One of the first things a child learns in preschool is the alphabet. We have all sang the ABC’s with a young preschooler, and most of us have practiced letter sounds. Teaching the alphabet to our children can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t require a curriculum!
I have found children learn best when they are active, and many children are hands-on learners. Teaching the alphabet with worksheets may work for some, but it won’t work with everyone! And, it isn’t exactly the most fun way to learn, now is it?
Here are a few hands-on activities I have found that tend to make learning the alphabet easy without a curriculum!
- Make a Rice Sensory Bin: Rice is a great sensory tool and other than needing to be swept up is not really messy. Find a plastic bin and fill it with rice. Get plastic spoons, funnels, and cups and put them in the bin. Then get alphabet tiles or another form letters and bury them. See how many letters the child can find and identify. If they don’t identify it correctly, tell them the right answer and bury it again.
- Fun with Cotton Balls! Gather up some cotton balls, glue, a marker and a piece of construction paper. Write a capital and lowercase letter of your choice on the paper. Show the child how to make glue drops onto the letter. Then have them tear up the cotton balls and place them on the glue drops.
- Play a game of I Spy! Get a pack of alphabet flashcards. Pick a letter, then “spy” something that starts with that letter. Then, have your child try to find what you are referring to. “I Spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter sound T-“ta, ta”. Have them try to guess if they say something that doesn’t’ start with that sound correct them by saying something like “Hmm, no that starts with the letter B. B says ba, ba “ then refer them back to the proper sound. Take turns playing the game. This helps the child learn to recognize the sounds the letters make.
- Let them play in the Dirt! What child doesn’t love to play in the dirt? Grab a stick and go outside! Find a good flat area where the children can draw or write in the dirt. Make letters and ask the children which letters are in their name. Have them copy the letters. If you have room write out the alphabet in the dirt and sing it with the children.
Learning the alphabet is a huge part of a child’s life. It sets the foundation for reading, writing, and spelling. However, teaching the alphabet CAN be fun, and it doesn’t require a curriculum!