A, b, c, d, e, f, g… If you had to learn the letters of a foreign language, wouldn’t you find it easier to string them along in a tune? Guaranteed your toddler would!
Encouraging him to sing the letters of the alphabet to a tune with you, or getting your hands on a kiddie educational DVD where your child’s favourite cartoon character sings the jingle could be the best way for your little one to learn his ABCs. This teaching method will work equally as well in helping him learn how to count.
But the trick is not to push him. Be patient and wait until he is ready to start this learning process. Children all learn at different rates, some start early while others are slower to show any interest, some pick it up really fast while others take their time. Forcing him into remembering his ABCs and his 123s will not turn him into a genius, at this age he is still a little chap and deserves to learn at his own pace.
Don’t confuse him
Wherever your youngster is on the learning clock, you’ll know when he is ready to grasp it and pushing him beforehand won’t do any good. When the time is right you can start with just a few letters or numbers at a time – don’t boggle his mind with too much at this point.
So we have sing-a-longs which are loads of fun for the whole family to participate in, but there are also other methods that are just as effective. Keep in mind that your child’s favourite cartoon is his hero. Take advantage of this both in the songs and other methods. Flashcards work extremely well too. You can make your own ones to suit what your child responds to best. Make them big and colourful with pictures of the cartoon character on them.
We all know the importance of teaching our children the value of books. Libraries and book shops all around have alphabet books and counting books which are fun and exciting. Such books are great starting points for your child as he embarks on learning his first letters and his first numbers – his first giant step into the world of education.
Children just love to get messy with brightly coloured paints. Give yourself a break and get messy with him, using paint to spell his name and then pointing out the letters to him. You may not realise it but there are loads of items in your household and in particular, kitchen, things for the two of you to count together and to sound the first letters of. Use these to your advantage as it will add a variety of learning methods for your child.
Take him outside and count the steps, the boulders, the flowers and the pot plants – at the same time you might slip in a few new additions to his vocabulary. Again, this variety will add an exciting avenue to his learning materials.
You will be surprised at how much there is around us in our daily living spaces that we can use as teaching tools. Take notice of these and introduce them to your child. But do this at a slow pace, giving him time to grasp one step at a time. That way he will remember each step before he moves on to the next one.