Early Letter Knowledge

Enrichment Therapies

February 9, 2017

Did you know that you can begin teaching the skill of letter knowledge to your babies?  That’s right!  You don’t need to wait until they begin preschool (although that is also an important time to expose them to letters).  Here are some easy activities for you to do with your young kiddos to help prepare them to be good readers and spellers.

Babies/Toddlers: An early letter knowledge skill is recognizing the difference between the shapes of letters.  In order to help your little one to develop this skill, let him play with toys and objects that are different shapes.  Describe them to him by talking about shape, size, and color (Here is a round, blue ball.)  Read books with your baby or toddler and talk about the shapes and colors of objects on the pages.  Rhymes and songs that feature colors, sizes, and shapes are lots of fun for kiddos.  And repetition is key!  Even if you feel like you have read that book or sang that song a million times, your child still loves it and he is learning!  *BONUS!  This is a wonderful time to build your child’s vocabulary.  The activities just mentioned will expose him to important words, but bombarding your child with vocabulary all the time will expand his knowledge even more.  Narrate what you are doing throughout the day (Mommy is cooking dinner) and things that you see when you are out and about (Look at that great big truck!)

Preschoolers: At this age, your child can start recognizing the letters in her name.  Let her decorate a paper that has her name written on it.  Talk about the letters and the sounds that each letter makes.  You can also help your preschooler to form letters using Playdoh (check out this blog post!) or you can play with magnetic letters.  If you’re up to a messy task- help your kiddo to write letters in shaving cream on a table (this is always a hit!)

School-Age: As your child begins school, he will be exposed to more letters and words than ever.  You as a parent can continue to support his learning by talking about letters and sound associations.  Focus on words that begin with each sound.  You might do an activity or craft project for each letter of the alphabet (decorate an alligator for A, blow bubbles for B, etc.). You can go on a scavenger hunt for items that begin with each letter.  Encourage your child to find letters in books, on signs around town, and on other everyday items.

Check out this blog post that gives more tips for helping your preschooler to become a successful reader.  And this blog post highlights some fun pre-literacy apps.

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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