31 answers

Teaching a 3 Year Old His Letters

Any suggestions on the best way to teach a three year old the letters of the alphabet? We have tried flash cards, dry erase boards and "bathtub" sticky letters, but there seems to be very little retention. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

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Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the feedback, honesty and support!

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LeapFrog has a DVD called Letter Factory. It not only teaches them their letters, but what sound each letter says. My daughter learned her letters and sounds from the DVD before she was 2 and a half.

I was a nonbeliever when my husband wanted to get it for her, but it worked, and she loved it! It was her favorite movie for years...(she's 7 now)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My son was the same way. I went over the ABCs several times with him and I never thought it was getting through. One day out of the blue he said the entire alphabet!!! It was in his head, but it came out when he was ready. I couldn't believe what I heard. Just keep doing what you are doing. It will come out when you least expect it.

I use the leapfrog Fridge phonics thing that is at walmart. My 3yr old has learned to say most of the alphabet he recognizes several of the letters and sounds. I started with just the letter one I am planning on getting the one that makes 3 letter words and the letters interchange between the 2. Goodluck. Each child is differant on what they need in order to learn.

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I have not read the other comments. Sometimes these things take time. At 3 they are still growing and absorbing so much. Keep working with your child and make it fun. One of my children could write their name and recognized their letters and numbers by the time they were about 3 and half - my other child developed in other areas and really did not get the letters, numbers, writing thing until they were 5. It's important to work with the child - but they are going to learn at their own pace. Try not to stress about it - the child is 3. Keep going over it. You might try focusing on one letter each week.

1 mom found this helpful

My two-year old loves the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD, and it's taught her all of her letters and their sounds. We also have soft letters, foam letters for the tub, and an ABC book; sometimes we go through them on her chalkboard. But I have to admit, it's the Letter Factory that really got her hooked on them!

That being said, I did my student teaching in a Kindergarten and many of the children learned it in that context. There's nothing wrong with that! I think just exposing your child to letters and the fact that they have meaning is huge. Reading together is huge. Making it a game is fun. My daughter now likes to point out letters on signs as we're driving, and it's a game to her. I think it's important to keep it that way when they're so little! :)

1 mom found this helpful

He/she is 3 years old, let them be 3 years old. Don't get frustrated if they can't retain this because then your frustration will come across as disapproval and that will go with them for a long time. Just have fun with them.

There is a fun curriculum that's free online that we enjoyed when my son was about that age. It's called letteroftheweek.com and we had so much fun with it. However, I didn't expect him to remember everything we went over, some things he retained, others he didn't.

I have 5 children and I found that I tried to push my 1st child to grow up before #2 came along and that was a mistake. 3 is still a toddler, still little. He/she wants Mom/Dad to just love & cuddle them, play with them, not constantly be teaching them. Yes there are teachable moments but not every moment, know what I mean? When #3 came along I didn't push #2 to grow up & it was so much better for everyone.

Right now colors & shapes, counting to 10 are good for a 3 year old. Check out that curriculum, it's really awesome and it's free.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
My first thought is that it's probably a little early for retention of the letters. I purchased alot of letters, wooden blocks and as you said, bath tub stickies. The one my children enjoyed the most and I feel actually learned something from was the fridge magnet from leap frog. It has all of the letters and it sings them a song about what letter it is and what sound it makes. My twins (who are 8 yrs now) played with it for years! I still have it, it is still working and is always a hit with the little ones. I think the price was somewhere around $25. at that time and it was money very well spent. Don't fret about retention right now, just let him enjoy playing and he will retain a little at a time.
Good luck and may God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

I know you've gotten a lot of resonses, but as teacher I just hate to not say anything! :) Patience is the trick even if he doesn't seem to be retaining it, he is gaining from what you're doing. There is such a short window of time when children are little to stimulate the neurons in the brain.
Two big things:

*Make sure he is associating the sound with the letter when you are doing it. Like go over and over T... Ttt.. not TUUU (that teaches him T and U together, not just T sound) So T, Tttt, T is for Truck, Triangle, Tilt, Thomas, etc.

*Definitely let him 'manipulate' the shape... like sand on the ground and tracing the letter in it. or shaping play dough into the letter.

Oh, and also work on lower case first. Most letters in sentences and books are lower case. Once kids have that, then they can do upper case.

Good job for teaching him before Kindergarten!!
Amanda

1 mom found this helpful

repitition is the key. You have to do one letter at a time and talk about it to death! you can't do more than one at a time. At preschools, they have a "letter of the week" and for the entire week, they talk about that letter, what sound it makes, and all kinds of things that begin with it. They also point out words or objects that begin or include the letter. There are all kinds of alphabet poems that use alliteration. it's got to be a game.

Good Luck !!!!

1 mom found this helpful

LeapFrog has a DVD called Letter Factory. It not only teaches them their letters, but what sound each letter says. My daughter learned her letters and sounds from the DVD before she was 2 and a half.

I was a nonbeliever when my husband wanted to get it for her, but it worked, and she loved it! It was her favorite movie for years...(she's 7 now)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My 2 year old knows all of her capital letters. She learned some by watching Wheel of Fortune. The rest she has learned by a playing on the computer. What we do, while we are making dinner, is pull up the word processing program and make the font big enough for us to see from where we are. We then call out letters and numbers for her to find on the keyboard. She pushes it once and if we say it is correct she pushes it a lot of times. She has fun. She is learning where the letters are on the keyboard and learning her letters. All kids love to play on computers like their parents.

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