It is never too early to start exposing your kids to letters and words. Although letter recognition is not a focus until preschool and kindergarten, it is important to introduce letters to your kids as early as possible. This starts by reading to your kids every night beginning from birth!
Aside from reading each night, there are several fun and interactive ways to increase letter recognition. Even though kids are in school or day care during the day, that does not mean that the learning has to stop when they come home! The winter offers a wide variety of opportunities to teach our children new skills and expose them to new ideas.
10 Fun Ways to Learn the Alphabet:
Letters Made with Pipe Cleaners
We used leftover pipe cleaners from our holiday crafts for this project. Children can easily bend pipe cleaners into the shapes of letters. They are not memorizing letters but developing an understanding of the shape and recreating it. This activity is also a great way to enhance fine motor skills.
Paint Letters in the Snow
If it is snowing and they need some outdoor fun, but you don’t have the right snow for a snowman, then have them make artwork. Kids can spray letters into the snow using water bottles or paint brushes. This activity is great for kinesthetic learners and gets everyone some fresh air.
Mold Letters Out of Play-Doh
Play-Doh is perfect for improving hand strength and fine motor skills, but children can also be encouraged to mold letters out of this material. On Pinterest, there are sheets that you can print where children can even mold the Play-Doh to fit within the shape on the page. Make it a true multi-sensory experience by making your own dough at home! Many recipes can be found on Pinterest.
Color a Page
My daughter prefers to color and to help encourage her to learn her letters we found coloring books with images in the shape of letters. I liked the Squidoodle book since all the images began with the letter she was coloring which helped build her vocabulary. Each week at preschool she would learn a letter and at home she would color in that same letter page.
Build Letters Using Lego Bricks
Equipped with a Lego sheet, they can attach bricks to build the alphabet. Again, this method has children understanding the shapes that comprise the letter. They are also improving fine motor skills and visual spatial awareness.
Make Letters Using Stickers
This activity can be accomplished in two different methods. You can write the letter and have children place stickers on the line. If you have a massive quantity of stickers and are looking to downsize the collection, you can draw out a block letter and have your children fill in the space with lots of stickers.
Fill a container with water and add some letter beads (or another material with letters that can be exposed to water) and freeze overnight. The next day place the icebergs in a tray and have the kids watch them melt. This can be part science experiment. Another option would be to give eyedroppers filled with warm water and let the kids attempt to break the letters free!
Place snow in a tray and let the kids trace out letters inside the warmth of your home. The snow tray won’t last long but this sensory activity will certainly be fun.
Winter Alphabet Book
Cut out pictures of words that begin with different letters of the alphabet that are associated with winter. Take one of the mail catalogs you jut received in the mail selling winter items or an old magazine. Another option is to have your child draw pictures for the different items. (i.e. G= Gloves and S= Snow)