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Did you know that teaching your child the alphabet is one of the best ways to set them up for reading success? It’s true! A child’s ability to recognize letters at the start of the school year is the best predictor of his end-of-year reading skills.
Because knowing the alphabet is so important, I have shared some practical tips for helping children learn their letters.
But once children know their letters, what comes next? What other skills do they need?
One skill a child still needs is the ability to put letters in alphabetical order.
I find that knowing the alphabet song is a great way to support alphabetizing skills, but it is important that the child can actually distinguish all the letters in the song. (Many kids sing the letters L, M, N, O, and P as just one big word: elemenopee.)
With knowledge of the alphabet song to guide her, I set up an alphabetizing activity for my daughter using letter stamps and kinetic sand.
On a large tray, I placed a smaller tray filled with kinetic sand. I also placed our letter stamps (minus poor letter ‘v,’ which was missing that day) on the tray. The important part is to lay out the letter stamps in random order.
I then asked my daughter to stamp all the letters in the sand.
She dutifully searched through the letters and added them to the sand. As she finished with each stamp, she discarded it at the top of her tray.
As she added each letter, she looked at her work and sang the alphabet song to figure out which letter she needed to stamp next.
I noticed it was great practice for her to point to each letter as she sang its name, especially as she got to the L-M-N-O-P part of the song.
Eventually she managed to stamp the entire alphabet (although we had to manually write in the ‘v’ which was missing from our stamp collection that day).
More ways to teach to the alphabet
More alphabet posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Road Letters
- Erasing letters with a Q-tip
- Making letters with straws and play dough
- I spy letter hunt
- Letter puzzles
- Montessori sandpaper letters
- Making “alphabet soup”
- Smash the puffy letters
- Kinetic sand letters
- Letter hopscotch
- Crystallized letters
- Letter hop
- Rainbow letters
You can find more ways to teach the alphabet on my Literacy Activities for Kids page and my Letter Learning Pinterest board.
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