Any tips on Teaching the alphabet?

Angela - posted on 04/29/2011 ( 91 moms have responded )

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My four year old daughter is not so stoked about learning the alphabet. Many games and flash cards seem to turn her off to learning the alphabet. Often she begins to act silly and then "forget" letters we never had issues with before. Any tips to motivate her to want to learn her letters?

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Sarah - posted on 04/29/2011

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I started singing to my kids everynight; I think I have a horrible voice but they love it. One of the songs we did for the longest time, was the ABC's. (Every Single Night, imagine how much I loved that! LOL) Now my 3 & 4 yr old can both sing them. They started learning the words to songs (Like Twinkle, Twinkle) so they could sing with me. My 3 yr old also has this bear that she is obsessed with. It has a dispaly on the front and it sings the ABC's, among other things, and actually shows the letters as it does it. That might be something you want to look for. But now that they can sing their ABC's, they have becoime interested in the letters in their name and can recognize it when they see it. I think learning the song is the first step. At least it was for us. Good Luck!!

Susan - posted on 04/03/2013

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I had the same problem so I got really creative and created Alpha Cards: ABC flashcards especially for boys (girls like them too). They have just the right amount of gross mixed with a ton of funny. The humor really allowed him to engage in the learning. They made all the difference in helping my son in learning, recognizing and remembering his ABC's. You can check them out at he-is-all-boy.com

Elle - posted on 05/29/2012

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When my children were babies, as I washed them up during bath time I said/sang the alphabet. When I pushed them in the swing I said, and even while we took a walk. My main suggestion is to incorporate the alphabet as a normal part of your day.

Courtney - posted on 05/26/2012

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Hi does she like to here like music counts or teaches ABC or even on video,my son loves the brainy baby videos that count and have other kids counting he has ASD that is called prevasive developmental delay,on top of that has seizures and is nonverbal. When i would go over with him he did the same but he has been in therapy since 7months old there i had my time of feeling hopeless.its funny now because i had given on trying so let videos take charge and plus he started kindergarten this year and now i will watch him with his puzzles tht are abc 123 clock and he just shows off that he can do it

Breneika - posted on 02/25/2012

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Hello!

My baby girl is 5 years old (Jasmine aka Jazz), we do a letter a month. We're on the letter M and we also do colors which the color she's on is pink. We write it, I got old magazines and safety scissors, and i let her cut that letter out, and I also let her do show and tell, let her show me something that begins with the letter that she is on for that month. oh yeah one more thing, instead of doing the alphabets in order, mix them around. Plus when we go grocery shopping I ask her do she see things that begins with that letter and do she see things the color we're on for that month. She enjoys doing this and she remembers her alphabets and colors. Just take a deep breath, everything will work out. Remember, every child has their own level of remembering things, so please don't think your child isn't learning, just be patient mom, she will get it!

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Anne - posted on 05/28/2012

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Here's a website you can try that my son and I love. You may start here: http://www.starfall.com/n/level-k/index/...

The website is called starfall and they have nice animations and sounds for each letter of the alphabet. Hopefully she enjoys it... if not, let me know so I can think of other tricks to get your kiddo to enjoy learning her ABC's.

Heather - posted on 05/25/2012

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That's been our Teeth brushing song...I sing it at normal speed, started out slower, Two times. I started before he had teeth with the thumb gum massage when he was a baby. Now, he hums it while I'm brushing his teeth...I didn't do this to teach him, I initially started...so he could one day pick a song or sing the ABC's two times, to time his brushing. He knew his ABC's before his 2nd Birthday...shocked us all. They listen when you think they aren't, it's amazing on how they pick up so quick on everything...they are sponges at this point. It's something to do everyday and make fun...I believe. Also, every time he says a sentence...I'll say it back correcting a word or two, and he repeats it correctly. Then I answer or acknowledge what he is saying. I've done this since he was two. When it began, I had did this...and when he repeated me...as if it was his first time saying it...I was like...wow, I didn't even have to say...anything like...No, this is how you say it...etc. Most of the time I just say the word that needs corrected...for example, I gots that at home, right mommy!? I will just say, "Have." He'll reply, "I have that at home, right mommy!?" Then I reply. He knows where to switch out the words. I have been doing these two above mentioned for two years now, he's 4...so it takes times, everyone has different learning levels, and most siblings are different...so they can't be compared. I'm the oldest of Six...and we are all very different. If I make a game out of anything, he's excited. So, maybe even self make a match game with the alphabet letters, and have the ABC song on in the background...so she can hear it...may drive you nuts...but it will stick in her head after awhile...and she'll want to know the song, so she can get it out of her head...lol. The matching game will be a fun way to recognize the letters. Hope my rambling helps =)

Kristie - posted on 05/22/2012

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I don't know if you own an Kindle fire, but I have numerous learning games for Susie(her brother and sister can play too) and she loves them. Got them all for free from the app store. Maybe trying something like that. Some of the games will let you know if you got them wrong. There's tracing the ABC's all sort. There's even a jumpstart game. Susie also loves to sing the alphabet song

Julie - posted on 05/22/2012

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Have you tried letter bins? We really enjoyed them and they helped her with phonemics. I ran around the house and to craft stores looking for little toys and trinkets that started with each letter of the alphabet. She will love the novelty of cute little toys etc. Took a little plastic storage container and added a corresponding shiny letter sticker to lid and stuffed it with 4-5 trinkets of that letter. Each day (or whenever she was interested) we whipped out a bin and presto the pattern recognition began like magic. LMK if you want more details.

Danielle - posted on 05/15/2012

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My son loves the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and The ABC's for thanks and please (about manners) They are alphabet books. We read them every night. We would sing the ABC song too. My son is 4 and he knows his ABC's very well and he is starting to spell out things like when he sees his name or words on his coloring books to know he is starting to learn to read. My son has ASD (Autism Specturm disorder) and was speech delayed. He learned because we talked about it daily. Even if he didn't want to, we just keep on it and about 5 months ago he was singing the ABC's all on his own. Also the Sprout/PBS show Super Why and Word World helped greatly. Visual aides are very helpful. My son is in a special preschool program and they do a letter a week since the first day. They would start with A, do flash cards and do activites that would be jsut for items with the letter A, B and so forth. Try http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.co... for print outs. We do extra work at home to help our son along. You will be amazed what your child will want to learn. Good Luck.

Gemma - posted on 05/12/2012

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My son is currently seeing a speech therapist and she gave us an alphabet book which is basically the 26 pages with a large letter on each page. You could search the internet (something like this would work http://www.fisher-price.com/us/ms7/alpha...) color the pages with your daughter.
Then purchase a folder/binder so your book will last longer. When going through the alphabet sing a song (we use the Jeopardy jingle.) When singing each letter use phonics ie "a for apple -ah ah ah, b for bear bah bah bah.
My son loves it and will sometimes sing it independently.

Jennifer - posted on 05/11/2012

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Strategies I have used:

Try 4-5 letters at a time

1. online videos check out www.FirstStepReading.com
2. Bath crayons and wrote the letters on the bath walls while we sang together
3. Foam Bath Letters
4. ABC puzzles, the traditional kind or there is one giant floor puzzle that is a train
5. Magnetic Letters
6. Make a matching game or memory game with flashcards of the upper and lower case letters and play memory with her and have her match the pairs.
7. ABC necklaces and bracelets she can practice while she makes them

Caryn - posted on 05/09/2012

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My son learned the alphabet by reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We never directly taught, we just let him see them as characters in the book. Good luck!!!

Robin Jane - posted on 05/07/2012

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I hope I don`t discourage you with this, but ....
Your daughter will show interest when she is simply interested in it !
I went through similar situations while trying to get me kids to learn new things they weren`t interested in.
It can be so frustrating at times, I still go through that now that they are older, with their times tables in math and some homework.....
Don`t worry too much about it, she`ll pick it up sooner or later...

Jackie - posted on 05/07/2012

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Oh - I forgot - get those stick on letters for the window of your car - great while they are captive!!

Jackie - posted on 05/07/2012

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Leap Frog videos are the best or any of their toys. Seem to keep kids interested! Also - those little ABC blocks are fun to build with while pointing out the letters - but I was doing that much earlier than four years old - so she may not be as interested in that now? Maybe you can get her to "teach" her dolls or stuffed animals the letters?

Robin Jane - posted on 05/07/2012

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At home ,I made a poster out of brisol board and wrote in the alphabet big letters capitals and small ones., like in school, and stuck in up on the wall. I used that as a learning tool, I would randomly ask whats this letter? and point to anyone of them...even if it takes learning one letter at a time or one a day.....she`ll get it sooner or later.
By keeping it up on the wall the child can see it more , and I would also ask my son something like ," what animal do you think the letter Z looks like ? or lets draw a face ,arms and legs on the letter H , and so on.
It was a silly fun game we did on paper with markers. We would draw a face in the letter O and add ears or hair or a hat...lol ...And I would say wow, who would have thought that the O could look like that ! ... It was fun, it worked, but not in long intervals, my son didn`t sit for long , but just enough time for him to turn of the letters into a stick figure .

Rayna - posted on 05/01/2012

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The songs are the best, children always remember tunes and with it will come the words, or in this case, the letters. I have loads of sing-a-long cd's that teach nursery rhymes, alphabet, counting, spelling etc. Those are great.

Kat - posted on 04/30/2012

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My son in school learned a song. A for apple ah-ah-ah-ah ( the letters the sounds make) B for Ball Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh so on and so forth. But other than that my Mom used to sing the ABC's for him since he was an infant (now 3 y/o)

Terri - posted on 04/28/2012

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My son is now two and a half and has known the alphabet (in and out of order) since he was around 19 months old. What I do at least 4 days a week is get out a white board and write the entire alphabet and leave it there all day or until he would wipe it off. We would go over it several times a day and sing the alphabet along with telling him what animal each letter stood for. Now at two and a half years old, everywhere we go, he will see a sign with a word on it and start spelling out whatever it says. This works really well for us but I know every child learns differently. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 04/26/2012

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Hi. I am Heather, a mother of twin boys and the author of www.FirstStepReading.com.



Please check out my website for four FREE online videos of the Alphabet. (also animated videos teaching step by step the other steps of reading)



When you teach the letters only teach 4-5 at a time and then slowly add a couple more letters to the mix. You can use Flashcards, Letter Books, or a Whiteboard to teach the letters.

I recommend that you point to the letters as you slowly sing the Alphabet to your child so that he/she can learn to recognize the letters.



For review you can make flashcards and have your child tell you the Uppercase letters and then later add the Lowercase Letters and have your child match each Upper and Lowercase Letter pair to each other. If you have any questions please feel free to email me on my website www.FirstStepReading.com

Krista - posted on 04/20/2012

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sing is good but its not got to teach them what the letters look like if they cant c the letter how will they know z is z or k is k lay the flash cards our and point to each letter as you sing it

Krista - posted on 04/20/2012

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well i have read most of the responce to your ques. angela and i must have a kid that just loves to learn i have always done learning things with him scence he was 6 months we started with your baby can read and i have always song him songs that had to do with letters or numbers. he is 3 and he knows all his letters,numbers,shapes and can count to 10 we r working on getting him to 20 at this time. with the letters we did flash cards but we only did 4 to 5 letters a week and then the next week we added 2 or 3 letters at a time and so on you cant try to spend alot of time with teaching them the whole a though z try a few letters at a time a few times a day to start and see how she dose you have to stick to the same letters for 3 days at least before adding new ones to it keep going over the once you she is learning she will get it

Carlie - posted on 04/20/2012

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sing it sing it sing it. then sing it some more. dance a little when you do. bob your head move your hips, wave your arms, laugh, giggle, make it fun.....most kids love to get silly with the grown ups...if you make it fun ALWAYS.....then they will want to join in on it...it's a natural reaction for anyone right? RIGHT.



:) P.S. Don't forget to remind other people in your life to continue with the fun when teaching your child ANYTHING, not just the alphabet!

Patricia - posted on 04/16/2012

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Sing it, while giving her a bath, cooking, whenever shes around sing it and eventually she will pick it up and start singing it her self.

Lykke - posted on 04/10/2012

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we got wall decals so the whole alphabet was on the wall, that really worked for us it took our boys about a week to know and recognize all the letters! Also I have them on Reading Eggs and that is VERY; interactive and they think it's lots of fun, they will give you a FREE 2 week trial check it out it's really great.

Lori - posted on 04/09/2012

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If you have a smart phone or computer, some apps that have helped my children are: ABC phonics ("balloon pop"), Toddler Teach Me, Starfalls ABCs, Word Family

Cathy - posted on 04/03/2012

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there is a cd I don't know the singer off the top of my head but you can make the song up basically it goes apple apple aaa baby baby bbb and so on that has helped my son I got a huge alphabet chart from the dollar store and from one of those teacher stores I got him a poninter which he loves and I say ok tell me which on is for flower or f and he is finally getting it he will be turning 5 this month.

Lucia - posted on 04/02/2012

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The keyword is " fun" :-)

Play with the letters :-) I suggest to "write" a letter on your daughter back and let her to guess which letter it was.

Buy huge foam letters and let her to play with them as toys.

Choose the letter of the day, then count together all the object of a room starting with it, or on a book page.

My son loves Ipad applications concerning alphabet, he plays ( while learning ) with pleasure

bye Lucia

Tanya - posted on 04/01/2012

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The leapfrog refrigerator alphabet worked well for my kids to get interested. Also, go to the library and pick fun books to read. The more you read, the better.



Another fun thing to do (when she is more interested) is to find things she likes (for example, playdoh, blocks, wiki stix or stamps) and make letters with them. Most kids at the preschool age tend to like tactile activities.

Natalie - posted on 03/29/2012

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My stubborn middle child was learning all of her letters (and even their sounds) from that leap frog movie - letter factory. For my oldest 'art' was the only thing to reach her. Tracing As in the sand, writing it on a chalk/white board, making collages with magazines of stuff that started with A, trying to find As in architecture or cracks in the ground. My youngest is a boy and seems more sporty. We'll probably make A shaped obstacle courses for him to run or push his cars on, or line A objects up on. Have a race to find/name A objects. Have an A hide and seek or treasure hunt. He also loves food so I'll try and plan an all A meal or arrange his food in an A. Both my older 2 loved the book Dr. Seuss' ABCs, and would happily make letters in play dough (as well as some simple things that began with that letter). Just some ideas.

Kimi - posted on 03/26/2012

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In my house we have two techniques, one for the alphabet and one for their numbers. You can incorporate these techniques with other things as well. One option is at the end of bath time my kids love to "wiggle." Wiggle - while I am drying them off after I have dried their arms and am working my way to drying their lower half I stop half way through and wrap their towel around them. Depending on the age (my daughter is 3 and can count to twenty now because of this) I started my daughter at about age 2 and we started with only counting to three and worked our way up. Once they get to the target number is when we WIGGLE!!!

The Alphabet technique is one that has been carried on in my family since I was about 3. My dad used to carry my up the stairs on his back to my bedroom. As we would climb up the stairs to my room I had to say my ABC's if I didn't get all the way through then we had to go back to the bottom step and begin again. If I messed up 3 times then I had to climb the stairs on my own. I still live with my parents and my dad and I do this with both of my children at bedtime. My son has been able to say his ABC's since he was 4 and my daughter is almost able to get through them completely. Its a work in progress but soooooo worth the extra time with them!!!

Amy - posted on 03/26/2012

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Well we started putting letters around the house for her.. Made memory games there are more alphabet songs with the letters and sounds that make it fun.. Making games that included letters and numbers. Kindergarters are suppose to be able tocount to30 by the end of the year

Suzanne - posted on 03/22/2012

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You have had lots of good advice. I gave my DD a phonics CD which had songs about each letter teaching her how to pronounce. There was a book which she used to follow. Great for car journeys!



We also used to have an alphabet day where we would write the letter and cut out pictures that began with that letter, my DD would cut these out and we would glue them on. She found this fun.



I spy worked well for car journeys.

Just try to make learning fun, that's the easiest way to teach my Daughter.

Kim - posted on 03/21/2012

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I like to scrapbook and saw a friends idea that I copied. They posed their child (I just found pictures of each one) in alphabet related scenes and put them together with stickers and pictures of family one page per letter ie: blue boy bun-bear was a picture of my boy holding his favorite stuffed bear dressed as a blue bunny. Pictures of your daughter and family doing things on each page may hold her interest longer than pictures of strangers on flashcards. Plus I let my boys pick out the stickers and put them on the right page so they had a vested interest in what went where and which letter it began with. Hope this helps.

Jessica - posted on 03/20/2012

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My daughter had a tough time with colors, no matter what I did like you said games, flash cards, videos, nothing was working. Every child learns differently. My daughter finally learned her colors within a week by me simply relating the color to something she knew well, Ex: Grass is Green, Pigs are Pink, Apples are Red, Bananas are Yellow. For the alphabet, if flash cards and games arent helping, try outside the box, Singing, videos even youtube has kids alphabet videos, maybe just do them in sections, also if she likes being tickled, maybe start at her toes and say a letter and finger walk to tickle her saying a different letter with each step or something like that, i sing the itsy bitsy spider and tickle my daughter and she always knows the part where the tickles are coming :) Good luck :) she will get it

Devyn - posted on 03/19/2012

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they have music at a teacher's store that has alphabets to music and hold the flas cards up at the sametime.

Ellen - posted on 03/14/2012

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Try the Letter Factory by Leap Frog! I have never seen a kid not like that video! You will be singing the songs too!

Ellen - posted on 03/14/2012

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Yes! The best investment I have ever made is to buy The Leap Frog video's. Letter Factory, Word Factory etc. They are fabulous and cheap at Target! They teach the alphabet, phonics, math etc. They put everything to music and the kids will learn by singing the songs. "Every letter makes a sound the A says aaah" If my kids get to watch video's in the car in traffic or on trips we are watching Leap Frog video's! Another way is via flash cards. I taught my kids all the letters and sight words by flash cards. They get very proud of themselves if they can do all the flash cards and you make a big deal of it and congratulate them along the way! Good luck and happy teaching!

Clare - posted on 03/14/2012

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I would just echo what everyone else has said. The KEY is to make it fun and part of your daily routine so that she doesn't even realise she is learning, "Making" her learn it will turn it into a chour and have a negative impact on her, bring the alphabet into every day situations, ie) when shopping, "I need milk", "What does Milk begin with?" etc..... My children were singing the alphabet song at 18mths-2yrs but they theory and styles of teaching in foundation yrs has now changed and will continue to change and develop. So basic stepping stones of learning are not only fun but a good sted for the lil ones to begin their learning journey. Hope this helps.

Ashley - posted on 03/08/2012

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I got this awesome toy from target that attaches to the refrigerator and it has all the letter magnets and another piece that she can put a letter in one at a time and it sings to her. Like if she puts in the letter a it will sing, "a" says "ah", "a" says "ah", every letter makes a sound "a" says "ah". Her father also came up with the idea of getting out a piece of paper (since she loves to draw and write) and he will write the alphabet going down in rows and tell her to try to write the letter next to it... we also showed her how to write her name and within a week she was able to write it on her own without us showing her how. (she is 4.5)

Michelle - posted on 03/05/2012

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When I taught 3's and 4's I sang the sing, spell and write song. I sing it to my 2 year old and show him the pictures. If need be I can type up the song for you.

Sandra - posted on 03/05/2012

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does she play a lot with your smartphone? there are apps for that. My girls started of with that. Also from a young age we showed them their first initial so they recognize their stuff.(we labeled shoes and stuff as their were the same kind, got twins btw) sparked interest to learn more letters of their names. and it just went from there.

Mommyof2 - posted on 03/02/2012

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someone mentioned Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. They're right-Great book. I haven't met a kid that didn't like that book!.

Mommyof2 - posted on 03/02/2012

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I'm not too sure. I taught my babies by singing, and poitning out letters wherever we were. But my son was almost 2 years old and knew the abc song and knew every letter of the alphabet. Maybe try alphabet hide and go seek. You get a piece of paper, write the whole alphabet, cut the letters out then hide them under or on things that start with the same letter. For example "S" you could put on a sock, or "B" under the ball. you could just doh al the aplphabet one day and the other half the next. 26 leters may take up alot of time. Then she has to go and find all the letters. Then she can hide them and you go find them. She'll get it, and if she knew it before but tells you she forgot then, she may just be messing with you. My son was telling me he didn't remember what certain words were that he could read before and he's about the same age(just turned 5) as your daughter. Their dad didn't know his abc's when he was 6 but he's really good with numbers and is very smart and has no trouble reading or writting now.

April - posted on 02/29/2012

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i have a 3yr old. and we did `a is for apple b is for banana c is for cat d is for dog..etc` we didnt do flash cards and we taught him how to spell his name and mommy first. wherever you go point out letters if you have smart phone their apps/games you can get and thats what we did.

Courtney - posted on 02/24/2012

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Hi there, my 5and half year old son has been going to speech therapy,physical and occupational since 7 months old,speech didnt really start til after first birthday. Going to early helped him reconize the letters,he still doesnt speak besides momma,but he knows his ABC's by pictures and we jam in the car to a special cd to some ABC and 123 songs,colors,days of week etc. big big help

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Try making the alphabet song silly my little girl is the same way. But after I started her in preschool she really enjoyed learning with the other kids. She is in kindergarten and she loves going to school. Good Luck!

Jennifer - posted on 02/21/2012

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I find the best way is to always play. Figure out what she likes doing best and has fun doing. Is it board games, singing, coloring, computer games, crafts, puzzles ect… and then incorporate it into doing that activity. All you need to say is lets do this puzzle I found. I love to do them all. I search free lesson plans and go from there you can find crafts, printable pages and games.



They other suggestion is make good use of your library because it is free!!! Most libraries have a really good educational section. In our library it is right over by the kid area. They have books that have great ideas for little quick activities that you can engage your child in and so many suggestions that you and your child will not get bored. Some of the books are…



~The everything toddler activities book

~365 activities you and your toddler will love

~365 games smart toddlers play: creative time to imagine, grow, and learn



My kids also loved Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin that we found in the library and you can get with the book on CD and it sings a song after the book is read that my kids still sing. It is also on YouTube





We also use other websites like:



Fisher-price

http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=3...,game_toddler,game_preschool&site=us



PBS Kids

http://pbskids.org/games/alphabet.html



Kaboose

http://funschool.kaboose.com/preschool/l...



Sorry that ended up being a long response but I hope that helps.

Teresa - posted on 02/17/2012

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With my daughter, she'd gotten a pack of foam letters and numbers that we would play with off and on during the day, or in the bath - they're made for the bath to stick to the wall and such. We didn't make it a 'priority' for her to learn them. Just included them in things we were doing. She picked them up by the time she was three, surprising me and her therapists she was seeing for speech and such. :) Also, we'd make games of picking out letters while we were doing shopping from on signs or items. Have her guess what fruit we were going to get that started with whatever letter, etc. :)



Hope that helps!

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