I have a daughter, she just turned four a couple of weeks ago. I’ve bought her a few ABC work books but she shows no interest in doing any of them. Should I be concerned by this?
Thank you for writing in, this topic is one that many parents have questions about. First off I want to express that all children learn at different rates and meet their milestones at varied stages. Although it is never too early to introduce the foundations of literacy to our children through reading together, it has been found that children are able to learn alphabetic principles through open ended activities and play. This will make the learning fun and natural for your daughter. Here are some simple things you can do at home with her.
- While out at the store or driving in the car help your child notice and become more aware of the print that exists in their environment. Look for signs, packaging, etc. that have the letters to their name in them.
- Buy magnetic letters at the dollar store, stick them on the refrigerator or a cookie sheet.
- Use play dough or shaving cream to create or write letters. Talk about the shape of the letters as you are doing this.
- Cut letters out of construction paper to look like roads for cars or trucks to drive over, again as they are playing talk about the letter shapes.
- Have them dictate a story to you, have them “write “a grocery list with you. Spell out the words as you are writing their thoughts, read it back to them. This will show them that letters put together make words and that their words are important.
- Have your child use their bodies to form letters.
- Paint letters onto rocks for play and manipulation.
- Have your child go fishing for letters. Make an ABC fishing game out of foam pieces, a dowel, paper clips, a magnet and string.
Make learning the ABC’s fun for your child. Through play children can establish social and cognitive skills, grow emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments. As parents, we love to see our children playing. It’s great to hear their ideas and to see the worlds they create. It’s also fun to see how creative they can be as they use their imagination to learn about the world around them.