One of the most important pieces of information that you can teach a small child is the alphabet. Naturally children need to learn how to eat, go to the bathroom, socialize, and speak. In a world that requires high levels of education, however, reading and the alphabet are crucial. A solid knowledge of the alphabet leads to good reading abilities. From reading comes much of the rest of education and knowledge. You can start teaching your child the alphabet at an early age. If you have already tried you have probably encountered some resistance. Most kids at any age have a fairly short attention span. They would rather be playing a video game, eating a treat, or hanging out with a friend. Kids only want to learn if learning is presented to them as something else–as a game. It is crucial that you find fun ABC learning games to teach your young child the alphabet. Because kids love animals you should use their interest to help teach them the ABCs. Described below are some fun ABC animal games that will help you to teach the alphabet quickly and effectively.
1. Animal flashcard game. Unlike typical flashcards, which simply present a boring, plain letter, your flash cards will be double sided, with a picture of an animal on one side and a letter on the opposite side. The letter on the card will be the letter that begins the name of the animal on the reverse side. Show children the animal side first and have them shout the name of the animal. Then show them the reverse side with the letter and have them pronounce the sound of the letter or its name. Eventually you can get to the point where all you need to do is show the children the card and they will recognize the letter. This technique is very useful because it relates the animal (something the children already know) to the letter. In the future the child will be able to remember the letter simply by thinking about the animal.
2. Animal sounds and the alphabet. Pronounce the alphabet in a funny voice derived from an animal’s voice. This presents the alphabet in a funny way that will capture the attention of all children. Have the child choose the next animal voice to pronounce the alphabet with. After doing this a couple of times ask the child to do the same.
3. Animal and ABC drawing. Give the child or children several sheets of paper, a pencil, and markers. The challenge in this game is to draw a picture of an animal and then to draw the letter that begins its name. Have the children color their drawings and the letters they draw. Eventually a positive link will be made between the letter and the animal.
4. Animal impersonation. This game should really get a child and especially a group of children laughing hysterically. Begin by asking the child to impersonate an animal, either in terms of sound or actions. Then tell the child that you are not going to tell them the name of the animals anymore, but that you will simply say a letter that begins the animal’s name. In just a few minutes you can have children laughing hysterically just by shouting a letter.
As you can see, there are a number of great games involving animals that you can use to teach a young child the alphabet. Be creative and try some of your own game ideas. The child might even have some great ideas of their own.