Teaching your toddler their letters and numbers is an important skill that will get them ready for school. These are simple skills your child will delight in mastering. Here are some tips on teaching your toddler their ABCs and 123s.
Teach toddlers their ABCs with Leap Frog’s ABC Animal Orchestra book from Tag Junior. This is a good interactive book to teach toddlers letter names. Each page features an animal with a different instrument like Moose’s Maracas. For counting try LeapFrog Tag Junior Book: 1-2-3 Dora. This charming book features Dora the Explorer counting various items in both English and Spanish. There are also printable activities to go along with the tag junior books. The tag junior book pal gives these books sounds and is sold separately. Another simpler book is Elmo’s ABC book where Elmo tries to choose his favorite letter. All of these books are available at amazon.com.
Make it Tactile
Using colored yogurt, pudding or whipped cream, trace out the letters and numbers on a cookie sheet or high chair tray. Then encourage your toddler to do the same. This can get a little messy but it is a lot of fun. Writing with chalk is another fun option for writing letters and numbers.
Those little magnetic letters that stick to the refrigerator can help with letter recognition. As you put the letters onto a magnetic surface, say the letter name. After your child has mastered their letters, you can work on letter sounds and short words. Take it a step further by introducing your child to the LeapFrog fridge phonics magnetic alphabet set. Made for children over three, this fun toy goes on the fridge and says both letters and sound names.
The simple task of singing the ABC song is a good way to teach toddlers their ABCs. Kids love this catchy tune and will delight in learning it. For an online version of this song, go to freeabcsongs.com. There are also many songs on youtube.com. I like Ten Little Numbers and this Sesame Street video that counts one to twenty.
Starfall.com has been an important part of my daughter’s learning experience. This interactive site has an ABC section with fun activities for every letter. Another site with both letter and number games is sesamestreet.org. There’s egg counting with Elmo and Counting with Big Bird. These games focus on counting objects by clicking on them with a star cursor. When your toddler gets older, they can do these games by themselves.
There are some very fun videos out there that help toddlers master their alphabet. Sesame Street: Preschool is Cool! ABCs with Elmo is filled with delightful renditions of the ABC song. This is available at amazon.com for $11.99. A similar DVD is Preschool is Cool: Counting with Elmo. Both of these DVDs are available on Netflix.com for rental. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 should not watch any television. This includes DVDs and watching videos on the Internet. When kids are over two, limit TV and video watching to one hour a day of age appropriate material. Even better, when your toddler is watching an educational program, watch it with them and point out colors, numbers and letters.
I am not a doctor or early childhood development specialist but I am a teacher and parent. These are simply options and ideas that have worked for me.