Teaching Toddlers the Alphabet

I’ve received quite a few questions about how I taught Eva the alphabet or the products they’ve seen me use in some of the pictures or videos I’ve posted so I thought I’d write up a post on it to make it easier. 🙂 Like most kids, I first introduced Eva to the alphabet when she was a baby, just by reading books or singing the song. When she was around 20 months old she started picking up the letters in the song and singing it on her own:

 It was then that I realized I should probably start trying to actively teach her. We would just do little sessions each day. They would rarely last more than five minutes before Eva was over it and ready to do something else. Most of the time we wouldn’t get through the whole alphabet, but I would save her place and continue on from that point during the next session. Our lessons started with me just going through each letter in the alphabet and reading it to her. Eventually I started quizzing her an asking her what letter I was pointing to. Now, we’re working on learning what sounds the letters make and how to write them. Here are the tools I’ve found extremely helpful:

1. A is for Airplane/A es para avion– I think this book is how we first introduced Eva to the alphabet. I’d usually go through it in just English or just Spanish. Eventually, when I wanted to actively teach her the alphabet, I’d go through each page and say, “What letter is this?” and pause before saying the name of the letter. I like this book because it is small and easy to throw into a purse or diaper bag. It has been with me on numerous airplane rides and other outings.

2. Alphabet Chart– I love this chart because it’s always out for her to see. Also, all the letters are on one page, big, and in one place. A game we would play all the time is “Find the Letter.” We also have the matching shapes, colors, and numbers posters.

Eva at 22 Months:

3. Alphabet Flahscards– These are great because you can go through them and set aside the letters that were guessed wrong so that you can go back to them later.

4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom– I would read this book to Eva every night (sometimes more than once if she requested). We would sing the alphabet at the beginning and end of it. I think this is actually how she learned to do it.

5. V-Tech Alphabet Cube– This game reads the letters to the kids and it’s great for independent play. I also used the blocks it came with to quiz Eva.

Eva at 21 Months:

6. Munchkin Bath Letters– These provide another opportunity to play with letters- bath time! Eva loves how they stick to the side of the bath. These can also be used to spell basic words when it’s time to work on reading and spelling.

7. Melissa & Doug See-Inside Alphabet Peg Puzzle– I think this is a really great way to teach kids where in the alphabet the letters go.

8. A Is for Apple (Trace-and-Flip Fun!)– This book prompts kids to trace the letter with their finger. It has a special indentation where the finger goes so that kids can “feel” the letter. I think it’s pretty neat, especially now that we’re working on writing letters.

9. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons– I recently ordered this book so that I can start teaching Eva how to read. It has a new 15-20 minute reading lesson for everyday. We’ve only done the first few lessons so far. They include sounding out a couple of letters, practicing tracing and writing the letters, and saying words with those letters. It might be a bit advanced for Eva (since we just started working on tracing) but she still seems to be learning things from it and I’ll probably do the full 100 days to see what she picks up and then start from the beginning again.

10. Wipe Clean Alphabet Workbook– This is Eva’s absolute favorite thing right now. It has a dry erase page for every letter so that you can easily erase it and use it over and over again. Sometimes I’ll sit down with Eva and do it with her and other times I’ll let her work on her own.

Other than that, we’ve use a lot of crayons, sidewalk chalk, paper, and imagination to find everyday ways to learn the alphabet. What have been your favorite tools and resources to teach your kids the alphabet/to read? Share in the comments!


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