Everyone knows that it is important to teach children the letters of the alphabet. After all, it is clearly an important building block for learning to read and other early education milestones. Even children who know their alphabet need to be regularly reminded and challenged with the letters in various order.
The challenge is finding a way to teach preschoolers that is both effective and fun. Most early childhood educators do not recommend buying flashcards or expensive educational tools. Effective preschool education makes learning fun and friendly.
There are three simple methods you need to employ for effective preschool learning and these can be done with things you already have in your own home. Young children learn best if you use these three simple methods: see it, say it, experience it.
This means that in order to teach your preschooler the alphabet you need to let them see the letters — both in order and out of order. Then you must say the letter and the child must also say it. Finally, in order for the child to really understand the letters of the alphabet he must also experience it. This means employing the senses.
You can use food and crafts to help your child experience the letters of the alphabet by seeing the shape and creating the shape in three-dimensions as well as eating food that either starts with the chosen “letter” or is in the shape of the letter.
For example, why not have your child munch on carrots and candy corn while gluing cotton balls into the shape of the letter “C”? Or perhaps blow bubbles, glue beans in the shape of a “B”, and then eat banana splits?
Some other ideas include:
W snacks like waffles, whipped cream, and watermelon; Y snacks like yogurt, yellow cake, and yeast rolls; and Z snacks like zucchini bread, Zesta crackers, and zwieback toast.
Making three dimensional art projects using kite strings and kidney beans for “K”; leaves, lace, lima beans, lids, letter stamps, and shoe laces for “L”; and play money, material, macaroni, and moon shapes for “M”.
Be creative and let your child’s imagination roam free in your kitchen and with your craft supplies. Once you start looking around your home (and grocery store) for alphabet teaching “tools” you might be surprised at how many ways you can teach your child the alphabet.
While teaching your child the alphabet is an important part of teaching your child to read and preparing for their education, it does not need to be difficult, boring, or expensive for you or your child. It can be fun and easy if you use the world around you and foods and crafts you have in your home.