Children must learn the names of the letters of the alphabet and the sounds of the letters. When they understand the connection between letters and their sounds then they will begin to understand that letters put together form words. This is the very foundation of reading!
For example, if we can say the sound of each of these letters – t + a + p, then we can blend them together to say “tap”.
Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet and know the sounds of each letter.
For example, the letter M says the sound “mmmmmm”
Names are the most meaningful words for children, so start with having your child learn the letters and sounds of their name. Talk about the child’s letter, for example, “Look Mia! I see your letter M, mmmmmmm, on that sign that says “Motorcycles”. Then have learn names of their siblings and favorite friend.
Find a word with the letter “a” in it while driving in the car or shopping at the grocery store. Try to find all 26 letters!
Cut out letters that you see in magazines or from junk mail. “Can you cut out 3 letter M’s?”
Talk about the sounds that letters make. It can be a quick conversation, “Hey, what letter does the word “food” start with? F! What sound does “f” make? FFFffffff. What are other words that start with the “f” sound? Frog, forget, and four.
Using sidewalk chalk, write an uppercase letter and have your child write the lowercase matching letter. Have them tell you the sound it makes. Then switch for the next letter. If they struggle to write the right letter, just show them how you write it and tell them it’s ok! Keep these games light and fun for your child; don’t show frustration or worry if they’re struggling. They’ll catch on as long as you keep practicing!
by finding a letter somewhere in your home. “I spy the letter ‘d’. Look! You found it on the TV remote!”
Use a plate and pour some rice or cornmeal for kids to trace a letter with their finger, then say its name and sound. Gently shake the rice on the plate to “erase”. Make sure to show them the letter first, so they can copy the shape.
Have your child trace their first and last name in shaving cream. Spray shaving cream in the bathtub and have them spell names in the foam with their finger. Have them write their name and then your name. Show them how their name is written on a piece of paper so they can copy the letter shapes.