Helping your toddler to learn the alphabet may not be as hard or as stressful as you may think it will be.
By making things fun and giving them these beginning reading skills at an early age you can help your child to love to grow reading and learning as they grow older.
The thing to keep in mind is that every child is going to learn differently and at their own pace. Don’t make it stressful on your 2 year old if they simply can’t get their ABCs down correctly, but just keep working on it and she may just shock you one day and start saying them all on her own.
When Do Toddlers Learn The Alphabet?
Some parents want to get ahead of the game and teach their child the alphabet early while some other parents may be worried that their child is behind already.
So, when do children actually learn the alphabet?
According to PBS.org, 2 year olds can most likely recite the ABC song but most of them likely won’t be able to actually relate it to the letters for awhile.
At around the age of 3-4 years old, toddlers and preschoolers should be able to not only sing the alphabet song but should be able to identify most of the letters of the alphabet as well. By the time a child starts kindergarten they should be able to identify letters of the alphabet as well as say their ABCs without having to “sing” the song.
Again, keep in mind that some children may know letters early or later then other kids as kids learn at different paces.
5 Tips for Helping Your Toddler Learn Her ABCs
So, since knowing your ABCs is such a vital skill for a toddler and preschooler, how can you help your child learn their alphabet without making a huge fuss or getting all stressed out.
As I mentioned earlier, the key is to making learning fun. Kids learn a lot better from interactions and play rather than sitting them down and simply making them recite their letters.
Here are 5 tips for helping your toddler learn the alphabet.
1. Read To Your Child Everyday
Exposing your child to books that have all kinds of letters in them can be a great way to help them start recognizing letters as well as learning concepts of words and reading.
You should start reading to your child everyday starting when they are a baby. If your child is older and you haven’t started this habit yet, it is definitely not too late and your child will still benefit from 15-20 minutes of reading every day.
To get your toddler interested in reading take them to the library to pick out books or even show them different books online with their favorite characters to see which ones they may be interested in reading.
Make sure to add in some ABC books to really reinforce learning the alphabet as there are tons of these books that have all kinds of different characters and themes from foods and transportation vehicles to animals and nursery rhymes.
2. Use Puzzles to Help Teach ABCs
Fun puzzles can be a great way to start introducing the names of each letter of the alphabet without making your child just sit there and learn them.
There are some great wooden puzzles for toddlers that feature each letter of the alphabet as a seperate piece so you can name each letter as your child places the piece into the correct spot on the puzzle.
This will not only help them start recognizing the letters but you can point to each letter as you sing the ABC song after you complete the puzzle.
3. Sing the ABC Song As Much As Possible
Truthfully, simple singing the ABC song as much as possible around your toddler is one of the best ways to teach them the alphabet.
Sing it while your little one is getting a bath. Sing it while you are taking a walk with your child outdoors. Sing it right before bedtime or any time of the day when you feel the mood strike.
4. Use Educational Toys to Help Teach Your Child the Alphabet
There are a ton of educational toys that are not only a lot of fun for a toddler to play with but they also do a great job of teaching ABCs and letter recognition.
I’ve even put together my recommendations for the best educational toys for 2 years old if you want to check out some of the toys that you can buy that do an awesome job at teaching and are still a lot of fun for toddlers.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these toys, but if you are looking for a birthday or Christmas gift, choose one of these educational toys instead of some other toy that has no educational value.
Some of the toys could be as simple as the magnetic fridge letters or a small toy cell phone that sings the ABC song. Or you could go with something a bit bigger that will get tons of playing time like an activity table for a toddler.
Look for toys that are age appropriate to help your toddler learn so they don’t get frustrated and actually learn things.
To get the most out of these toys don’t simply just give them to your child, but instead play with them and reinforce what the toys are teaching.
5. Use ABC and Letter Recognition Games and Activities To Teach
The last tip I have for parents is to simply play all kinds of fun ABC and letter recognition games with your child.
There are games that you can find online or you can make up your own games with what you have at home. Just some examples of games you could play include:
- Letter Scavenger Hunts – look around your home for different letters or hide a certain letter every day to see how many your child can find
- Alphabet Bingo – you can make your own or print one you find online
- Alphabet Matching – see if your child can match the letters with a traditional matching game
- Letter A Day Coloring – Print out a new letter every day and have your child color that letter
- Block Letters – Use blocks to build different letters to learn letter recognition
Check out 20 more to activities to help your toddler learn their letters at Hands On As We Grow.
You can also use apps and memberships like ABC Mouse to help your child learn their alphabet as well, but I do recommend you work along side your toddler instead of just giving them the app. They will learn much faster and easier if you help them through those activities than if they try it on their own.
Teaching your child the alphabet doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. In fact if you make it stressful on your toddler it may do more damage than good.
Instead follow these 5 tips with your toddler and make it fun for your little one to learn and you may just be able to instill a love of learning in your child that will continue on as they grow older and get into school.