Learning The Alphabet August 25 2014

Most children begin recognizing letters between the ages of 2 and 3 and can identify most letters between the ages 4 and 5. This means that you can start teaching your child the alphabet when they are around 2 but don't expect full mastery for some time.

It really helps kids to learn the alphabet if you get them interested in listening to stories so read to them as often as possible, pointing out letters, numbers, colours and shapes. Children who are frequently read to start to understand that books contain words that are made up of letters and therefore become more inquiring into how to read them.

The best way to help introducing the alphabet is to rely on visual aids around you and nice colourful alphabet picture books. Sign your child's name at the bottom of any drawings they do and point to the letters in their name. Start pointing out letters you see around you or in books. Say the letter, make the sound the letter makes and apply it to an object your child knows. For example: “Look at the letter B, it makes a ‘Bah’ sound like in bear and ball and bath.” Then you can begin to ask what other words start with the ‘Bah’ sound?

Tip: Try to expose your child to both lower case and uppercase letters. Also try not to teach letters that look similar straight after each other (For example: b, d, p, q)  

Once your child starts being able to identify letters then you can start to play letter games and let them play with alphabet word matching puzzles. Even give them a special letter of the day and see how many words they can come up with through-out the day that begin with the special letter. For older children aged 4-5 you can even start recording down words they come up with for each letter to help create a mini word bank for them to start learning on a whiteboard, blackboard or blank wall.