Letter Naming Activities

How to Help Your Child Learn to Recognize Letters
ABC Easel
Children who are able to name and identify the letters of the alphabet have an easier time learning to read. Being able to call out letter names quickly and easily is important. Here are a few ideas for helping your child learn to recognize and name the letters in our alphabet.

1. Sing the alphabet song with your child as they play with alphabet books, blocks, and magnetic letters. Help your child learn to identify the letters in alphabet books.

2. As you are reading the morning newspaper, give a section of the paper to your child. Have your child take a crayon and circle letters that you call out. Say, "Draw a circle around letter 's'. Circle the letter 'A'." Start out by calling out the letters in your child's name. If this is difficult for your child, focus on finding only one letter each day. Say, "See how many letter 'p's you can find."

3. Put cornmeal or sand in the bottom of a cake pan or cookie sheet. Say a letter and have your child draw the letter in the cornmeal or sand. Variations: Go outside and use sidewalk chalk or draw letters in the dirt with a stick. Or you can write letters in a small dab of pudding on a plate.

4. Play I Spy with your child as you read to him each night. Say, "I spy the letter ___ on the cover of our book." Have your child point to the letter that you named. Variation: You can also do this with road signs as you drive to the grocery store.

5. Use playdough or clay to roll out long "snakes". Have your child use the "snakes" to form letters. Variation: Use toothpicks or Legos to form letters.

6. Play letter games on your computer. Call out a letter for your child to type and see how quickly he can find and type it. Ask your child to type the letters in the alphabet or the letters in his name.

7. Keep a set of magnetic letters on your refrigerator. Call out letters for your child to find. Have him sort the letters by their shapes. Say, "Find the letters with curvy lines. Find the letters with straight lines. Find the letters with dots." (i, j) Say, "Tell me the names of the pink letters. Tell me the names of the blue letters."