Abcs & 123S!

Updated on July 11, 2011
E.A. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
19 answers

Hi mamas,
Just wondering - how old was/were your child(ren) when they learned their numbers & letters?

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!!


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answers from New York on

What exactly do you mean? That they can say the alphabet or can recognize all the letters? Do you literally mean ABC and 123? What are you asking about numbers? How high they can count and at what age or that they can recognize all their number 1-20?

My son could say the alphabet at a little older than 2 1/2 but didn't recognize more than a few letters correctly until after 3. As far as numbers, I think he could count to 10 and recognize those numbers by 2 1/2, mostly because of Thomas. It wasn't until after 3 that he could count to 20 and consistently recognize his numbers.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Mine is 3.5 now and I can't really remember. Know them to say them? About 2, I'd guess Recognize them, upper and lower? Before 3, but I don't know exactly when before 3. Probably right about 3.

Truly, I don't think it really matters when they do... by 7 they all will! :-)

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answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi E.,

Both of my kids were recognizing letters and numbers before 18 months, and had letters and their sounds down by age 2. I know other parents who have kids in kindergarten still working on getting their letters and sounds down -- so I think there is a big spectrum.

We love Leapfrog's Letter Factory and Math Adventure to the Moon (my kids also love Let's Go to School, the Amazing Alphabet and Numbers Ahoy). Everyone I know who has and uses Letter Factory has little ones that know all of their letters and their sounds at a really young age. =) They are such a great resource... my 3-year-old can count by 2s, 5s and 10s thanks to Math Adventure to the Moon. (BTW, we're not a big TV family, but I'm happy to let them watch these two videos a few times a week!!)

I am a big reader and wanted to instill a love for reading with our kids. We try to make letters fun. We have Leapfrog's Fridge Phonics (which works nicely with Letter Factory -- the same songs), foam letters for the tub, and wooden letters to play with. I also found a fun craft where we painted letters and numbers on rocks -- we keep them in a bucket on the porch. My 20 month old loves them.

We also do a lot of coloring letters. I write the alphabet out, and they scribble on them. They're too little to really be tracing the letters yet, but they like to name the letters and then try to draw them.

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answers from Redding on

Gee your kids all sound geniuses.
My son knew his letters and could read by kindergarten and was bored to death and caused problems for the teacher wanting to do something else. (go outside and play).
Daughter never wanted to be read to, or watch Sesame Street, or any other kids tv show, and knew basically nothing but the ABC song by kindergarten and was the best student, so ready to learn.
Grand daughter is nearly 4. She knows the ABC song, can count to 25 or so, in English, and 10 in Spanish. Actually learned Spanish first, I guess we should thank Dora The Explorer since none of us speak Spanish. And she can spell her first name, and knows how to write the first letter, H. She doesnt seem to recognize written numbers at all, but I cant say that any of us have actually tried. SO I guess I need to get busy with her and make sure she is ready for preschool in a couple months. Shes so easy to teach I think it wont be hard. I just didnt want to force her or push her to do anything more than normal everyday stuff. I like to let her have the thrill of learning it in school. Sure will be better than my son wanting to go outside to play instead.

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answers from Detroit on

My daughter could recognize all letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and could recite the alphabet just after she turned 2.

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answers from Fresno on

My daughter turned 2 in March and she knows the ABC song and can identify letters. She can count to 10.

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 3 and she counts to 20, and she knows her ABC's, I dont rember how old my other two were though since it's been such along time-I would have to check their baby book's! But I also read alot to my youngest which opens her mind up more and she learned alot too! I kind'a want to say don't pressure it and as long as your doing your part in reading and showing him-her the letters then he-she will gradually get it. Also, I noticed the "pop-up" books work well in grabbing their attention while reading to them! Also, put out crayons, macaroni,etc. and let them count it but make it fun! But they will eventually get it! My daughter will sometimes skip a number or two but it's ok, just as long as she gets it! Good Luck! And yes, I am having a splended weekend as I hope you are too!


answers from Rochester on

When my oldest was two, she could read, identify, write, and give the phonetic sound for all the letters, and could count to 20. However, I worked with her on it every day with games and everyday activities.


answers from Las Vegas on

My little one is 2 1/2 now. She knows the alphabet song, knows the written letters (not reading, but just big "A" little "a", big "B" little "b" type of thing), knows numbers up to 20, numbers up to 10 in spanish.


answers from Dallas on

Both our daughters learned before turning two (my kids are 17 and 2 1/2, yes a beautiful age difference and great blessing : )
Now the youngest is learning to write her name. I'm one of those odd mom's. Like I taught our oldest to read from the Bible; I believe if a child can accomplish the names and places in the Bible they can read anything.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter learned her numbers (1-10) when she was about 18 months, and her letters at about 22 months (I second the recommendation for Leap Frog's Letter Factory!). She just turned two and knows the phonetic sounds for all the letters, "reads" and "spells" about 15 words (mostly I think it's just pattern recognition), and can count/identify up to the number 15.



answers from Miami on

My child was exposed as soon as she could walk with foam letters etc. When did she start saying letters as soon as she could talk when did she comprehend probably 2 . But there is a difference. School wize in preschool they were teaching the letters. What I found sad was when she started kindergarden they had to spend the first two months going over letters and numbers. My child was completely bored. Really with vmk and other stuff out there by the time the kid gets to kindergarden they should be able to count and write to 10 and write and say the alphabet



answers from Seattle on

Fluent in letters (sight & sound) : 2.5
Fluent in reading : 3
Fluent in numbers : 4
Fluent in basic arithmetic (single and double digit +-x/): 4
Typing : 3.5
Handwriting : Pshaw. Age 9 and still not one for handwriting. It's torturous for him. Types about 50wpm, but does maybe 10 words and hour written out. MAJOR perfection issues.

This wasn't anything we were aiming for/ drilling/ etc. He absolutely loved playing on as a toddler, and in 6mo was reading at a Magic Treehouse level, and then got bored with reading when he discovered the "numbers works" in his preschool (started the school at 3.5) and went nuts with them. He still prefers math over english.



answers from York on

My son started counting to 10 around 18 months because he adores "Miss Ellen," our librarian who always reads one counting book at story time. At 2 years, he can only truly count up to three things, though. Anything more and he just recites all his numbers in order :) He also started learning basic colors at 18 months. At 2 he's even picked up random colors like aqua. He started singing the alphabet song around 22 months. He would skip lots of letters and say Elmo P instead of L,M,N,O,P ! Now at 2 years, he says all the letters correctly, except S, which he says F for instead. But it's just a song to him. I think it's just beginning to dawn on him that ABC song is about the letters we see on the fridge and in books. As far as recognizing printed letters, he only recognizes 5 or 6. He doesn't recognize any printed numbers. He's just not "there" yet with shapes I think. He can only consistently point out circles, which no doubt has to do with his love of cars! It's kind of frustrating because I would love him to learn his letters, but then I remind myself that I don't want him to hate learning so I shouldn't push too hard. After all, I have no idea how or why he learned colors, he just liked them. And numbers and the alphabet he learned because he loves music and his librarian!



answers from Houston on

1.5 - 2yo for my son.



answers from Philadelphia on

My first daughter could recite the alphabet at 26 months. My 2nd daughter at 19 1/2 months. I don't remember when they knew how to count but I would say it was around the same time since we reviewed number and letters together long with the days of the week, the months of the year, seasons etc. I taught my 2nd daughter to read when she turned 4 using the book "Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". I did not teach my older daughter to read but I read to her constantly since the day I brought her home from the hospital. In third grade I had her reading level tested and depending on the test, she tested from a 9th grade 7 month to 11 grade 9 month reading level.



answers from Utica on

I am a SAHM so I am fortunate enough to be able to give my daughter many hours of my uninterupted attention which I think is a major factor in how fast they pick up on these things. My daughter is 18 months and has been able to count to 10 since she was 14 months and knows all the numbers by sight not just in numerical order. She sings along to the alphabet somewhat and knows most of the song but actually does better with the letters on their own. She pretty much knows what each letter is when you ask her but she likes to let us take over the song most of the time =)



answers from Washington DC on

Ladies, I am so impressed that you remember! My kids are 9 and 7, and ummmm, I have no idea when they learned numbers and letters. But I DO know that they are both reading and doing grade level math. I guess that's good? I've always heard it doesn't really matter how early or late they learn stuff (within reason) and that they all catch up in 3rd grade. Sounds about right to me :)



answers from Daytona Beach on

1.5-2 for my daughter. 3 for my son as he had no interest in it. but by 4 he was reading simple books tht they read in kindergarden.

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