To help young children develop writing and reading skills, it is important that they first learn letter recognition.
Research shows that children who can recognize letters of the alphabet will help them connect the letters and the sounds they stand for. To help improve letter recognition, constant exposure and practice with writing letters are necessary.
I first introduced the alphabet to my son by exposing him to books and flashcards even before he turned a year old. I also religiously read to him everyday and supplemented our reading with educational videos and audio CDs. At a year and a half, he was already reciting the alphabet and their respective sounds. All these helped broaden his vocabulary and assisted him in articulating words clearly.
Now that Caleb just turned three years old, I'm starting to teach him how to read and write. Part of his home school program is letter recognition. Although the program recommends different activities to help him develop this skill, I still think and research other creative ways on how can learn. The internet is also a good resource for a lot of fun activities for young children to learn and enjoy.
Here are some ideas that you can do to help your children develop his letter recognition skills:
1. Provide different materials for your kids to learn about letters. Keep flashcards handy and organized by filing them in single ring binders
2. Download android apps for letter recognition and phonemic awareness. I personally like the alphabet app http://www.starfall.com. Although this one comes for a minimal fee, there are other apps that you can also download for free.
3. Form letters using clay/ Play dough and plastic straws
4. Use available toys and materials at home - blocks, shape sorters, marbles, etc to trace and form letters.
5. Incorporate learning letters and playing with your kid's favorite toys
|"B" is for Bulldozer|
6. Trace letters with cut-out shapes or by finger painting to help develop motor skills, an important skill for writing
7. Use different materials with different textures in forming/ tracing letters to improve sensory skills
8. Practice connecting capital and small letters
9. Play alphabet match
Fill clear plastic jar with rice grains and small magnetic letters. Seal with clear packaging tape to secure contents. Shake the bottle and match letters that appear by placing stones on your alphabet chart
10. Paint letter using Q-tip to strengthen fingers and develop fine motor skills
I hope you found the ideas useful. If you have other ideas/ activities for pre-schoolers, please feel free to share them.