Teaching Preschool Letters
(Easy as A,B,C)
Most parents in today's society feel that it takes a professional to teach their child his letters. Parents who teach letters to their child at an early age know that they have given their child a jump-start into the most important part of educational learning---the love of reading. A child who has had fun learning their alphabet and goes into the task of learning to read with the comfort and security of knowing their letters and sounds well will feel successful before they even begin to read. This is the basis for a self-confidant learner.
Basically you can teach your child to sing the alphabet song by the time they are one year old if you sing it to them every day. They may not sing it plainly but they will babble the song and come to pronounce the letters properly in time. Teaching them letter recognition in the year between two and three is not difficult if you look for the letter O in a book as you're reading it, go over magnetic letters on the refrigerator, and spell out signs that you see in town. My two year old was recently able to spell out PUSH HERE at the post office's postage stamp machine. She had never seen the sign before but knew the letters.
Parents with preschoolers tend to look way into the future at the scary task of teaching their first grader to read. Well, these parents can breathe a sigh of relief and relax. It isn't time to teach them how to read. It time to teach them their ABC's and that's the easy part. Reading to your child on a daily basis, singing the alphabet as you point at each letter on an alphabet chart, and playing with ABC puzzles and magnetic letters will get you on the right track towards success. Then take a week (schools will rush the job in one week's time but in homeschooling we can take two or three weeks to enjoy the process if we want) to do these lessons that are FUN and EASY. It's as simple as ABC; and every parent knows that old song.
A Make an A using apple seeds/ Cut apples in half (horizontal) and dip in paint to make stars/ Make an apple pie/ Bob for apples/ Eat applesauce and apricots/ Make an angel/ Decorate your classroom with pictures of angels/ Find a picture of angels and color them/ Make an Ark of the Covenant out of a shoebox wrapped in gold wrapping paper and decorate with religious emblems/ Find various small objects that begin with the letter A and put into the Ark of the Covenant box
B Wear blue/ Make letter B using birdseed and beans/ Have a Bear and Balloon party (invite friends to bring their favorite stuffed bear/ Have a parade complete with lots of bubbles to blow/ have plenty of blue balloons and write the letter B over some and B words on others/ Make peanut butter bagels and serve with brownies, gummy bears, and banana slices in banana pudding/ Take a trip to the beach (if close to home and warm enough)
CClown party (paint clown faces on the children)/ Serve cotton candy as a treat/ Bake cookies/ Bake a cake/ Read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff/ Make cupcakes and put a C on each one using the spray cool whip in a can/ Make letter C on black construction paper using shaving cream and corn seeds/ Cowboy Day---dress up and ride stick horses (Mom's mop or broom will do)/ Make a clock on construction paper and use popsickle sticks for hands and add a face
D Read Daniel in the Lion's Den and David and Goliath/ Make letter D with crumbled dog food/Serve doughnuts for breakfast
E Make letter E with eggshells/ Cook eggs in different ways (scrambled, sunny-side up, over-easy)/ Read Babar the Elephant/ Make elephant ears out of gray construction paper/ Find the eagle on the nation's emblem in an encyclopedia/ Color a picture of an eagle
F Go pretend fishing in your backyard (don't forget fishing poles and flip flops)/ Wear your flip-flops all day/ Decorate your feet (using rings, ribbons, fake stones, etc.)/ Trace feet on paper and cut out, glue on construction paper, decorate however you like/ Eat Frito pie for lunch (easy recipe: pour chili over Frito potato chips)/ Make fruit loop necklaces/ Make letter F with Fruit Loops/ Visit a farm as a field trip
G Wear green/ Work in your garden/ Visit a near-by Prayer Garden (find a church near you that has one)/ Make letter G with green glitter/ Buy a gourd at the supermarket and make it into a drinking gourd (tell your children how people use to use these as drinking instruments)/ Make a gingerbread boy and read the book/ Give your Guardian Angel a name and say the Guardian Angel prayer
H Take a hayride (even a small ride on a lawn trailer with a few haybales will satisfy the children)/ Eat honeycomb cereal for breakfast/ Eat hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch or supper/ Find out how honey is made/ See if you can get a real piece of honeycomb for the children to taste
I Have an Ice Cream party/ Buy Icees one day/ Make icky ice cubes (put plastic spiders, small trinkets in an ice tray and fill with water to freeze just for fun---these are not for children to eat)/ Make Indian headdress & teepees out of construction paper
J Practice juggling/ Make a Jingle Bell necklace/ Learn to play a game of Jacks/ Make a jungle in one room of your house and put all your plants in that room or make plants out of green construction paper/ hide stuffed animals in the room and pretend you're on a safari)/ Read Jesse Bear books by Nancy White Carlstrom/ Write the holy name of Jesus on a 5 x 7 index card and decorate it/ Make Jiggling Jell-O with fruit
KKite party (have friends bring their favorite kite and fly them outside)/ Serve Kool-Aid and kiwi fruit/ Make key imprints in playdoh
L Make an L out of licorice/ Eat lemon cake, lemon cookies, lemon yogurt (anything flavored with lemons)/ Make homemade lemonade/ Play Leap Frog
M Read If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff/ Make muffins/ Go to a local museum
N Make an N with noodles/ Make Noodle Art (boil noodles in water long enough to become bendable, adding a tablespoon of vegetable oil to water to keep noodles from sticking,then drain and allow to cool off)design your own art/ Make a necklace with different noodle shapes, beads, flowers strung on yarn, etc./ Pound nine nails into the N shape on a piece of board/ Use nickels to count by 5's/ Make a name poem (take your child's name and make a poem using each letter of the name/hint: it does not have to rhyme/ Example: SUSAN Susan is my name/ U is spelt `you'/Spanish I do not know/Art is my favorite subject/Nighttime is my favorite time of day)
O Have Oreo and orange treats/ Make an owl out of a brown paperbag/ Make an omelet for breakfast/ Wear orange/ Make an octopus by draping a styrofoam ball with colored yarn, braiding the legs, and gluing on wiggly eyes
P Have a Pajama Party (wear your favorite pajamas and bring your favorite pillow-serve pizza, pretzels, popcorn, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper/ watch Pinocchio,Peter Pan, Pocahontas)/ Read If You Give a Pig and Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff/ Make breakfast pancakes/ Have a picnic/ Make letter P with popcorn and pumpkin seeds and peanuts/ Make homemade popsickles with wooden popsickle sticks/ Wear purple/ Pray a Psalm every morning
QMoms will love this Mom is Queen for a day (have children make you a big crown out of construction paper and decorated with jewels, glitter, ribbon, etc.)/ Find pictures of Mary being crowned Queen of Heaven/ Have a quickie clean-up each day (everyone must pick-up around the house as quick as they can)
R Have recess all day/ Wear red/ Make letter R with rice/ Make a raisin man (open-face peanut butter sandwich with raisins for eyes and mouth, banana slice for a nose)/ Paint a picture of a rose
S Make letter S with sunflower seeds and star stickers/ Make stars (again with apples, sponges or any way you like)/ Paint a suncatcher/ Wear sunglasses/ Read Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola/ Make and eat spaghetti/ Have a swimming party/ Make silly socks (decorated with stars and the letter S)/ Make sand art by putting different colored sand in baby food jars
TTrampoline Fun (picnic on the trampoline and make a tent under the trampoline (or make a tent in the house if you don't have a trampoline or weather is bad)/ Write a poem or prayer of thanksgiving/ Make tacos/ Make Tacky, Tasty Turnips (cook them down and mash them then let the children flavor them with whatever they think will make them taste better: cinnamon, catsup, mustard---remember, most children won't eat turnips no matter what flavor they chose)
U Have an umbrella parade/ Name all the child(ren)'s uncles and count them/ Find out if unicorns are real/ where did the legend come from
V Make a decorative vase by painting on a Mason jar/ Play a game of volleyball (if you don't have the equipment, hit a ball back and forth over the swingset without it touching the ground)/ Go to a music store and look at the violins (do you know someone who could play one for you?)/ Make a V with your fingers
W Wear white/ Make Wacky Waffles for breakfast (waffles with any choice of toppings/ be creative)/ Eat watermelon/ Make a W using watermelon seeds
X Make your own X-ray using black and white construction paper/
Y Get a yogurt treat at the ice cream shop/ Wear yellow/ Try to yodel/ Make the letter Y using yarn
Z End-of-school Zoo trip.
Cay Gibson is a SAHM to one terrific husband and four wonderful kiddies. I love spending time with my family, planning family events, homeschooling, reading, writing, and traveling. I have been published in Liguorian Magazine, The Family, Home Educator, and Columbia. Just recently, I have successfully placed an article with Homeschooling Today. Y