After they are past the terrible-two stage, boys seem to have a sudden shift in attitude from defiance to inquisitiveness. Because of his newfound curiosity, this is the perfect time for parents to begin teaching their little guy the alphabet, with engaging and interactive activities on letters for their 3-year-old boy.
Learning to associate a letter with its sound is crucial in initial-stage literacy development for your 3-year-old boy. Begin teaching your son the sound of the first letter of his first name by making the sound yourself and then asking him to repeat the sound. Ask him if he knows any other words that start with the same sound as his name, such as “John” or “Jeff” and “jump,” or “Bob” or “Bill” and “ball.”
Singing songs, like the traditional alphabet song, will help your 3-year-old boy become familiar with making all the sounds of all the letters of the alphabet. Other simple, but tried and true, songs, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" will begin helping your 3-year-old boy establish phonetic awareness.
By 3 years of age, your preschooler will be able to trace lines, albeit not very straight, on paper. A better way to engage your 3-year-old boy in letter drawing is to have him trace letter shapes in finger paint. Smear paint on paper and write a letter with your finger, while your little guy watches, and say, “Can you draw the same shape Mommy did?” Another way to make learning to trace letters entertaining is by filling a small plastic dish tub with sand or unused cat litter and write letters in the dirt for your son to copy.
Letter blocks will engage your 3-year-old boy in playing games that will help him acquire letter sounds. Point to and say the sound of a letter, such as “T,” and ask him if he can name an object that starts with the same sound, such “table.” Other letter block activities include having your 3 year old find the letter block that makes the sound of the first letter of his name and singing the alphabet song while pointing to each letter. Remember to make the exercises fun for your son and help him whenever he struggles.
Draw and cut out large letters from pieces of poster board. Place the letters on the floor and ask your 3 year old to hop to the letters you call out as you sing the alphabet song or have him jump to the corresponding letter as you name familiar objects. For safety, so the poster board doesn’t slide out from under him as he is hopping around, tape the poster board to the floor with duct tape.
Boring and old school as it may seem, letter books are one of the tried and true letter learning activities for 3 year olds. Read the name of the pictured object in the book and make the sound of the beginning letter of the word for your preschooler. Ask him to repeat both the name of the object and the letter sound back to you, which will help the association between the word and the letter sound form faster in his brain.