Know the Alphabet before starting school – Part 1
Alphabet,early learning,educational play,flash cards
Part 1: Recognising the letters
Children’s minds are like little sponges; soaking up anything and everything they are exposed to in the early years. There are so many ways to introduce them to the letters of the alphabet in their lead up to formal schooling. They will, of course, do a lot of this in their first term of school, but being familiar with the alphabet will give them that little head start. You’ll be surprised at how much of it can happen incidentally.
Letters occur everywhere in our environment – how many children do you think recognise the golden arches of the McDonalds “M” before they recognise their name? Use this to your advantage and these incidental opportunities can help teach young children the alphabet without even realising it!
Of course, there are many ways to enhance their play spaces with letters, such as these Alphabet Wall Stickers or Alphabet Posters. The wall stickers are individual, so you can arrange them any way you like (capitals only, lower case only, both, or simply create your child’s name). The Alphabet poster comes personalised so this gives your child yet another opportunity to become familiar with the letters in their name (a great starting point!). Place it in a prominent position where they’ll look at it regularly.
Alphabet flash cards (https://www.brightstarkids.com.au/alphabet-flash-cards.html) are a great way to help children recognise the 26 letters of the alphabet and there are some really fun ways to use them! Pair them with alphabet pebbles, blocks or magnets to encourage learning through play. Another fun idea is to hide them around the house and challenge your child “Go and find me the Bb”.
Puzzles are a must have for every child. Once again these Alphabet puzzles are personalised with your child’s name. These puzzles are a great stepping stone between the simpler toddler puzzles with only a few pieces – to your traditional kind. It only has 12 interlocking pieces and would be suitable for 2-6 year-olds. One of our favourite ways to play with puzzles is to wrap each piece in tin foil, and the kids eagerly unwrap them to discovery which letter it is.
These tips and products are really just the tip of the iceberg in your child’s early literacy development. Be sure to stay tuned to part 2 and 3 in this series where we discuss hearing the sounds the letters make and beginning writing!
Written by: Lauren Hunt.
Lauren is a teacher, mother and blogger from Adelaide, South Australia. She has taught in the Early Years of school for many years and is passionate about learning through play. Lauren is kept busy with her five year old daughter and two year old son. In her spare time, she blogs at www.teachertypes.com sharing a multitude of early learning play ideas for teachers and parents alike. Lauren is now pleased to also be writing for the Bright Star Kids Blog!
Connect with Lauren on Instagram or Facebook.