier! :) My daughter just turned 4 and at the beginning of this school year I tried teaching her letters and she wasn’t getting it..now she is really picking it up so this is a great way for me to teach her! Thanks again!

    Robin

  7. Thank you so much for this! I am just starting to work with my three year old and your posts and info are definitely my “go to” resource.

  8. hey there just found this post to day! cant believe i ever missed it somehow? anyway, i am starting today on F since we’ve done up until then already in order; then we will continue with the letters of the (2) week(s) in order you recommend! i was just wondering under the Art Journal photo up on the right side bar saying “teach your preschooler to write” within yellow, it doesnt actually click to a post of sorts. Is there a Category covering that? a Tag? Somewhere I could search or should be directed to when clicking that photo?
    THANK YOU AGAIN SO VERY MUCH for everything you share here, your time, energy, and kind expertise!!!!
    jeanine recently posted…Made By JoelMy Profile

    • Anna Geiger says:

      Hi, Jeanine! I’m so glad you found me. :) Thanks for reminding me about the journaling picture in my sidebar. I had forgotten to link the post to it, but I’ve done that now. Stay tuned – next week I’m beginning a 10 part series with This Reading Mama on teaching preschoolers and kindergartners to write.

  9. Teaching alphabets to kids is indeed a very difficult task. Thanks for sharing the lovely but very useful points through your blog. I feel reading out, singing or any other form of communication with the toddlers works best in the learning process for your kid.

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge