It's never too early to help your child start to develop literacy skills. Even toddlers can learn the alphabet and prepare to learn how to read. When you incorporate engaging games and activities, your little one will look forward to learning and is more likely to retain the information, as well.
Sing a Song
Catchy tunes and rhyming lyrics are a great way to help kids learn. You can teach your toddler the basic "ABC Song" or make up fun songs of your own to focus on just a few letters at a time using something your toddler loves. For instance, you might make a song about the alphabet train, with lyrics such as, "A for All Aboard and B for Box Cars, C for Caboose riding underneath the stars."
Make It Personal
Toddlers love hearing stories about themselves. Make up a story together about your child using flash cards that have letters and pictures. For instance, your story could be about your little one meeting a friendly alligator. They might play with a ball and then snack on some carrots. Creating a silly story will engage your child and familiarize him with the letters as well as words that start with them.
Hands On Activities
Incorporating several senses can improve your toddler's ability to comprehend and remember the letters of the alphabet. A popular Montessori teaching method utilizes letters made from sandpaper. Your child can trace a letter and say its name or make the sound. Alternatively, fill a small bin with dry rice and one letter of the alphabet in several forms, such as plastic magnets, rubber erasers or cardboard cutouts. Add small items that begin with that letter as well, such as balls and bells with the letter B. Kids can sift through the rice and find the letters and objects.
Arts and Crafts
Another way to incorporate multiple senses is to draw bubble letters and ask your toddler to finger paint on them. Or help her form letters using play dough. Use tracing paper to practice writing each letter repeatedly or print alphabet coloring pages and pull out the crayons. Make it a fun and exciting time together and your child will love learning with you.