Most parents aren’t sure when to teach the ABCs to their children. You hear different time frames from friends and family that you should start at two years or so when the child begins to talk. Others will wait until they are four or five since they can identify most letters by that age. Studies agree that most children can begin to recognize most letters between the ages of two and three.
What age should I start teaching the ABCs?
The perfect age to start teaching the ABCs is around two. Of course you should be patient and know that your child’s memorization skills are not quite there yet. Some parents will tell you their children began to recognize the letters at eighteen months and could recite the alphabet by twenty two months. Other parents have children that don’t learn the ABCs until they are three or four years old, or even older if they have special needs.
The best way to evaluate what age you should start teaching the ABCs is with your child. Pace yourself and don’t try to make your child into a genius by forcing too much on them, after all, they are still a toddler. If your child is saying a lot of words like “mama” and “dada”, etc. then you probably can start teaching them the ABCs. By this point they have learned the sounds of the letters and are ready to learn more.
You are probably asking yourself “how do I start teaching the ABCs to my child?” It’s best to start teaching the sound of the letter rather than the actual letter. Children can pick up on sounding out a letter before they can recognize how to spell it.
How do I start teaching the ABCs?
Since you have decided on the age you should start teaching the ABCs, you need to come up with a “game plan” as to how you want to start teaching the ABCs to your child. Remember, each child learns differently from another so while flash cards may have worked for your older children, they may not be as effective with your younger ones.
Colorful alphabet picture books are available most everywhere and are a great tool for your child to learn the ABCs as they can point out the letters they know, as well as the colors, shapes, animals, and other objects.
Listening to stories is a wonderful way to start teaching the ABCs. By age two or three your child should be frequently reading books and recognizing that books contain letters. Starting with your child’s name is also a fun way to start teaching the ABCs. You can point out each letter in their name and have them sound out the letter with you. This will help them to learn quickly since they are used to hearing their name being called.
Alphabet puzzles are another great way to start teaching the ABCs to your child. Have them spell animals with small letters such as cat, dog, or fish. It is easier for a child to associate letters and words with objects they are familiar with.
Overall, it is best to watch your child develop their motor skills at their own pace. Don’t force too much on your child or they will become overwhelmed and frustrated. If your child begins to show interest in spelling and sounding out letters by eighteen months or age two, it is probably a good time to start teaching them the ABCs. Always be sure to read books with your child at a young age, this is one of the best ways to have your child learn to recognize shapes, colors, and eventually letters.