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Learning Letters and Their Sounds: Get Ready for K Through Play


Learning letters and their sounds is the first step towards literacy for young children! Luckily, there are plenty of fun ways to teach kids to recognize the letters, as well as the sounds they make! Here are some of our favorites:

Make letters part of daily life

I learned the alphabet as a kid, because my mom had put an alphabet border – like the ones you find in schools – up in our family room. I really like foam letters that fit into foam pieces (like the ones in this play mat), because they help kids keep the proper letter orientation. I also love these alphabet wall decals – very tempted to get a set for our home in California!

Make the most of music

Singing accentuates the sounds that letters make – vowels last longer and consonants are emphasized. Looking for ideas? Try my music for toddlers post. I think you will find that music has many other parenting benefits, as well! Need some songs to get started? Check out these 30 Fun Alphabet Songs from fun-a-day !

Play Games

I love this letter sounds race from Inspiration Laboratories, and this alphabet letter splash from Teach Mama is perfect for summer learning. Life at the Zoo even has an alphabet baking series – so you can eat your way through the alphabet!

What are your favorite ways to help kids learn letters and their sounds?

Get Ready for K Through Play button

This post is the seventh of eight in the Get Ready for K Through Play series I am working on with Bernadette of Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons, Vicky at Mess for Less, Cerys at Rainy Day Mum, and Kristina at Toddler Approved. Be sure to check out their posts as well!

Drop by our Get Ready for K Through Play Pinterest board for more ideas!

This post contains affiliate links.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

18 thoughts on “Learning Letters and Their Sounds: Get Ready for K Through Play”

  1. We had removable alphabet wall decals in Aiden’s room in our previous 2 houses. They came down and went back up pretty well. I haven’t put them back up though. I’m not sure I did a great job protecting them on our last move. Some of the letters are a bit folded.

  2. Up through middle school I remember using the letters in our foam letters puzzle to trace for presentations, so I quite understand the appeal of those puzzles.

  3. The key is to focus on sounds and lower case – the skills children most need for success with print. Leave names and lower case for later to reduce confusion, especially for at-risk students.

  4. jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa

    Love the every day natural approach to learning letters!

    We read EVERY day! We like alphabet books but even better are simple pattern books that teach repetitive sounds and easy familiar words. Shared reading is a natural way for children to begin recognizing letters and letter sounds. (No flashcards but rather everyday book talk between parents and children.)

    Miss Enigma also likes her little dry erase board. She copies letters and words from around the house or books,erases and has a go at a new set.

    I also started journal writing with the kiddos when they were toddlers. At first it’s just a bunch of scribbles. The kiddos have access to an alphabet guide and slowly letters start popping up with the scribbles and drawings.

  5. By far the best way my kiddo learned his alphabet was through magnets on the fridge! He loved those letters and numbers and figured out their sounds and was able to identify them by sight pretty early on.

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