Development FAQ: 24+ months – Entertaining and Educating your Toddler

How do I teach my daughter of 2.5 yrs the alphabet?

Is two-and-a-half too young to learn the alphabet? My daughter is interested in the letters in her books.

Learning to recite ABC is only one part of understanding how letters work. Teaching your daughter that each letter has a sound will prepare her for learning to read in the future. Use an ABC book with simple clear pictures reading it with letter sounds rather than names. By all means teach her the order of the alphabet; there are several songs which do just this. Knowing the order of the letters will be important in the future too. How else do we find names in a directory?

Show your daughter that letters and print are all around her. Point out street signs and food packets as well as looking for known letters in books.

You can make up simple games to play at odd times in the day. “How many things can you see that begin with ‘a’?”, using the sound and helping her to begin with. It is important to keep sessions short and fun so she doesn’t become bored or put off.

Use letter shaped cutters to make biscuits, serve alphabet pasta shapes and buy a set of magnetic letters and a board to play with. All will reinforce her learning.

Make an alphabet book of your own. Find pictures in magazines and use a scrapbook for your daughter to stick them in. She can help find and sort the pictures as well as sticking in. Label in small case letters, as children learn these first when at school.

There are several books for parents about teaching these pre-reading skills, which will give you many ideas. Look in the educational section in the children’s department of a large bookstore.