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Now I Know My ABCs!

Now I Know My ABCs!


Build crucial alphabet skills through creative games


By Sara Kendall

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Attentive parents are among the most important teachers a child will have. Arguably, the single most important skill a child learns is how to read, which means caring parents have a great impact when they teach their kids to recognize and read the letters of the alphabet.

Children love to learn through play. Creative hands-on activities engage and stimulate alphabet learning. Check out these five fun-filled activities. Introduce them one at a time to your child and make it fun. This way she will be willing and eager to participate in the next alphabet game you suggest.

Hide and Seek

Take your child on an alphabet scavenger hunt. Hide letters in a given room using alphabet blocks, flash cards or magnetic letters. Tell your child how many you hid and have them read the letter once they discover it. Children love the thrill of the hunt and the discovery of finding a letter. Take the game outdoors or into another room for a new set of hiding places.

Writing in the Sand

You don’t need to be at the beach to draw in the sand -- although you can! Create your own mini beach in a tray. A splash of water to the sand makes it firmer so that the letters will last longer. Trace a letter in the sand with your index finger and have your child copy it. A good first goal for this game is to work up to the point when your child can spell his name.

Create Spaghetti Letters

Children light up when you give them the green light to play with food. Use cooked or uncooked spaghetti to shape letters of the alphabet. Write out a small set of letters on a piece of paper for reference. It’s a great way to build fine motor skills while reinforcing the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Make Play Dough Letters

Children love playing with play dough, whether it’s homemade or store bought, so why not add letter recognition practice to the fun? Use alphabet cookie cutters and let your offspring cut out letters. Ask her what letter she just made. Encourage your child to spell small words in play dough such as cat, dog, sun, and moon.

Build Lego Letters

For this game all you need is a collection of Legos — found in nearly every kids' toy box. Turn an everyday toy into a new medium to create letters. An added challenge would be to encourage your child to build upright letters so they stand up. Put the newly created letters in your child’s bedroom or play area for a lasting sense of accomplishment.

Add a little learning to your playtime with your preschool-aged child. It will pay off tremendously in the long run and give your child a huge boost of confidence in kindergarten.

Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mother of two young daughters.

 



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