how can i get my 3 year old son to learn his alphabet

Collette - posted on 11/13/2011 ( 40 moms have responded )

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my 3 year old son will not learn his a b c's and was wondering if anyone else is having the same trouble and if they can give me some ideas on how to make him accomplish this?????

he is due to start school in september and do not want him falling behind

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Beganagain43 - posted on 12/29/2011

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I am a childcare provider of 6 boys, 4 and under. I sing the ABC's, flash cards, and one video Leapfrog letter factory, Letter recognition. I have big letters on a board and we usually work on two a week. For art we make that letter on paper and create a collage. I have 18 month olds up to 4 saying there abc and are able to tell me what the letters are. It's so much fun..

Erin - posted on 12/29/2011

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I not having any problem with my 2 year old can say the alphabet and can count to 10... just repeating it over and over again... my son watches sesame street... and he picked it up from there... Buy him Books thats got interesting pictures in them alongside the letters.

Vicki - posted on 11/13/2011

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No idea as 3 years sounds way too young to have to be learning the alphabet. If he shows an interest then great but if not what's the rush? In many countries (European I think) kids don't start schooling until they are 6 or 7 and there's no epidemic of illiteracy. I'd be wary of trying to teach him if he's not interested as it may just put him off.

I just reread your post... September? That's a long way off. Seriously I wouldn't do anything except keep reading books, have his name in big letters in a few places and let him learn naturally and when he's interested.

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Bette - posted on 04/10/2013

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Teach him to sign the alphabet in sign language. It engages and challenges them on a motor level. Plus kids usually love watching you do something with your hands. They start falling into place more quickly than you would think because they learn muscle memory with the sounds and a lot(not all) of the shapes mimic the actual form of the letter. Good luck, mama!

Susan - posted on 04/03/2013

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I had the same problem so I got creative and created Alpha Cards: ABC flashcards especially for boys. They have just the right amount of gross mixed with a ton of funny. They made all the difference in my son learning, recognizing and remembering his ABC's. I hope they can help you too. You can check them out at he-is-all-boy.com

Rachel - posted on 01/05/2012

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My son says most of it but misses a few. Find fun ways to learn it. Like find a fun kid song that has the abcs in it. Or make a funny dance while singing it. Theres all diffrant ways. Just got to find a way your child will be intrested in it. When making learning fun they wanna learn then

Joli - posted on 12/31/2011

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Singing ABC's daily while pointing to them, Leapfrog products (help reinforce them), and my son's ABC blanket helped him with letters and SOUNDS by the age of 28 months. I didn't push him...I didn't expect him to learn the letters that early (and quickly).

Maggie - posted on 12/29/2011

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just point out the letters everywhere you go. or start with the letters in his name. my sons both learned the first letter of their name before any other letters. Also, neither of mine can "say the alphabet" - they know the letters, recognized the letters, know the sounds but not in order. I really don't think it's that important.

Tanya - posted on 12/24/2011

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My daughter is also 3, she is a slow learner and still dont know them yet. all I could say is start with ABCD, when they get that down add EFG. Just keep working on it until he can remember, and sing it with him. My daughter is learning her numbers faster than the Alphabet. She goes around singing 8 , 9 10 lol, And I just work with her everyday singing them with her little by little,

Sara - posted on 12/24/2011

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oh yeah also...nick junior is amaaaaazing. "Moose A Moose" comes on all the time between shows and does letter stuff. My son identified all the letters well before 2, but also learned the SOUNDS of all the letters around 2, definitely in part thanks to Nick JR and PBS too.

Sara - posted on 12/24/2011

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get dvd's and google youtube videos that sing abc's while showing them. if you find one he loves he'll watch it a zillion times and learn it. probably faster than forcing it if he's not interested. there's an elmo one that's cute where billy joel sings them, if he's not too old for that already. and lot of great youtube videos--google it you'll see.

Betsy - posted on 12/23/2011

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use magnetics alphabets and put them on refregerators....but lots of books ....teach him like a few alphabet in a day...shw him books...papers ...etc and tell him to spot out letter from there....thats way he'll learn letter recognition and pronunciation too...

Aasha - posted on 12/23/2011

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I just bought a book that had all the alphabets on one page in big block letter and pictures to go with it. I tried finding the book online for you but couldnt and I just pointed and sang and then said the letter and named the picture. 3 definitely is not too young for some kids. My eldest was quick with things like that... He knew how to identify the alphabets before he could sing the song which is actually more important. Dont be discouraged though because all kids are different! My youngest is not into all that yet!

Danielle - posted on 12/08/2011

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I was going to say have him watch Sesame Street. After it's over, make whatever the letter of the day is part of your day. Say the letter is A. Make snacks with that letter, do activites pertaining to the letter A. Point out the letter whenever you see it.

Li - posted on 12/07/2011

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My son learned his alphabet a little before 3 years of age. I kept an alphabet cd in the car and when we would go out I played it...he learned it as a song with the repititon. I also talked to him alot about his surroundings with places and signs etc... He is now 3.5 and he knows colors, words, animals, feelings, etc... Good luck :)

Michele - posted on 12/02/2011

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There are a number of things you could try depending on your son's mood. I would sing the ABC's a lot. No matter how much it drives you crazy. I had 4 different books from friends with various characters with the ABC's that made it fun. If you don't have any, get them from your library. I use the leap frog magnets, but what really worked for him were flash cards. You could make a game out of it or incorporate it into one of his games or a puzzle. My son was a late talker, but he knew his ABC's, shapes and colors before he was 2 years old. My son would literally bring me books to read to him. Reading is the number one way for kids to learn to recognize vocabulary and sentence structure. You can never read enough. Kids learn even though they're not talking or might not appear to be paying attention. They're minds are sponges that are constantly absorbing knowledge. Try a lot of those things and one day you hear your son singing his ABC's. Good luck.

Everyday - posted on 12/01/2011

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Try CD with lots of colors and songs. Sure work for learning just ABC. But, If you want him to start reading at a young age, you have to show him that you are interested in reading too. Try reading story book with nice pictures and bigger words for him every night without missed. Initially, he won't concentrate on the book. It's ok. Just show a bit of your acting or different voice tone to attract him. Once he decided to look at the book or asking you to read for you at night, read faster and remember to point at each word that you are reading. Also, don't use too many books initially. As children don't mind repetition. Don't aspect him to read. You read. Keep reading. If he is ready, he will read to you one day. When he starts reading, I am sure you will be very impress.

I start my girl since she was born. She start reading only at the age of 40 months. Now, she is turning five 2 days later, but her favourite is Geronimo Stilton. And her speed is up to the subtitle in a movie. Most importantly, she loves almost every reading material and manage to read by herself for hours. She will picks up any brochures available, read the bilboard on the road, newspaper, and so on.

Remember don't force, just keep on doing and wait. As long as they have the interest, they are always more impressive that you think.

All the best!

Shanika - posted on 11/22/2011

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When my daughter was nearly three, I taught her to sing the song ABCDEFG...you can find this song on U tube. I used to sing this song every evening before her bed time. Then she started getting used to the alphabet. I then got alphabet blocks and started playing with the blocks during play time while sounding them. This really helped her in liking to say the alphabet. hope this helps

Trista - posted on 11/22/2011

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its all in what they're interested in i have a 2 1/2 year old who calls every color blue but he can count to 20

Sandrine - posted on 11/22/2011

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he probably finds it boring !!!! come on, not knowing the abc song at 3 years old won't make him fail at school !!! what about teaching him songs for his age !!!! at the end of the day, what the advantage in knowig the letters in a certain order which you actually never use ???
don't you think the arguments you get with him about it and your frustration might be more damaging than the knowlegde of that song ????

Cheri - posted on 11/21/2011

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my 4 year old would not learn when she was at that age so i read her books and kept going the abc's with her she is amazing now
and so is my 2 year old

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2011

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abc cd from walmart is great. daughter learned her abc's when she was 1 1/2 yrs old

Jennifer - posted on 11/21/2011

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i bought a abc cd from walmart & the 1 st song is the abc song, & she learned it a yr. & half ago. she just turned 3

Tina - posted on 11/20/2011

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My son didn't seem interested either but I continued to sing them when he was around and one day he started singing them. I had no idea he was listening to me and didn't know he knew them then he surprised me. They are listening more then you think. Just keep singing them to him.

Tane - posted on 11/20/2011

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reading egg.com.au is a fun interactve website that allows you and your child to learn together preschool will help most of the time

Fernanda - posted on 11/20/2011

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Hi !!! My daughter learned the ABC at the age of 18 months watching Super Readers and when we noticed that I boughter her flash cards at Wallgreens y we start playing with that and so far she is doing amazing...

Heather - posted on 11/20/2011

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Sing it! All the time! In the car, giving him a bath, putting him to bed, playing with him. Sing, sing, sing. You can also buy the letters and numbers for the bath tub for him to play with and tell him what the letters are. Books also help. Read to him A LOT!

Lise - posted on 11/15/2011

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You can't make him learn them... Just encourage it. Sing him the song, make up funny dances for each letter, etc. Just make it fun - he's only 3!

Susan - posted on 11/15/2011

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He is only three. He is not behind because he doesn't know his letters. I encourage you to read many books to him just for the pure enjoyment of bonding together and reading - with no pressure for him to read. When he develops a love of books, then he will become more interested in learning the letters and reading - but he is still very young.

Kathleen - posted on 11/14/2011

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IMHO children learn at different ages. I do not think pushing is the right course, however keeping on track is another. Read A LOT. Especially those books that are all about letters in the alphabet. When I read those books though I point, trace, and do the letter sound. We do have 2 leap frog toys that my 3yr old uses once in awhile. He has picked up a few letters from Sesame Street. I have also ask him questions actively when we are outside. For anything from ABC's to 123's or just shapes or things. Not that I do it everyday I do have preschool work books. We also about once a week to two weeks we read in our reading lesson book. "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". We have some flash cards, a lot of alphabet cards. However, when he is done he's done. I don't push. Then we'll move to singing a song or even just playing with his blocks. The ABC's will come, biggest i think boost you can give to your son to learn this is reading., or saying that is a BBB Box, or K K K Cat (k was used for sounds obviously), or DDD Dog. he won't fall behind especially if he's heading into preschool. Just keep on helping him through everything. the biggest things i think for preschool is the group times. Start taking him to library story time for preschools to get him to hear a story but also group time to sit still. Things like that or other group activities such as the type they do at gymboree or YMCA's.

Belinda - posted on 11/14/2011

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Read. A lot. Say the alphabet with him. Have him repeat after you as you say it. Play games that include repeating the alphabet. Give him toys that have the alphabet printed on them. Put the alphabet in places where he'll see it- magnets on the refrigerator, on his bedroom wall, etc. And if he watches tv, be sure he watches shows that encourage literacy (Super Why, Sesame Street, etc). But most of all, patience. Children learn at their own paces and the last thing you want to do is make him feel bad or pressure him to learn. He'll learn in his own time and all you can do is expose him to it. Don't worry, he'll get it!

LEAH - posted on 11/14/2011

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I think 3 is the perfect age for your son to begin to recognize some letters. I started with one or two letters each week. I used flash cards and pictures. We made up songs with those letters and their sounds. While we were on those letters we practiced writing them and even had weekly scavenger hunts for those letters. ( I just wrote the letter of the week on index cards and put them all over the house for my son to find)

I would not worry if he does not catch on right away. Just keep trying and I am sure it will come. It took a while for my son too, but he is doing pretty good now.

September - posted on 11/14/2011

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Sing him the alphabet song, buy some alphabet letters and put them in a small bag, let him pull out one letter at a time, then you make the sound of the letter and give an example of what the letter may stand for, (this was an idea from my MIL who is a 1st grade teacher) read to your child often and point out small and simple words. Alphabet flash cards are great too. Our son loves puzzles so we invested in some ABC puzzles that he just loves. I think what's most important is to introduce the alphabet in a way that your child is able to enjoy without feeling the pressure to learn. The examples above are things that our 3 year old enjoy's. Have fun with it and don't worry, he'll get there! :)

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Normally I'm not a fan of using tv to teach my kids, but Leap Frog dvd's are awesome! My son knew all the ABC's and could recognize most of them (still has trouble w/ a couple), but after watching one of our new LeapFrog dvd's a couple of times.... he now knows the sounds of the letters too.



Reading and pointing out letters in every day things is extremely helpful. One of all 3 of my kids favorite games at this age was/is... What starts w/ ____? (like B... boat, ball, bed, etc...). In the beginning you are giving most, if not all, of the answers, but eventually they start getting it. ;)



Also, he's only 3, so definitely don't push past his interest level/attention span. He WILL get it.

Karen - posted on 11/13/2011

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The leapfrog fridge magnets worked to teach my kids their ABC song. They would take it to their room and listen to it all day. As for recognizing their letters, 3 does seem awfully young and as a mom to 2 dyslexic boys, the school pycologist has suggested that start with phonics. Teach the sound of the letter before teaching it's name. If you have flashcards with pictures and just do a couple at a time. Teach him " 'AH, apple', 'BUH, ball' " . I am starting to do this with my 4yr old son to prepare him for kindergarden as well. He definately is not picking this up as fast as his sister did. Keep practicing and they will learn. Just remember to keep it fun at this age, if you make it like work he'll get his back up and fight you.

Amanda - posted on 11/13/2011

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Sing the abc song to him, alphabet magnets, my son loves his alphabet flash cards.
He won't fall behind, most kids are at a very similar level when it comes to starting school.

Ashley - posted on 11/13/2011

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Also alphabet magnets on the fridge and always name the letter he points to or plays with.

Ashley - posted on 11/13/2011

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Read... and lots, things we think don't rub off on kids do. My son learned his alphabet early from Dr. Suess' ABC book he made me read it like 10 times a day. However kids will only learn if they want to do so. My son loved the alphabet and learning in general but there were times when I had to back off so I wasn't pushing him. I agree with Vicki in that you do not need to force him to learn before school. Reality is if you are willing to take the teachers lessons and use them at home your son will learn the things he is taught.

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