Teaching the alphabet to toddlers is of utmost importance. It will drive them to be academically successful—the ability to identify letters and their sounds links to their reading and writing skills. Hence, kids must learn the alphabet as soon as they can.
However, teaching ABC to toddlers is not always a walk to the park, mostly when the approach bores the little ones. Toddlers love to play, so if you want to teach them the alphabet, you must teach them through play.
As a good first step, you can invest in educational toys that will help your child master the alphabet letters. Or, you may also opt for educational mobile apps with features that can help your toddler excel not only in the alphabet but in other subjects as well.
Some toddlers learn the alphabet at age two and read at age three. But that won’t happen by forcing them to sit at a desk and have them memorize all 26 letters. That would feel like they are being punished, and they’re likely not to enjoy learning the alphabet.
You can be purposeful about introducing ABC activities, interactive toys, and alphabet games that will allow them to stimulate their curiosity. In a nutshell, you must let play takeover.
Below are some actionable tips on teaching toddlers letters.
Tips on Teaching the Alphabet to Toddlers
1. Introduce books
While books can be intimidating for toddlers, they are our friends. And you must help your toddlers feel the same way about them. Of course, it would be insane to introduce thick novels and fiction books to your children. Instead, introduce alphabet books and storybooks that are filled with colorful illustrations or photos.
Read to your toddler, and you’ll be surprised as their attention to books grow. When they start noticing the letters and words, you can begin reading and pointing them. When you do this, toddlers will mimic your behaviors (as they usually do), and soon they will begin to retain the information as they are learning.
Make sure to read with your child as often as possible. Also, introduce a variety of books to retain their interest. Buy books that are rich in images and interactive.
2. Sing ABC songs
Alphabet songs and nursery rhymes may not be very exciting for you, but they will help your toddler learn the alphabet in a fun way—without any pressure!
Many parents play ABCs in their houses, probably over a hundred times. In the beginning, your toddler will learn each letter and their sounds. As they continue to listen to such songs, they will enhance their comprehension and soon sing along to the alphabet songs.
It’s essential that you introduce a variety of ABC songs. Otherwise, your toddler might get tired of it. Sing with your child, and better yet, dance over the alphabet songs. Repeat this often, and you’ll be surprised to see your child pick up the alphabet letters faster.
3. Introduce ABC games and interactive toys
Toddlers love to play—it’s what they want to do most of the time. So, use toys and games that will entertain them and at the same time, teach them the alphabet. This way, they’re learning while playing.
You can purchase letter boards and other interactive ABC toys online or in your local department store. Choose toys that will also improve their sensory skills. As a side note, we suggest picking wooden toys over plastic ones. We also recommend toys that are intact, so you don’t have to search for missing pieces every time your toddler plays with them.
Furthermore, we also advise selecting toys with photos in it (images that represent each letter. I.e., apple for A, ball for B, etc.) These visual aids will help your toddler recognize letters and widen their vocabulary.
4. Buy letter puzzles
Puzzles… puzzles… Puzzles. What better way to stimulate your toddler’s logical and critical thinking than puzzles? We like to use puzzles as learning tools because they enhance many skills, most notably sensory and problem-solving skills.
When teaching the alphabet to toddlers, it’s best to encourage them to use their eyes and ears and their hands, which give added benefits of enhancing fine and gross motor skills.
Purchase a variety of letter games and puzzles. When playing with your toddler, don’t just focus on teaching the letters in alphabetical order. Use the letter pieces during play, and don’t rely on call-and-response. For example, instead of simply asking your child to look for the letter S, you can instead hide the letters and let your child search them. Ask them what letter they found.
5. Use downloadable worksheets
Many kids enjoy coloring. If your child loves doing so, you may introduce letter coloring sheets. They are generally available on educational websites, such as All Digital School. You can find many free downloadable printable worksheets online.
When choosing worksheets, it’s best to start with simple design sheets. Complicated designs with lots of colors and objects can be distracting. Remember, your goal here is to incorporate alphabet learning with coloring.
Provide your child with several coloring utensils, like sharpies, markers, paint, and crayons.
Zoolingo for Teaching the Alphabet for Toddlers
If screen time doesn’t bother you, we suggest using educational toddler apps for your kids. Zoolingo is an innovative mobile app that you can use for teaching letters to toddlers. It features alphabet games and puzzles that will help enhance your child’s knowledge of the alphabet.
With Zoolingo, your toddler will learn to identify each letter, trace them, and organize them in the correct order. Zoolingo has three main alphabet games:
Our letter tracing game aims to help toddlers learn the alphabet as they trace them. We start by playing a phonic song for each letter. The phonic song involves bright, colorful graphics and cheerful music that repeats the word associated with the letter. (A is for apple, a-a-apple, a-a-apple. A, apple).
Then, we ask toddlers to trace the letter on the screen. To help them, we’ve placed arrows teaching them which direction they should trace first. We also show a quick guide to make the process much easier for them.
Letter tracing has been proven effective at helping children remember and recognize letters. They also get to improve their fine motor skills and build penmanship.
Our alphabet games are available in 13 languages. You may switch languages quickly and easily in-game.
We want kids to master the alphabet as soon as they can. Our letter recognition game is perfect for toddlers who have already memorized the alphabet song. This game challenges them to select the letter being said in the game.
Letter recognition is critical because it enables toddlers to figure out how printed text is linked with the spoken language. When kids master the letter names, they can sound out letters much easier. The sounds of several letter names are closely associated with the letter sound.
The game will ask kids to select the spoken letter. For example, select D when you hear the /d/ sound or choose M when you hear the /m/ sound. Toddlers exposed to letter recognition will learn not only the letter form but the sound as well.
The ability to recognize letters is crucial for kids to learn reading. It also comes before phonemic decoding and awareness.
Our third letter game for teaching the alphabet to toddlers is the sequencing game. In this game, we ask toddlers to select the correct letter that will complete the sequence. This will help them recall what they’ve learned from the alphabet songs, the tracing game, and the letter recognition game.
It’s essential that kids can identify letters whether they are in or out of sequence. Sequencing letters (and other games associated with organizing ideas, events, or thoughts) have been proven to boost memorization and logical thinking. Toddlers exposed to this kind of game, therefore, will be able to sharpen their thinking skills.
Our letter sequencing game is fun and easy. It’s interactive and explicitly designed to keep toddlers interested and engaged.
Download Zoolingo Now!
Zoolingo is a free-to-download educational app that features hundreds of games and puzzles. Our zoo-themed games will teach toddlers and preschoolers all they need to become literate and excellent achievers!
By playing Zoolingo, toddlers can master the alphabet. Not just that, we also have math games, mazes, vocabulary games, coloring pages, and spelling. They will also see different land, sea, and air animals. Our latest Zoo game enables kids to clean, feed, and dress up various zoo animals!
Our educational app has reached millions of downloads, and thousands of parents and educators use Zoolingo to supercharge their children’s early education. Download Zoolingo now on your iOS or Android device for free!