Teaching little ones letter sounds?
E was not a fan of sitting down to learn his letter names and sounds, and to be honest I can't think of many kids his age who enjoy sitting to learn much of anything. So when it came time to teach letter names and sounds, I had to get a little creative. Below are some ideas that helped us:
- Play a game of I Spy! Go for a walk in your neighborhood or local park and start the game by saying, " I Spy something (an object) that starts with the __ sound." Then allow the child to make guesses, using what they already know. You can change up the game based upon your child's individual needs by "spying" things that start with a letter name or letter blend instead. After your child successfully guesses what you spied, let them have an opportunity to spy something as well.
- Write on the wall!!! Don't worry, after this activity you won't be frantic trying to remove crayon from your walls! Grab a flashlight and each night before bed turn off the lights and enjoy this letter game! Take turns using the flashlight beam to draw letters on the wall! Allow your child to guess what letter you've drawn on the wall and when they need a hint, provide them with the letter sound or a word that begins with that letter. This game will be so much fun they won't even know they're learning before they "hit the hay."
- Trace letters in the sand, salt, or shaving cream! Children benefit from instruction that appeals to the senses, and what child doesn't love playing in the sand! Call out a letter sound and ask your child to trace the letter that makes that sound in the sensory medium of your choice. Reward your child after a few correct letter drawings by allowing them a minute or two of free play in the sand/ medium before getting back to work !
Little ones learn best when appropriate use of language is modeled for them. Remember to take time to read to your little one daily so they acquire print concepts and learn to love text. Also remember that reading, writing, listening, and speaking are all connected processes. Engage in meaningful conversation, let them experiment with writing and different implements, allow them to sit and listen to stories, ask them what they remember from the story, and most importantly, when teaching your little one, remember to have fun! If we instill a love of learning we are setting them up for a lifetime of success!!!
Happy learning friends! Hope your Tuesday was spectacular!