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ABC: Learning the Alphabet

Make learning letters fun!  Experiment with various books and hands-on activities to help children learn their alphabet.  Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds and being able to recognize letters everywhere in kindergarten is a strong predictor of reading ability in tenth grade.

Alphabet Craft Ideas

  • Have children scribble and draw; it is the first step towards writing.
  • Explore letters in new ways by molding them out of play-dough or cutting them out with cookie cutters.
  • Create letters out of sandpaper, cotton balls or something textural that children can touch and trace with their fingers.
  • Instead of memorizing the whole alphabet in a day, find the first letter of your children’s names in a variety of alphabet books.
  • Create a letter collage.  It will help children to identify their letters out of order. 
  • Place letters all around your classroom.  Point to one or two letters when they relate to what you are discussing.  Going through all 26 letters can be overwhelming to children and adults.  Point to a few throughout the day and your children will start to recognize them, even the two year olds.

Alphabet Songs and Rhymes
Share songs that highlight letters and letter sounds.  Apples and Bananas and Bingo are good alternatives to the Alphabet Song.

A,B,C, Tumble
A, B, C, tumble down D,
The cat’s in the cupboard
And can’t see me.

Apples and Bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas,
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.

Now change the vowel sound to A.
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays.
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays.

Now change the vowel sound to E.
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees.
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees.

Now change the vowel sound to I.
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis.
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis.

Now change the vowel sound to O.
like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos.
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos.

Bingo
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
B-I-N-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap)-I-N-G-O! (Clap)-I-N-G-O!
(Clap)-I-N-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O!
(Clap, Clap)-N-G-O!
(Clap, Clap)-N-G-O!
(Clap, Clap)-N-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap, Clap, Clap)-G-O!
(Clap, Clap, Clap)-G-O!
(Clap, Clap, Clap)-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap, Clap, Clap, clap)-O!
(Clap, Clap, Clap, clap)-O!
(Clap, Clap, Clap, clap)-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)
(Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)
(Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)
And Bingo was his name-O!


ABC Kids by Laura Williams
Amazon Says: Kids. Lots of kids. Dirty kids, Laughing kids, Napping kids. Kids in their Underwear and kids who ride Elephants. Here are kids celebrating every letter of the alphabet in way more...
Amazon Says: Kids. Lots of kids. Dirty kids, Laughing kids, Napping kids. Kids in their Underwear and kids who ride Elephants. Here are kids celebrating every letter of the alphabet in ways only kids could dream up. So get ready to smile--it's time to make learning fun! less...
Amazon

Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming
Amazon Says: A bright, beautiful concept book from Denise Fleming Mouse airbrushes the A, buttons the B, carves the C . . . Mouse is hard at work constructing each letter of the alphabet more...
Amazon Says: A bright, beautiful concept book from Denise Fleming Mouse airbrushes the A, buttons the B, carves the C . . . Mouse is hard at work constructing each letter of the alphabet. He dyes the D, erases the E, and folds the F. Mouse works his way right through to Z, constructing an alphabet that is sure to please. less...
Amazon

Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood
Amazon Says: After working hard all summer with their teacher, "Capital T," the lower case letters of the alphabet are on their way to the first day of school. But they're held up when the more...
Amazon Says: After working hard all summer with their teacher, "Capital T," the lower case letters of the alphabet are on their way to the first day of school. But they're held up when the letter i loses her dot. The letters come up with a plan, and race around to find a substitute for Little i to wear s offers a star, h a heart but at the last moment the mischievous dot returns (anxious about being replaced). less...
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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Amazon Says: A told B, and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the cocunut tree. Wil more...
Amazon Says: A told B, and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no - Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! The well-known authors of Barn Dance and Knots on a Counting Rope have created a rhythmic alphabet chant that rolls along on waves of fun. Lois Ehlert's rainbow of bright, bold, cheerful colors makes the merry parade of letters unforgettable. less...
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Amazon Says: An elegant addition to any library, this deluxe alphabet book features 120 pages of Andrew Zuckerman's breathtaking wildlife photography. From alligator to zebra, each feature more...
Amazon Says: An elegant addition to any library, this deluxe alphabet book features 120 pages of Andrew Zuckerman's breathtaking wildlife photography. From alligator to zebra, each featured animal boasts two striking studio portraits against a clean white background, offering a unique up-close view of the animal kingdom. Readers can flip to a helpful glossary in the back for extra information. From the sleek beauty of a smiling hippo to the powerful majesty of a roaring lion, this gorgeous new book is both a stunning work of art and a ferociously fun way for young animal-lovers to learn their ABCs. less...
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Amazon Says: While teaching upper- and lowercase letters to preschoolers, Ehlert introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world. A glossary at the end provides interesting facts ab more...
Amazon Says: While teaching upper- and lowercase letters to preschoolers, Ehlert introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world. A glossary at the end provides interesting facts about each food. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Presents a word, with English translation, for each of the twenty-four letters in the Swahili alphabet. Brief explanation of each word introduces an East African custom. more...
Amazon Says: Presents a word, with English translation, for each of the twenty-four letters in the Swahili alphabet. Brief explanation of each word introduces an East African custom. less...
Amazon

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
Amazon Says: Get ready to roll through the alphabet with a jaunty cast of busy little peas. Featuring a range of zippy characters from Acrobat Peas to Zoologist Peas, this delightful pictu more...
Amazon Says: Get ready to roll through the alphabet with a jaunty cast of busy little peas. Featuring a range of zippy characters from Acrobat Peas to Zoologist Peas, this delightful picture book highlights a variety of interests, hobbies, and careers—each one themed to a letter of the alphabet—and gives a wonderful sense of the colorful world we live in. Children will have so much fun poring over the detailed scenes that they won’t even realize they’re learning the alphabet along the way! less...
Amazon

Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth
Amazon Says: Nothing drives a family crazy faster than an old black fly on a hot summer day, especially when the family's a little crazy already. And this fly is as bad as they come. He kn more...
Amazon Says: Nothing drives a family crazy faster than an old black fly on a hot summer day, especially when the family's a little crazy already. And this fly is as bad as they come. He knows every low-down trick in the book--and won't rest until he's gone through them all. He ate on the crust of the Apple pie. He bothered the Baby and made her cry. Shoo fly! Shoo fly! Shooo. less...
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