Helping young children learn to identify and write letters should involve enjoyable activities and repetition. By making activities pleasant and doing them often, children will be excited and happy to be learning their letters. Even the youngest children can begin to recognize letters even when they are not specifically being taught letters. Reading to children is another way to help them learn to be aware of letters and begin to identify them.
Teach a child the letters in his or her name. Focus on the capital letters first and write each one out in large block letters on a piece of paper. Identify and name each letter in order across the page. Encourage the child to repeat the letters after you say them.
Sing the alphabet song often. As you sing the letters, enunciate each one carefully so that the sounds of the letters can be clearly heard. Say each letter, then say the sound it makes. Think up words that begin with each letter to connect the letters, their sounds and words.
Hang letter charts on walls where children can easily see them. Teach children how the uppercase letters and lowercase letters are paired together and make the same sounds. Talk about how each letter looks and begin to talk about how each letter is written. Sing the alphabet song while pointing to each letter.
Play games and use activities that involve the alphabet. Provide alphabet puzzles to help children get familiar with the letters. Play an "I Spy" game by pointing out objects and encouraging children to identify the beginning letter. Make flashcards with basic pictures on one side of the cards and the letters on the other side. Have the children say the beginning letters of the objects and flip the cards over to see the letters.
Provide worksheets that show basic letter writing steps. Concentrate on one letter at a time. Teach capital letters first, then add lowercase letters. Encourage practice until the letters are mastered.
Visit starfall.com (see Resources below) for a free teaching guide that presents each uppercase and lowercase letter in an engaging fashion.
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