Education: Learning Your Letters
Learning your letters is something every child must go through. I have a preschooler who is currently learning his letters and letter sounds. Having good fundamentals in letter sounds will help your child when he is learning to read and sounding out the words. We want our boys and girls to enjoy reading, so we must give them every learning advantage we can find.
When my oldest was in preschool his teacher explained to us that learning letters is a multi-step process. Children see the lower case letter, upper case letter, and sounds as individual learning steps. For kids, it isn’t just 26 letters, it is over 80 pieces of information. The teacher also recommended that we start with the lowercase letters, since that is the majority of what we read.
To help make the process fun and not just repetition and memorization, I made letter boxes from small Tupperware containers for all of the lowercase letters. Each box contains 4-5 pictures of objects that start with the letter, a letter big enough to trace with a finger, a wooden letter from a game we had, and two puzzle letters. The tactile nature of the box helps reinforce the letter more than just a book. I would have liked to put actual small objects in the box, but didn’t have enough to make it work for all. They can always be added over time.
The boxes are on the bookshelf in Will's room and each night we pick a letter or two to go through before we read stories. We go through the box talking about the letter sound and the letter itself. He is usually able to identify the objects. He loves doing his letters and will point some of the new ones out that he has learned when he sees them on signs. I also ask him to try and find the letter we just practiced in the book that we read for story time. Eventually I will add the uppercase letters to the boxes too.
Directions to make your own letter boxes
- 26 plastic boxes – I used some small food storage boxes
- Large-font letter, big enough for them to trace with finger, printed on cardstock or laminated
- 4-5 pictures of objects starting with the letter or actual objects
- Any other alphabet 3D objects you have, puzzle pieces, or game pieces
- Stickers or small printed letters for outside of box
This is a fun way for your child to learn her letters and create a lifelong reader in your house.
Sarah DeNike is the mom to two boys, a mompreneur, an aspiring author, a technology geek, and passionate blogger. Since her oldest child was born in 2005, she has been a stay-at-home mom and in 2009 she started her blog The Will to See, that chronicles her experiences including raising children with vision and GI issues, becoming a mompreneur, and learning how to write a book. She also writes for ShePosts and Girl Power Hour