Learning letters and letter sounds is a big part of our literacy lives. It is, by no means, the end-all-be-all of learning to read, but it is an essential part of a child’s literacy development.
- Go on a letter hunt! Search for letters with your child, as you are driving. They will suddenly start to notice letters on every grocery store, restaurant, and bank.
- Label your child’s drawers and toy bins by writing contents on sticky notes. In no time at all, kids will begin to recognize that SOCKS and STUFFED ANIMALS both begin with S. As an added benefit, maybe they will actually put their things back in their proper places!
- Have your kids help you read the newspaper and find letters along the way. The grocery ads in newspapers provide lots of letters for kids to circle. You can have your kids go on a B hunt and circle as many capital and lowercase B’s that they can find. (This is a great opportunity to point out the different versions of lowercase a and lowercase g that are used in print.)
Creating an Initial Sound Alphabet Book:
A fun way to explore environmental print is to create your own Initial Sound Alphabet Book.
- Select 26 pages for your book, as well as a front and back cover. The larger the pages, the better, because your child will be collecting items to glue or tape onto the page.
- Hole punch the pages to the book so it can be assembled. Use book rings, ribbon, or pipe cleaners through the holes to hold the book together. You may want to use reinforcers (available at office supply stores) so the pages don’t fall apart from too much use.
- Write one letter on each page, keeping the book pages in alphabetical order. Be sure to write the capital and lower case versions of each letter.
- Have your child start collecting words to put in their Alphabet Book. After snack time, that empty package of Graham Crackers can go on the Gg page. The front of the box of Macaroni and Cheese can be glued onto the Mm page.
Creating an alphabet book using your child’s own environmental print will help them notice all of the words around them. Kids will start getting excited every time they go to the pantry because they will get to add a new word to their book. Don’t stop with food. Take pictures of the books your child reads for bedtime stories and place those in your alphabet book as well. Anything in your child’s environment will be a great resource for learning letters