I get a lot of comments and questions about B and how well she knows her ABCs (which she calls ABCDs, which is adorable). To be honest, I don’t really pay much attention to the milestones lists. You know, the ones that say ‘your child must be doing this, this, and this’ at a certain age. Our pediatrician verifies them with us when we have our check-ups, but other than that I just focus on teaching B anything and everything I can. She picked up her ABCs really quick, and honestly, I can’t take the credit. These are the 5 ways learning ABCs was a snap for us!
1) ALPHABET APPS
I can feel all of you “no screen time” mamas rolling your eyes right now. B doesn’t use the iPad constantly. We really limit her time on it. But at the same time, I don’t have ANY qualms with her using it because I am very specific about the apps she has, and they are ALL learning apps. There is one app that literally changed her life, and that is Endless Alphabet.
In the app a word shows on the screen. Little monsters run by and all the letters get scrambled up! Your child has to put the letters back in the right spot by dragging them with their fingers. Each letter makes a silly sound that is what the letter sounds like, like “fuh” for F, while your child drags it to its spot. It’s very cute. Once the word puzzle is complete, confetti falls, and you see a video with a narrator using the word in context. So not only does a child learn letters, but they also learn words and what they mean.
B used to play with this app every now and then, and then one day she was just flying through the puzzles – knew all the letters and where they went. It blew our minds. She was only like 18 months old! It was truly amazing. And that is why it is always my first recommendation when it comes to apps. Check out your app store often, there are always new apps to try! However, be prepared to pay a buck or two for some of them. Good children’s apps with full features and no ads often cost money, but they’re worth it. We often ask for iTunes gift cards for B for her birthday or holidays because I know how much use she will get out of them.
2) ALPHABET MAGNETS
These are a God send for me. If they didn’t exist I couldn’t cook any meals in peace. Whenever we are in the kitchen B plays with hers and we sing our ABCD’s (as she calls them) and she quizzes me on which letter is which. I recently replaced her ugly plastic magnets with these gorgeous handmade fabric ones thanks to Margaux Makes. She generously sent them to us to try out and tell you about! They’re incredible. They’re soft, so I never have to worry about stepping on one – that ish HURTS!
Margaux creates each letter herself. She lovingly cuts, stuffs, and stitches them. You can get them with magnets or without. We chose magnets for the fridge (they look prettier than the plastic ones, too). But the ones without magnets are great too.
Margaux’s creations make great tools for learning letters. We use them by holding them up like flash cards and quizzing B on which letter is which. As she got older and smarter, we started trying to trick her. We would hold up a Y and say “is this a C?”, and she would laugh and say “nooo, it’s a Y!”. She has so much fun playing ABC games. As she grows I will be able to spell words out with her to teach her spelling and reading. Right now we are working on teaching her how to spell her name.
I highly recommend Margaux’s letters for your fridge or toy box. One of the best handmade learning toys I’ve found! You can purchase them from her etsy shop here.
3) ALPHABET PUZZLES
There are a few great wooden alphabet puzzles out there. Our personal favourite is by Hape, which you can see above. The letters are bright and colourful, and everything is made of wood, so I know it will last through many toddler tornadoes. Surprisingly, we haven’t misplaced any of the letters yet, either! It’s so pretty I don’t mind it sitting out. AND it’s on SALE right now at Amazon. You can buy it from Amazon here, if you want to!
Here are some other alphabet puzzles we highly recommend:
4) ALPHABET BOOKS
This is pretty obvious I guess, but books that teach your child about the alphabet are another great way to get them learning fast. Especially if the book makes it FUN!
Here are some of our favourite alphabet books:
5) ALPHABET ACTIVITIES
Growing up I always learned best by DOING. By using my hands and interacting, not by just reading. And more and more research is coming to light proving that children learn best through play. So it makes sense to use play as an opportunity to teach, which you can do with the toys mentioned above, or with a fun activity or craft!
Whenever I am looking for great learning activities, I head to PINTEREST! It’s the best collection of, well, anything really.. but it’s incredible for activities, especially when you have a theme in mind. I am often pinning great kids activities, so don’t forget to follow us here! And check out my ABC Activities board here!
So those are my 5 Easy Ways to Make Learning ABCs a SNAP! Keep in mind that every child is different, and every child learns at their own pace. It is important to always offer activities and games to your child that encourage learning, but they may not grasp it right away, or by what the milestone charts say is normal, but I promise you they will get there. And all of these tips, tricks, and toys are the best way to help them, PLUS it’s FUN!