Teaching preschoolers the alphabets can be pretty tasking because we tend to forget that their learning methods are way different from teaching teens or adults. They need more engaging tools, and require creativity from the teacher or parent. Here are five activities that can help a preschooler learn letters.
1. Sticker Match: This is a fun game that teaches children letter recognition. This activity can be done with Alphabet stickers (can be bought at the dollar store or a craft store). They are colorful sticker sheets that contain the alphabets. The letters are detachable from the whole sticker.
Get cardboard, or a large piece of paper. Use a marker to write some letters that are the same size as the detachable letters. Ask the child to match the sticker to the letter and read out what letter that is. Avoid using too many letters, so you won’t overwhelm the child.
2. Letter Trace: Get cardboard or put a film or tape on a large area of the floor. Get flat circular objects like bottle covers. Please ensure that the object you choose will not present a choking hazard to the child. On the cardboard or floor area, draw a large letter and let the child trace this letter with the objects, then talk about the letter. For example, words that start with the letter or how the letter sounds.
You can also use Jenga blocks or Lego pieces. Please, feel free to improvise. Preschoolers are not really learning to write out the letter yet, but to recognize them with ease.
3. Letter Circle: for this activity, you need a small dry erase board, dry erase markers and white board cleaner. Write out letters on the board (remember not to make it too many, so you don’t overwhelm the child). Then ask the child to circle the letter ‘A’ and so on. For more advanced children, you can also say, draw a square around the letter ‘B’, etc.
You can also ask the child to erase a letter, as erasing things from the board would fascinate them. You can also start by writing lots of As and Bs and telling the child to erase all the As.
4. Sticky Note Label: This activity can be done with Post-Its or Sticky Notes. Write letters on sticky notes, one letter per note (preferably with markers), and tell them to label an item with a particular letter while reading the letter out loud to you. This will be fun for them because they are fascinated by sticking objects to other objects and removing them too.
5. Letter Clips: Get a packet of wooden cloth clips, use a sharper to write letters on them. Then print out letters on small cards (preferably capital and small, i.e. Ff). Laminate the cards if you can to avoid them being destroyed by moisture. You can also use Post-Its if you can’t make flash cards.
Make the child attach the clip to the corresponding card, while reading out the letter to you. You can also print whole words and make the child attach the clip to a particular letter in the word.
Teaching children letters can be done in many ways. It just requires creativity in using what’s available. Just make sure to not overwhelm the child and make it as fun as possible and you as the adult would also have fun teaching the child. Check out wundercare for more solutions.