August 25, 2009,
S.G. asks from Allen, TX on August 22, 2009
Letter Recognition for a 4 Year Old
Hello all! My daughter recently turned 4 at the end of July and was moved up a class at her daycare. Right before being moved her teacher mentioned to me that she was a little behind on her letter recognition. So, we have been working with her nightly, 3 letters at a time. However, it does not seem to be catching. Any advice?
Thanks so much in advance!
C.M. answers from Dallas on August 23, 2009
My 4 yr old has done really well with his Leapster and the games that are meant for Pre K and Kinder. They have made it where he wants to learn the letters so he can do better at the games.
J.D. answers from Dallas on August 22, 2009
You can get foam letters and numbers at target for the bath tub (http://www.amazon.com/Rub-A-Dub-Abc-123/dp/B000246L8E/ref.... That is how I taught my daughter who is two. She knows all her letters and 0-10. Leap Frog also makes a magnet for the fridge with interchangeable letters (http://www.amazon.com/LeapFrog-Fridge-Phonics-Magnetic-Al...) which once you put the letter in it says the name of the letter and tells you what sound it makes.
S.B. answers from Dallas on August 22, 2009
I would also recommend integrating the letters into something that is fun. Maybe draw a picture of something with sidewalk chalk and think outloud about what that might start with and write that letter. Say "Yes, a P for pumpkin," or something like that. You can also get shaving cream and finger paint letters into it. Super-easy clean up. Another thing I did was put labels up, like "socks" and put it on her sock drawer, or "door" and put it on the door. When it's time to use the sock drawer, act like you are hunting for it, and then you found the s. "Yay! The socks must go there." You could also go to a teachers store and look for games to help with letter recognition.
Another thing we used was the Leap Frog Letter Factory video. My son not only learned his letters, but all his letter sounds very early because of his obsession with this video.
R.F. answers from Dallas on August 22, 2009
I got my son several of those pre-school workbooks with several different activities to do for each letter (I also got some for math, shapes, numbers, etc.). He has caught on to letter recognition much faster and easier with these than with me trying to go over it with him. He just asks me what he has to do on the page and then he goes and does it (hes 4). I got some with disney characters from dollar tree and some with just general characters from the childrens book section at walmart. He has a lot of fun doing them and it has also helped him with writing and using a pencil.
J.F. answers from San Francisco on August 22, 2009
As a former preschool teacher, I have found the best way to teach is to follow. Perhaps instead of making the letters themselves the subjuct, simply put them into her already enjoyable activities. For example, if she has a favorite movie, turn the closed captioning on and read them with her. Incorporate them into artwork done at home. My 4 year old son loves his foam letters for bathtime & we spell the names of favorite characters or toys. I believe the balance is to sneek the lesson in, but do it in small doses. Similar to a snipit of a song being played multiple times a day. Eventualy the song will be stuck in your head and there you go... lesson learned! I have other suggestions as well, but this, by far, works for almost everything. Remember, if it's not fun, it work.
A.M. answers from Dallas on August 23, 2009
I agree with the Leap Frog series. My 2 year old knows all of the letters and their sounds and it is mostly due to the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics and the video, The Letter Factory.
We also incorporate learning into our day. At the mall/store, we read all of the signs, especially in the parking lot where there are big letter/number signs to tell you where you parked. I also make his food into letters and numbers.
S.S. answers from Dallas on August 25, 2009
I agree with Stacey with the shaving cream, you can also use playdough, pudding, applesauce, cheerios, etc. My son had to have a reason why he needed to learn something. For instance when we were trying to teach him our phone number when he was 3-4 he could/would not remember it. Finally, one day he was at my parents house and my mom picked up the phone and told him to call your mom at home. She told him the number, he dialed it, and had it memorized from then on. Play games in the car like find the letter A, and that will show her the "reason" behind knowing your alphabet.