23 answers

Helping 3 Year Old with Abc's

I have noticed that my 3 year old is having trouble with his ABC's (he can sing the entire alphabet song no problem, but has trouble recognizing the letters). We have letters for the bath and I have noticed that he sometimes puts the letters backwards on the tile and he has difficulty doing his ABC puzzles, but can do picture puzzles very easily - he is great with color and shapes. My dad (his grandfather) is dyslexic, so I am not sure if that is heritary or not and my husband had reading issues as a small child. He is in daycare and they go over letters there, but he definately needs some outside help. I would appreciate any ideas to help him along. Thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

there is avideo call the letter factory it is grea tmy 4 year old was reading at just 4. my daughter letter identification 18 months i swaer by them. when i need to clean house or shower i pop that movie in and only that one whenever i put the tv on for them. They all have enjoyed it and learned very fast!! mokm of now 6

3 is young, so give it time. There are letters everywhere, store signs, street signs books. Pick a letter of the week and try to point them all out. Just a thought. One more great tool that my son still loves to watch is Leap Frogs Letter Factory. It is a 25 minute video and goes through all the letters and their sounds in a way that the kids will remember. I love it when my son says D for Daddio or Toe tapping T. Keep it fun!

More Answers

He sounds to me like a perfectly normal 3 year old--no need to worry!! I am a certified reading specialist and mom of two. The best way for him to learn is to continue the activities you are doing in a FUN way. Kids learn best through repeated exposure and play in a fun, interactive, environment. :o)

Actually, the very BEST thing you can be doing with him is just reading to him each and every day. It is through repeated readings of favorite books that he will come to understand that the symbols on the page mean something. By learning to love books he will naturally come to learn his letters, to recognize sight words, and, eventually, to read on his own.

If you are looking for some great alphabet books, check these out: http://www.myubam.com/ecommerce/results.asp?sid=V1838&amp...
One of the things you will notice is that all of these are all FUN and INTERACTIVE between you and your son. They also focus on lower case letters - most letters we see when we read are lower case and, in most cases, the lower case letter looks nothing like the upper case letter.

However, again, the most important thing you can do with your son is just to read books to him. Research shows it truly is the best way to help him to be successful later in life.

K. Lilley, M.Ed.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi, there-your little guy has plenty of time to learn, but in the meanwhile, www.starfall.com provides a ton of abc games, early reading books, phonics help, etc. It's brightly colored, interactive, and repetitive without being monotonous. Check out scholastic.com and pbskids.org, too. You can also try developing more of his sensory familiarity with letters by letting him make letters and words with shaving cream, clay, etc. The sensory stimulation often works wonders, and the kids have fun, too. Most of all, keep reading to him each and every day!

1 mom found this helpful

dont worry he is 3 he doesnt need to know them yet! if you make learning a chore now its going to be counterproductive in the future. you can do simple things like cut out large letters and let him decorate them. place them in several locations and when they are noticed simply state which ones they are. He will get it eventually do not worry!

1 mom found this helpful

Dyslexia is hereditary. One way you can find out if he has it is to test how he's hearing multisyllabic words. For example, kids who say "pasketti" for spaghetti" may have dyslexia. Typically kids with dyslexia do not hear the beginning sounds of words/phrases accurately, but they can hear the end of the words just fine.

Please don't worry (yet) about pushing the letters. Having your son be able to hear and articulate the phonemes correctly is the first and foremost skill that he must master before he can start matching the letters and sounds. If he doesn't understand that sounds make up words, he will not catch on to the symbols of those sounds. You can practice this by rhyming or naming objects that begin with the same sound.

Kids who can name the letters, write them and know the sounds either are gifted or they memorized them. Truly understanding the abstract concepts of letter symbols comes later... around age 5.

1 mom found this helpful

My advice...let him be 3 and enjoy himself. If you are encouraging the alphabet and exposing him to letters his letter recognition will come. I think sometimes we expect too much from our little ones. Just keep giving him opportunities/exposure to letters and soon you'll see that he recognizes them and even enjoys learning all about them! My son had no interest in that when he was 3 and now (he just turned 5) he knows all his letters and sounds of the letters. He is starting to put sounds together to form words. Anyhow, that's just my two cents.

1 mom found this helpful

buy Leap Frog Letter FActory DVD. Watch it a few times every day for a week. Your child will know all letters and sounds by the end of the week. It's that easy and works. I used to teach a letter a week, then one year I had a bunch of younger 3's and started the year with an alphabet theme. I bought that DVD and they loved it so much we watched it over and over. By the end of that week ALL of them, even the not yet 3 yr old, knew their ABCs. I was shocked. Ruined my whole curriculum but who cared!! Now I give every preschooler a copy of that video when they enroll.

I agree the others: three is too young to be worried! What you want to do now is instill intellectual curiousity and love of learning. So I would have the leap frog stuff be part of his life but I wouldn't push it to the exclusion of other toys or activities he likes. One thing that will really enhance his learning is for you (and/or other loved ones in his life) to get down on the floor with him and play with him, letting him take the lead. I am also a big believer in not just going with toys and activities specifically designed for little kids. Take him to the Field Museum and the Aquarium and the Botanic Garden. You can point out the letters on the signs and also start getting him interested in all the variety in our world - all the different colors and shapes and sounds etc. Have fun!

I agree- Leap Frog fridge phonics and the letter factory dvd!! Also, if he watches tv, make sure it's sesame street or word world, Super Why, etc. My daughter picked up A LOT from educational shows!

there is avideo call the letter factory it is grea tmy 4 year old was reading at just 4. my daughter letter identification 18 months i swaer by them. when i need to clean house or shower i pop that movie in and only that one whenever i put the tv on for them. They all have enjoyed it and learned very fast!! mokm of now 6

At this point you have nothing to worry about. He's 3.

At 3 he should start recognizing the first letter of his name. At this age, he might be able to sing the ABC song but he doesn't get the "meaning" of the song. Ask him what letter comes after k and you'll probably get some blend of lmnop - to him just a song, not individual letters.

It is also completely developmentally appropriate for him to be reversing his letters (it is developmentally appropriate until 2nd grade!) They will not test for dyslexia until the second half of the year of 1st grade. I would also guess that since he doesn't know his ABCs he has no idea which way the letters should be facing.

If you want to help him get ahead you can work on letters with him but don't push too hard - he's 3. I would also suggest working on rhyming - that can be a hard concept for some kids and it will actually help him when he starts to read in kindergarten. Say the word "dog" and start saying other words that rhyme with it. He'll chime in once he understands what's going on. Another tip - read to him, a lot. Ask questions about the story - "why did he do that?", "what do you think is going to happen?", "was that the right thing to do?"

If you're looking for TV shows - try WordWorld, Sesame Street, Super Why, Blues Clues.

Your son doesn't need "outside help". He sounds like a normal 3 year old. If you expect more out of him, you'll end up with a frustrated kid. Once he gets to kindergarten, whether he knows what each letter looks like isn't a big deal - they'll be going over ever letter because not all kids will know what they look like!

My two year old LOVES the V-Tech tote-n-go laptop. We played with it together for awhile and now he can do some of it on his own. There are many different games but one is letter recognition using the keyboard. There is one game for upper case letters and one for lower case letters. There are games to maneuver the mouse, number recognition, etc. Also, he loves that he has a laptop like mommy and daddy. :)
http://www.vtechkids.com/product.cfm/Tote_Go_Laptop_Plus/... (This is just for reference...I am sure you can find it elsewhere. I think I ordered via Amazon.)

3 is young, so give it time. There are letters everywhere, store signs, street signs books. Pick a letter of the week and try to point them all out. Just a thought. One more great tool that my son still loves to watch is Leap Frogs Letter Factory. It is a 25 minute video and goes through all the letters and their sounds in a way that the kids will remember. I love it when my son says D for Daddio or Toe tapping T. Keep it fun!

ditto on the leap frog letter factory!

don't worry yet...they all develop at their own pace! Seriously, try the video and then play the game with him at the end!

Consider having his checked and also check for possible dyslexia.

First, dyslexia can be inherited. Though that doesn't mean it definitely is. I wanted to test my daughter when she was 4 because she was always switching the letters when making words. If she could memorize something, she got it right but anything else she 95% of the time switched the letters around. I was told by both the school tester and by a therapist that she was too young. If testing was done before the child was ready (read too young), more than 85% of kids would come up with some learning handicap. You can talk to your doctor but keep working with him. After rough starts, my daughter is a great speller--most of the time.:)
BTW, I wouldn't rely totally or freak out on how they saw multi-syllable words. All my kids and nieces/nephews pronounced them differently, like pasghetti or Verokina for Veronica. Except for my one nephew with ADHD, none have been diagnosed with anything. When they get older it clears up for them. And I totally agree that Leapfrog items are a great way to teach and help your child learn.

Definitely try Leapfrog's Letter Factory and Word Factory dvds - they are amazing (start with Letter Factory). My son could recognize all of his letters well before 3 and can now sound out small words (he turned 3 in October). We read a lot and work with him, but I'm convinced the main reason he knows his letters so well is because of those dvds. :) I'd like to take the credit but think I have to give it to Leapfrog!

Three years old is early for letters so I wouldn't worry that he's putting them backwards or messing them up. I'm sure he'll get the hang of it.

He's 3! That's still very young to grasp the concept of letters. My kids all seemed to get it by age 4 and with my oldest age 5. Although Dyslexia can be inherited I wouldn't worry about it at this young of an age. And I don't think they will even do testing until they are in school.

When I was pregnant with my second and stuck on the couch with morning sickness, I resorted to letting my older child (then 2.5) watch Leap Frog Letter Factory...he loved it and watched it over and over again. Next thing I knew he was able to recognize all the letters of the alphabet AND say the SOUND of each letter! I've heard similar success from friends of mine. My son is now in kindergarten, and is still putting to use what he learned from that video! Highly recommend this DVD!

My son loves playing with the Leapfrog Fridge magnet set. There is a holder that says the name of the letter, the sound it makes, and sings a little song when you put a letter into it. There is also a Leapfrog dvd The Letter Factory that is great. Both of these helped my son a lot. Good Luck!

At that age, this is completely normal. Consider the Toys-R-Us sign. They use a backwards R to appeal to our ideas about childhood, not to make us think about dyslexia. Children have to start learning somewhere. Bath letters are great, partly because they can be placed backwards, forwards and upside down.

He's 3. He doesn't need to know his ABCs yet. Start with recognizing the letters in his name and read to him a lot!!! There is plenty of time to learn them. They work on them all the way through Kindergarten. Let him be 3.

Just wanted to add my vote to the Leapfrog line! Fridge Phonics or the Word Whammer (this works on letters and 3 letter words) as well as the the whole line of DVD's. We have The Letter Factory and my son loves it (he's 2) and he also loves the newest one called "Let's Go To School".

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.