LETTERS LETTERS LETTERS...A few fun ways to learn your ABC's

The other night my husband and I were out to dinner, while we were waiting for our food to come we entertaining our hungry little one by writing Uppercase Letters on his coloring sheet. My husband wrote an A and my son said A! He wrote a K and my son say K! and so on...A women sitting at the table next to us had 3 kids and she turned to us and said..."How old is he?" I replied he will be 2 in a month! She looked at her husband and at her daughter and turned back to me and said, "My daughter is almost 4 and she couldn't name half of the letters your son just knew!" She said "How did you do it?"

Well this is how!

(I want to just say...I know that there is no need for my almost 2year old to know his letters and I have NEVER pushed him to learn them but I have been a pre-school teacher for 5 years and I see the developmental differences in the children that are at least aware of the letters in the alphabet and the children who have never seen an A. I also understand that learning your letters, numbers, colors and shapes is exactly what pre-school is for. So please don't panic if your 2 year old doesn't know his or her Letters...they will not be behind just know that if you introduce the alphabet in a fun way they will begin to pick up on it and they will enjoy it and will have a few more tools when entering preschool or kindergarten!)

The first thing I recommend to all my pre-school parents and friends is Leap Frog Letter Factory! I LOVE this DVD and here's why! First of all it's an animated video and all of the letters that they show are uppercase! This is important because when teaching young children about letters educators almost always prefer for them to learn to write uppercase first. Secondly each letter makes a sound...our children will eventually learn to sound out letters to form words and this video does a great job of putting an action with the sound. For example...the M says the video the M is eating yummy muffins and cakes and says mmmmmm. It's a great visual for kids to remember what letter sound each letter makes. It also has a cute song for each letter which we I have used in all my years of teaching...The M says mmmmm, the M says mmmmm, every letter makes a sound the M says mmmmmm.

Another great 'Leap Frog' toy is the magnetic letters...when you put each letter into the base it sings the same song as above! It's also great for color recognition because the letters are different colors and for hand-eye coordination, to be able to get the letter into the base. This toy also sings the ABC's

Learning your letters is all about repetition, the more your child see's the letters the more they will start to identify them. I used sticky letters and stuck them on a paper in order and had it out for my son to explore.

The foam letters gave it a 3D feel and added texture.

I also found window cling-on's at our local dollar tree. I stuck them onto the whiteboard side of our easel so that at any given time in our day we can look at them and talk about our letters. The great thing about cling-ons is that they never lose their stickyness so they can go on and off over and over and still will attach! You can also use these on slider doors, mirrors, and windows.

I also found colors, shapes and number cling-ons and bought them for later on.

A friend of mine gave me this great idea...Thanks Lisa! She had flash cards in her diaper bag so whenever they were out somewhere like waiting for dinner or at the doctors office she could pull them out and they could play. You could do object flash cards, letter, or animal flash cards, regardless of the subject matter it's a great way to make learning fun!

I hope you enjoy these ideas!

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