People often ask me how they can get their child interested in letters. My first piece of adviceis always to make it fun. Learning is so much more effective when it is fun! Pre-schoolers are so young that making it a game or just part of everyday life is really important. By making it fun they associate letter learning and sounds with a fun activity so are likely to engage with it further and be enthusiastic when they meet it more formally through the school setting. My top tips to get your child interested in letters and sounds would be:
1) Explore Environmental print.
This is likely to be your child’s first taste of letters so point out familiar signs such as Tesco sign or the giant golden M for McDonalds when you are out and about. Spot the Peppa Pig logo or the Paw Patrol sign when their favourite tv show comes on. Children will remember and recognise environmental print from an early age, and this should be praised and encouraged. Through environmental print you can then introduce and explore letters. You can draw their attention to the fact that the golden arches is a M sign and the word McDonalds starts with M or spot that Paw and Patrol both start with p.
2) Alphabet Books!
These are an underestimated resource but having alphabet books as part of your book collection will increase your child’s awareness of letters. The great thing about alphabet books is that they come on every theme imaginable so you can use your child’s interests and find an alphabet book around that subject. Children learn best when it is something, they are interested in so this is a great way to start.
3) Spot Letters!
Letters are everywhere so point them out and have letter hunts while you go about your daily activities. Often letters on road signs etc are capital so I usually ask the children to spot letters where the capital and lower case are the same such as o and s or by talking about the start of people’s names which are always capital letters.
4) Have letters resources around the house. Make sure that letters are part of their play so having magnetic letters on the fridge, a name sign on their door and foam letters in the bath will continue to ignite a love of letters.
5) Whatever you do around letters make it fun. Remember children learn at different rates so keeping it fun and light-hearted with no element of stress to remember letters or bark at print will help make it an enjoyable experience.