4 Easy Ways to Teach the Alphabet to Preschoolers
February 06, 2023
Preschoolers need to learn the basics so that they're ready for kindergarten. When you learn how to teach the alphabet in ways that your child understands, they'll advance to reading and writing while having a blast with their education. You'll feel pride as your child approaches more complex tasks with their growing skill set. Here are a few of Alphapals’ favorite ways to teach the alphabet to preschoolers.
Way 1: Reading Alphabet Books
Reading alphabet books teaches children the fundamentals of language. They learn about each letter's shape and sound before studying the ways that letters become words. Reading aloud also links oral and written language in your child's mind. As they pronounce words on the page, they'll effectively use them in speech.
Classic alphabet books include:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. Lowercase letters climb a coconut tree in alphabetical order while the narrative chants "Chicka chicka boom boom." When the letters fall out of the tree and injure themselves, uppercase letters arrive to help them, also in alphabetical order.
Eric Carle's ABC by Eric Carle. Each page features a letter of the alphabet with an accompanying animal, such as "B" for "bird," with colorful illustrations. The book has accompanying board games.
Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming. A mouse builds each letter of the alphabet with tools, such as thread, glue and caution tape.
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate's ABC by June Sobel. A pirate crew embarks on a mission to capture every letter of the alphabet, running into challenges along the way.
A to Z by Sandra Boynton. This book displays each letter with cheerful drawings of animals doing things, such as "Gophers Grinning" for "G."
You can help your child make their own alphabet book to show what they've learned. Give each page a letter with an associated animal or object. Drawing illustrations turns the book into a fun art project.
Once you've added alphabet books to your library, incorporate them into your storytime periods. Start with a book about letters, then show your child how language works with fiction. They'll improve their letter recognition and gradually progress to pronouncing words.
Bonus: For additional reinforcement of visual repetition, consider using Alphapals T-Shirts as a learning tool! Not only are they easy for parents and educators to wear around the house or while teaching, but they're also an excellent way to teach letters on the go by pointing to the letters on the shirt.
Way 2: Singing Alphabet Songs
Children love creative learning. Memorizing a list of letters is boring, but singing along to a track is fun and exciting and allows them to improvise gestures and dance moves. Singing about letters also leaves strong impressions in their minds that may accelerate their learning.
A few popular YouTube songs for learning letters include:
The classic alphabet song that starts with "A, B, C, D, E, F, G..." This simple tune teaches children to memorize letters in the right order.
"ZYX" by They Might Be Giants. This indie music track repeats letters backward with a space-themed animation.
"Look At All The Letters" by The Laurie Berkner Band. Colorful visuals accompany a catchy folk tune.
"Usher's ABC Song" from Sesame Street. Usher performs his own take on the song with Sesame Street characters.
"The Backwards Alphabet" by Nancy Kopman. Children learn letters backward as they sing along with clear text on the screen.
Encourage children to sing when you teach them about reading so that they can move around, burn off energy and associate learning with fun. If they love music, inspire them to make their own alphabet song based on an existing track from any genre or a tune that they invent.
Way 3: Playing Alphabet Games
When you play educational games, your child has so much fun that they forget that they're learning. Playing with other children encourages teamwork and good sportsmanship. You'll also keep their minds active by teaching them fast responses and critical thinking skills.
Alphabet games can be as simple as mixing up letter flashcards and asking your child to arrange them in the right order. If you have extra time, here's a few more complex games that you could play:
Display pictures of objects, and ask your child to determine the object's first letter. Mix it up with complicated words, such as "xylophone."
Show students an alphabetical order series of letters and have them call out each one. Show the series again but with one letter missing, and ask them to call out the missing letter.
Make "alphabet soup" with toy letters, then have your child scoop out letters and name each one or find letters that you name out loud.
Add spontaneity to learning with Alphapals's Word of the Week. Click the image to see the word and letter of the week with a short description, then focus on this letter for the day. Each letter is available as an Alphapals plush toy.
For more inspiration, check out Alphapals' Fun Learning Activities for Kids with games, videos and introductions to Alphaland. Your child can follow along with their stuffed letters.
Way 4: Using Alphabet Puzzles and Toys
Puzzles challenge your child to think in new ways. They can require more effort, but your child feels pride and satisfaction when they complete the job. Alphapals rainbow alphabet letters make puzzles more exciting with tactile stimulation. You can buy individual letters or whole sets in different colors. With stuffed toys, letters aren't just abstract concepts--they're friends that accompany your child through the day.
One common puzzle is a scavenger hunt. Take your child to a new place, such as a park or mall, then ask them to name objects that start with the chosen letter. Reward them when they find a certain number of items.
Add one puzzle a day into your routine so that children learn without getting discouraged if they make a mistake. If they can't figure it out, you can always try again the next day. Adjust the puzzle's complexity if your child can't figure it out or needs an extra challenge.
Ultimately, children learn best with a combination of methods, including puzzles, games, songs, books and creative play. Give them opportunities to try everything, but tailor their education when you learn what works. In the meantime, browse Alphapals sets to find your child's new favorite learning toys.