Lately my 21-month old has been singing his alphabet(his abbreviated version). It’s adorable considering I’ve been singing it to him since he was born, but yesterday he demonstrated a level of comprehension which blew me away! Needless to say, the teacher in me has been working on letter recognition with the tot and I’m beyond thrilled that some results have shown.
He walked into his room and looked up at this wall and let out a loud gasp. After which he said with a big smile “A-B-C-D!” Boy have I been marveling at that moment ever since! I am so proud that he recognizes letters in general and understands the concept of them being part of a particular category of symbols. Below are some simple tools I’ve been using to help him learn the alphabet.
I found these foam letters at Dollar Tree (loving it more than Dollarama) for only $1.25. They’re a decent small size, perfect for little fingers to point to and manipulate. I’ve only been going over letters A-G with him so far. I have overheard him “studying” but since I have also caught him chewing on them, I have them tucked away out of reach!
Next, I noticed that he’d stop playing to tune in to this PBS Kids program called ‘Super Why’. In a nutshell, it is about a crew of super heroes, “super readers” who solve problems through the power of reading. It is an interactive program. Although Zaky does not realize that, he has been engaged lately because he sees alphabet letters all over the tv screen! He loves repeating the letter names when he hears the characters saying them. If you don’t have PBS, you can definitely find episodes on YouTube.
I went to Chapters and had a specific type of ABC book in mind. I really wanted the letters to be large, colourful and easy to recognize. Often times alphabet books are stuffed with images and art, and I feel that it could be too much stimuli for a little person trying to learn one concept at a time. With the help of a salesperson, I found this book that was better than what I was looking for. It allows readers to trace the letters, giving them a “multisensory experience that builds muscular memory and the dexterity needed to control a crayon or pencil”.
Finally, I found these flashcards at Dollar Tree for $1.25 as well. Truthfully I haven’t used them yet, but I have them in my bag of tricks as yet another method of exposing Zaky to the alphabet. As you may have noticed, once Zaky got to them I learned very quickly to keep them out of reach as well. The kid’s a monster, remember?
Now I’m not setting out to create a little genius (although I know my husband would love that). I also do not believe that a toddler needs to recite and recognize the entire alphabet before the age of 2. What I’ve been doing here is banking on my son’s current interests. It’s the best time for exposure because he is intrinsically fascinated and as we know, at that age the mind is a sponge. With that said, don’t hesitate to jump on teachable moments that come your way too!