Before we talk about how to teach alphabet letters for preschoolers, let’s conquer a big misconception about kids learning to read first.
Your child doesn’t really even need to know all the alphabet letters before they finish preschool. Now I know that’s a pretty far-out concept for some of you, but it’s true. Providing rich life experiences, encouraging high-value play, and reading out loud to your child are all far, far more important for preschool children than learning the alphabet.
Studies have proven that kids who learn the alphabet and learn to read after their peers — at age 8, 9, and even 10 — will catch up with those who learn to read before age 5. Kids who learn to read early are just that — Kids who learned to read early. Now, I have one of them myself. I do know how tempting it is to buy into the “but my child is more special” mentality. But learning to read in preschool is not the goal.
Now, all that being said, of all the skills needed to teach your child to read, perhaps none gets as much attention as ABC learning–the art and practice of learning the alphabet. The wonderful result of this focus is a plethora of alphabet printables, alphabet games, alphabet books, and alphabet play. And all of these resources are a great way to *gently introduce* the alphabet to your child through short, low-key, learning moments scattered throughout your play-filled days.
As I was working on images for our free alphabet coloring pages included at the end of this post, I accidentally spelled R-A- on the featured image, and then decided to be funny and spell out R-A-T. Then I thought, why not use the coloring pages that way? Almost any resource you can use to help teach your child the alphabet can later be used to teach your child to read or provide reading practice! So keep that in mind as you go through our list of 26 Ways to Learn the Alphabet below, and be sure to save all the goodies you make together to practice reading once you get to that point!
So use our fun alphabet printables – the coloring sheets – in lots of different ways! Print them four to a page and make a little book with a hole punch and some yarn. Print them four to a sheet and make flashcards, and then use those flash cards to spell words. Print them eight to a page and make magnets for fridge play. Print them one to a page to use as coloring pages or playdough mats. You will find the link to our free alphabet coloring pictures at the end of this post.
Keep Reading for 26 fabulous ideas for helping your child learn the alphabet!
Learning the alphabet is a necessary skill for kids. Recognizing the letters and their first sounds is a basic building block to reading. You don’t necessarily have to know the names of the letters right away, but a few letters must be associated with a sound before a child can start learning to read.
You will find your little ones learning the alphabet in no time when you make it fun and engaging one-on-one time with you! Besides adding our cute-as-a-button Animal Alphabet coloring pages to your preschool toolbox, I thought maybe you’d like to see some of the other ABC learning ideas I found. Learning-the-alphabet games, alphabet books, alphabet playtime ideas. So many great resources!
Matching Alphabet Beans from Imagination Tree
Slides and Ladders ABC Game from First Grade A La Cart
Alphabet Car Game from Preschool Lesson Plans
Free Alphabet Bingo Game from My Joy-Filled Life
Alphabet Bean Bag Toss from Meri Cherry
Super Hero Letter Match from B-Inspired Mama
Alphabet Playtime Activities
Alphabet Slime Dough from Delightful Learning
Alphabet Water Tracing from Artsy Mama
Tons of Letter Activities form A Mom with a Lesson Plan
Feed the Alphabet Monster from I Can Teach My Child
Letter of the Week Alphabet Crafts from No Time For Flashcards
LEGO® ABC Cards from Wildflower Ramblings
Free LEGO Duplo Alphabet Mats from 123 Homeschool For Me
Alphabet Octopus Printables from Glittering Muffins
Alphabet Bible Verse Printables from Creative K Kids
ABC Letter Find Printables from 3 Dinosaurs
ABC Bible Verse Cards from Homeschool Creations
ABC Scripture Memory Cards from I Can Teach My Child
More Free Alphabet Coloring Pages from Life Over C’s
Our Favorite Alphabet Books
Eating the Alphabet by Louis Ehlert
Eric Carle ABC by Eric Carle
The Construction Alphabet by Jerry Pallota
I Spy Letters by Jean Marzollo
The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra
I Spy an Alphabet in Art by Lucy Mickelthwaite
Alphabet Jam: Songs and Rhymes to Build Early Reading Skills by Cathy Bollinger