Learning the alphabet is one of the basic skills in developing your child's language skills. Children should understand that spoken words are represented by written alphabets. Learning the alphabet involves - recognizing the shape of each alphabet, learning their sounds and being able to "speak" the alphabet. You can start helping the toddler in learning the alphabet after she is 1 years old. Being able to recognize the alphabet makes it easier for your toddler to start reading. Studies have shown that it is important for a young child to:
Identify and name the alphabets.
Differentiate capital and small letters.
Learn the sound that each alphabet makes.
As a parent, you must remember to make the learning the alphabet process a fun and enjoyable experience for your toddler. Do not make it an ordeal for her. Children are by nature very inquisitive and have a great interest in learning new things. Their approach to learning, however, is different from that of adults. So, do not try to "teach" your kid the alphabets. And most certainly, do not get angry with her if she takes a longer time than you expected to learn. Instead, join her in a joint exploration of speech and reading. Her natural tendency is to imitate your actions and wanting to communicate with you. This will make it easy for learning the alphabet in a stimulating environment. It will also be a much more enjoyable and fruitful experience both for you and her.
Video on Teaching Alphabets to Young Children
How can you help your children in learning the alphabet?
The alphabet song is a great way to get your child started on learning the alphabet. However, it does not help her in identifying one alphabet from another.
Teach your child to recognise the letters of the alphabets by identifying their sounds.
Point out letters on common objects found at home. Some example are the letters in the newspaper that you read or the printed letters on the carton of your breakfast cereal.
When you take your child out anywhere, point to a board that you see on the way and ask her to identify a letter that you tell her.
Consider playing the "Matching" game. If her building blocks have both capital and small letters, give her a capital letter and ask her to identify the corresponding small letter. This can also be done vice versa.
Get her building blocks with an alphabet on each block. You can show each alphabet to her and tell her what it is. Ask her to repeat what you say.
Buy some colouring books with alphabets for your child. Encourage her to colour each letter. As she does so, you can tell her how to pronounce the alphabet that she is colouring.
Fill a bag with objects whose names start with different letters. You can then ask her to identify objects that begin with a specific letter.
Play the traditional alphabet game - A for apple, B for ball and so on if your child is very young. If she is slightly older, you can make it a theme game. For example, you can do the animal games with birds or fruits.
Write the letters on a piece of paper and ask her to trace them out like how you have done. You may initially have to hold her hand as she does this to guide her.
Draw letters in the air and spell them out as you do so. Be sure to make them really big and ask your child to follow your actions. Your toddler will most likely enjoy imitating you.
Help her identify the letters by starting with the normal font and then moving on to the cursive style.
Read as much as possible to your child.
Give your child an empty notebook and ask her to draw an object that starts with the letter you tell her. Children usually enjoy drawing and find this interesting.
Teach your child to write her name. Spell out each letter as you do this.
Watch some more interesting videos on helping your child in learning the alphabethere.
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