Toy Whisperer: Tools for learning

How Do I Teach Alphabet Letters? Use the Best 7 Types of Resources

There are many different resources to teach the alphabet letters. How do I know which ones are the best for learning the alphabet? How many letters in the alphabet should I teach at one time?

Little girl sorting alphabet letters into a can. She is learning how many letters are in the alphabet.

Take a look at these suggestions for some top rated strategies.

Table of Contents

    1 Try Media for Teaching Alphabet Letters

    What are the great apps and programs for learning the alphabet?  

    Elmo Loves the ABCs: You can expect quality learning opportunities with Sesame Street products. Since many of the younger set are familiar with the shows and characters, they are ready to engage in these entertaining activities: songs, videos and games. Just as you would expect a whole gambit of learning is embedded in the fun. Your young one will learn letter names, letter sounds and how to form the letters. 

    Starfall ABCs: Some sections of Starfall are free and the alphabet area is one of them. In this interactive environment, your LO can explore the letters while also hearing the sound of the letters.  The full program supports many aspects of learning to read.

    Tracing and Phonics ABCS: The app introduces the letters and sounds with colorful images. The tracing option helps kids how to form the letters intuitively. Rewards for right answers keep your LO engaged.

     

    Teach Your Monster to Read: Teach Your Monster to Read is a free program out of Great Britain, funded by the Usborne Foundation, that will tickle your LO’s funny bone while helping them learn how to read. There is an adventure game for exploration and maximum engagement.
    But also there are 3 apps to practice skills more intensively from learning initial songs, to  blending to reading simple books.

    2 Alphabet Games

    Alphabet Slap Jack: You can play the matching pair Slap Jack game or a number of other games such as Fish or Concentration with these cards. If your LO is just starting out learning the names or sounds of the letters, limit the number  of cards you select to play the games and then gradually add in the letters as they get familiar with them.

    Alphabet Bingo: The Bingo cards are on a 4 by 4 grid and include the capital letter, a picture clue and the name of the picture printed with the small letters.  The instructions help you modify the game to increase the difficulty. No boring worksheets needed.

    Magnetic Alphabet Fishing Game: This kinesthetic game with magnets is bound to captivate a young child’s interest. Each fish has a capital and a small letter. Your LO will learn the letters in order to catch the fish. 

    3 Alphabet Puzzles

    The Learning Journey: Jumbo Floor Puzzles – Alphabet: The sturdy puzzle pieces have colourful pictures to aid with the identification of the sounds of the letters. At the bottom of the puzzle is the alphabet so your child can see what letter comes next. The oversized floor puzzle pieces are easy for small hands to handle.

     

    Fun-to-Know® Puzzles: Uppercase & Lowercase Alphabet: These puzzle pieces come in pairs and are really 2 puzzles in one. On one side your kids can match the big letters with the small and on the other side is a corresponding picture and words to match.

    Learn & Write Phonics: The puzzle consists of wooden rectangles with a picture of an object and the letters mapped out for the kids to match. This game can be used in a modified manner to learn the initial letters of words. Then parents can add all of the letters for these short words to the puzzle. When starting out pull out 3 or 4 puzzle pieces with the correct first letters for your toddler to match. Then as they become more proficient, add more to the puzzle.

    Learning Resources Alphabet Soup Sorters: This resource can be classified as a game or puzzle. It consists of 26 soup cans filled with the letters and pictures to represent the sounds. One piece of advice is to start with only a limited number of cans to begin your exploration of letters. You can even group the cans according to the recommended way to teach the sounds. s, a, t, i, p, n  then c, k, e, h, r., then m, d, g, o then l, f, b, q, u then  j, z, w and finally v, y, x.  
    Research shows that your very first letter should be the first letter of your child’s name as they are 7.5 times more likely to recognize this letter above all other letters. Then you can follow the order above.

    4 ABC Songs

    There are many alphabet songs on YouTube. I have included some that appeal to me but you can search for ones you like as well.

    Teach Your Monster to Read Songs: Along with the fabulous games, there are songs for the letters of the alphabet. Impressively the songs are not listed in alphabetical order but in the order that is recognized for easy learning. “S” leads the pack with “Y” at the end. There are only 22 songs instead of 26 because it is not necessary to study all of the letter sounds as the missing letters are not used that often and can be picked up casually.

     

    Phonics Song by the Preschool Prep Company: The letters are presented in order but the song also includes the sounds of the letters. And letters with different sounds such as g for giraffe and g for guitar have the 2 sounds presented as well.

    Jolly Phonics A to Z: In this series of songs, the individual letters are clearly separated so you can work on a letter at a time. Therefore, it is quite easy to start with “s” as your beginning letter study and learn the sound to accompany “s”. The melody of the alphabet letter song is based on some well-known tunes. Here is the order again: s, a, t, i, p, n  then c, k, e, h, r., then m, d, g, o then l, f, b, q, u then  j, z, w and finally v, y, x.

    5 Alphabet Storybooks

    This is the old standby way of teaching the alphabet. There are quality books that cover the entire alphabet and there are books for each letter. If you are having difficulty with specific letters, you might be successful with the individual letter books. You may be surprised by the variations that now exist.

    AlphaTales Box Set: In this set each the 26 letters is highlighted in an easy to read book with delightful pictures. Since the books are individual, you are free to start with any letter. The latest research suggests starting with the first letter of your child’s name. And then follow a specific order that has been shown to be effective: s, a, t, i, p, n  then c, k, e, h, r., then m, d, g, o then l, f, b, q, u then  j, z, w and finally v, y, x. At the end of the book is a rhyme to reinforce the letter sound.

    Non-Fiction Alphabet Readers Parent Pack: Research has shown that boys are often more interested in non-fiction texts over storybooks. You may find that these books will work well for you. Each of the 26 books highlights a letter. There is also a mini activity book to accompany the set.

    6 Alphabet Fun Resources

    Coolplay A-Z 26 Alphabet Water Cards: These are almost a magic alphabet set. With the waterfilled pen, your toddler can scribble the picture into life. And when the card dries it disappears for another time of surprise. All of the cards are linked together so you can easily transport them. Take them with you for exploration while you drive in the car. Again it is advisable to limit the cards when starting out learning the alphabet letters and sounds.

    Magnetic Letters and Numbers + Matching A-Z Objects: This set will be useful for years. You can start with the alphabet and then expand into rhyming words and spelling the words. The foldable board is surrounded by the alphabet for locating the exact letter need

    Interactive Alphabet Wall Chart: This interactive game like wall chart will entertain your child and spur them to spend more time learning the letters of the alphabet. It has several other options including,  piano mode, quiz and spelling to explore as well.

    7 Play

    101 Ways to Teach the Alphabet: A Hands-On Approach to Learning Letters and Sounds Through Play: And if you need an inspiration about how to make learning fun, try this book full of ideas to turn teaching into play.

     

    Workbooks – Not

    Your child will learn more about the letters and sounds by these methods than hours of phonics sheets from workbooks. You can use the sheets on occasion but a toddler responds with more enthusiasm for other methods of learning. Try some of these suggestions for great results!

    Related Reads

    Simple as ABC: Learn the Alphabet – Best Practices: Use these research-based practices to help you LO learn the alphabet. You can make the whole process a lot easier with these guidelines. Where to start and how to proceed.

    How to Select a Phonics Program: 5 Criteria    Start prereading skills early. See which phonics programs have the options you want when your LO is ready to start learning how to read.

    How Do I Teach my Preschooler to Read? Parents get some advice from an expert teacher for helping your young child learn about reading. 

    Testimonial: Hira Adnan – thanku its really considerable.     Andrew Sarah DeVries – a lot of useful information is included in this article… A LOT. 

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