Activity 1: The ABCs

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Children are naturally curious about their names and become excited when they can identify letters in their names. Once they know some letters in their names, they begin to find those letters all around them.

Words & Language: Activity 1

lettersBenefits for Your Child:

  • Identifies letters
  • Recognizes letters in own name
  • Associates letters in own name with other words
  • Identifies name in print

Children are naturally curious about their names and become excited when they can identify letters in their names. Once they know some letters in their names, they begin to find those letters all around them. This is an easy place to start learning about the alphabet because names are personal and important. Learning the alphabet is an important pre-reading skill. If your child knows at least 10 letters, including those in his/her name, by the time he/she starts kindergarten, he/she is more likely to be a successful reader.

Kindergarten Connection tooltip

In kindergarten, children will name all upper- and lower-case letters of the alphabet in random order, and also spell their first name correctly.

Activity: Nameplate

Sit with your child and write his/her name on the poster board or paper, using a capital letter at the beginning followed by lower-case letters. Write the letters as large as the paper will allow, naming each letter as you write it. Encourage your child to repeat each letter name as you say it. Have your child use the markers and other materials to personalize the nameplate, keeping the letters readable. Talk about the letters as your child decorates the nameplate. “Oh, you are coloring the letter G yellow.” “See, the G is shaped almost like a circle.” Help your child decide where to display the nameplate.

Materials:

  • Poster board or other paper
  • Markers, crayons, or other writing/coloring materials
  • Decorating items such as stickers, glitter, yarn, pipe cleaners

More Ideas:

  • Use the nameplate to help your child find words around your house that include the letters in your child’s name.
  • Point out letters in your child’s name on cans, boxes, signs, billboards, and stores.
  • Put the nameplate in front of your child’s seat in the car. Have your child point out letters as you ride.

Tips:

  • If your child already knows all of the letters in his/her name, begin with the letters in his/her last name and then move on to other family members’ names.
  • This activity is not intended to teach your child all the letters in his/her name in one sitting. It is an introduction only. You may want to focus on only the first letter of your child’s name.

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Books: The ABCs

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin. All the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree.

Dr. Seuss’s ABCs by Dr. Seuss. This fun book helps small children to learn the letters and their sounds.

A: My Name is Alice by Jane Bayer. The well-known jump rope rhyme is built on letters of the alphabet.

Alphabatics by Suse MacDonald. The letters of the alphabet are transformed into twenty-six illustrations.

Complete Book List