Tips to help your child learn the letters of the alphabet

Para leer la versión en español haz click aquí.

Learning the letters of the alphabet and identifying how they sound, are the first steps to start reading.  If you want to help your kids to learn new letters, here are 7 tips so they can learn them.  It is very important to remember that toddlers can’t be still for long and that they need to have genuine interest in the activity.  The idea is that they learn while playing.

  1. The alphabet song.

You can use the usual melody or a new version, sing it together many times.  Repetition will help your child remember the letters.

  1. Spell their name.

Your child will love learning how to spell their own name.  You can start little by little by showing the first letter of their name in different books or sounds.  You can write down their name when you draw together in different colours while repeating the letter aloud.  Very soon, you will hear them say “J for John!”.  You can do the same with other words like “M for mum (mom in American English J), “D for dad”, or any other word that relates to anything that your child finds interesting, like dinosaurs or animals.

  1. Join the dots.

You can form words by drawing dots so your little one can join them.

  1. Colouring in letters and a picture that starts with that letter.

This is a quiet activity that you can do together.  You can start with a few letters at a time, two or four, depending on how long your child can focus her attention.  I made this animal alphabet book colouring pages which you can download here.  Also, you can find many other alphabets to colour in on the web depending on what your kid is interested in.

  1. I spy.

You can play I spy, especially when you have to wait.  This has worked well for us when we are driving.  Here I give you the Spanish versión which is called “Veo, veo”.  You can see how it works with the following YouTube link.

 

Veo, veo, ¿qué ves?

Una cosita

¿Y qué cosita es?

Empieza con la “N”

I spy

With my Little eye

Something that

begins with the letter “N”

 

  1. Find letters in signs.

When you are in the street, you can point to letters in a big sign.  For example, “F for Fatima”.

7. Reading.

Reading will always be one of the best ways to learn the letters of the alphabet and its sounds, especially when  your kids show interest in letters.  There are many styles of alphabet books either in English or Spanish.  Some haver ryhmes, some have textures, some have sofisticated illustrations.  You can pretty much find an alphabeth book for every taste.

If you are looking for alphabet books just in Spanish, this is a great list to start.

If you are after English only alphabet books, you can have a look here.

Of course, these are in addition to my book “Bilingual Zoo”. 🙂

I hope these tips have inspired you to play with letters and help your toddler to learn them in a fun way.  If you want to share a tip that I did not include here, feel free to include them in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

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How to get the most out of your kids alphabet books

Sometimes our kids ask to read the same book again and again, so much so, that we end up learning it by heart.  In the case of alphabet books, you don’t only have to read from A to Z in that order.  Here I share some tips so your trip through the letters of the alphabet is more fun.

  1. Focus on the drawing and the sound of the letter.

Ask your child what the illustration is, what is it for, what colour it is.  When your child says the word emphasize the sound of that word.  If it is an armadillo you can say “AAAAArmadillo”.  If it is a dinosaur you can say “DDDDDinosaur” and so on.  The idea is that your child can relate that sound to the letter he is seeing.

 

  1. Make a mistake.

This works very well with kids older than 3.  You can pretend to say the wrong letter or the wrong word for the illustration.  If your kid already knows that letter, they will be very happy to tell you the right letter.  If they don’t realise you have it wrong, maybe you need to wait a little bit to use this tip.

  1. Describe the illustrations.

You can talk about something special about the illustration, either the colours, the shapes or the characters expressions.  Don’t forget to be expressive with your voice.  For example “Poor Little fishy, the crocodile is going to eat it!”

 

  1. Name different words with the same letter.

Don’t limit yourself only to the word in the picture. Ask your kid what other words start with that letter.

  1. Ask your child to trace the letter with their finger.

You can show them how to do it and they can copy you.  This is great if the letters in the book have textures, are embossed or a are hidden within the picture.

So there you have it, these are my tips to get the most out of your alphabet books.  If you have different tips to the ones I included, feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Reading!

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Millie’s books have a website!

So in an attempt to be a bit more professional, I finally organised a website for the books (yeii).

It is www.milliebooks.com

🙂

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