Teaching the alphabet to your child will be difficult but rewarding. The alphabet is the foundation of the English language. If you want your children to read well they need to learn their ABCs well at an early age. Reading is the beginning of a lifelong love affair with knowledge and education. Although this might be a bit of an exaggeration, think about how important reading has been for you in your life. It is difficult to think of a more important skill for starting an education and professional life. As you probably know, teaching young children is an extremely difficult business; most kids would rather play outside or watch a favorite movie than sit inside and learn. Who can blame them? Most of us would rather be socializing with our friends or relaxing rather than focusing on something difficult. The problem becomes more severe with little kids who have short attention spans. If you are having a difficult time teaching your children the alphabet consider some fun picture games.
1. Have your child or children find objects or animals to draw. Tell them to find something that begins with a particular letter. When they are finished drawing the object have them draw the letter next to it. If you have the time, participate in the activity with your child. It has been shown that kids are far more likely to participate in an activity when their parents are involved.
2. Another game basically involves the reverse of the one just described. Show the child objects or pictures of animals and have them write the letter. This game is especially fun if you can get the children to write extremely fast. Show the pictures at a rapid rate so that the kids have to write quickly.
3. Although not a game, I recommend that you make some sort of ABC picture book with images and letters. I have found that images of animals with a single letter pasted to them can really help them to learn quickly. Experiment with different images; include fun things like superheros or dinosaurs in your book. Similarly, you could design an ABC coloring book with drawings of animals for the kids to color. When they color an image they also have to color a letter associated with it.
4. “Last one is it” ABC game. This game works on a principle similar to the one guiding a cake walk. You play a short bit of music (preferable something upbeat) and then stop the music abruptly. While the music is playing you and your child or children take turns saying a letter of the alphabet in alphabetical order. The race is thus not to be the one whose turn it is when the music stops. Your child will need to be quick with the alphabet and will need to know alphabetical order if they are going to win. These sorts of little competitions, especially with parents, are extremely helpful in getting a small child to learn their ABCs well.
In all of these activities it is a great idea to reward your child well while they are working hard to learn something as difficult as the alphabet. Try to keep things in perspective; if you tried to learn a new alphabet with twenty six letters you would probably have a hard time. Be patient and allow your child some time to make mistakes. Don’t get too upset with them or they will resent the learning process. With some time and fun activities you will find that your child enjoys learning.