Teaching Preschoolers Alphabets: Wisdom from Real Moms for Success

Wondering how to teach alphabets to preschoolers in a fun way? In this article we would be covering various ways that you can use to teach the alphabet to toddlers, preschoolers, 3 year old and 4 year old kids. We would cover alphabet books, alphabet games, alphabet crafts and more frequently asked questions around best way to teach alphabet letters.

Teaching Alphabets to preschoolers is a foundational step to raise a good reader and writer.

Generally, kids at the age of 2 years begin to show interest in learning alphabets. Some may start to learn as early as when they are 15 months old, but few require repetitive rehearsal to recognize alphabets and if we incorporate some fun ways to teach alphabets to kindergarten, the learning becomes super quick and easy.

So, I am here to share a few practical ways to introduce letters in a fun way, go check them out:

How to help my kid in Recognizing the letters of the alphabet

As a parent, the first thing we teach our children to prepare them for school is alphabet. It is the foundation element for learning reading and writing.

Now I have seen multiple questions in our parenting Facebook group on How to teach alphabets to 3 years old, how to teach alphabet to kindergarten kids, what order to teach alphabets to preschoolers and so on

Sharing here some interesting and fun ways to teach alphabets to your playgroup toddler and listing a few well researched resources which helped me a great deal!

Some of my friends who have elder kids asked me – How do I teach my 4 year old to recognize letters or How do I teach my 3 year old the alphabet. And when I shared these simple fun ideas with them, at least one of them worked with their kids.

So today I am going to share strategies and resources which worked for us in learning the Alphabet.

Fun ways to teach the alphabet to your baby, toddler and preschoolers

Read an Alphabet Book Daily

Reading an Alphabet Book creates a long-lasting impression in a kid’s mind. I used different varieties of Alphabet Books, and even a hand-drawn Alphabet Flipbook on a rotation basis to keep the interest intact. Below are the few books that helped ease our Alphabet journey, check them out:

Nowadays rhymes and illustrations add so much fun to the alphabet that a child willingly learns.

Three alphabets books for kids which are high on my list are

  • Dr.Seuss’s ABC and
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • SOE store kids First Alphabet book

You can see in the pictures how beautifully engaging these board books are

How can we teach alphabets recognition to kids using Alphabets Books in a fun and interactive way

I used SOE store kids first alphabets book in 3 ways

1. Recognition of capital alphabets 

This books has activities in which kids have to recognize and find alphabets.

SOE store Preschool Worksheets Alphabets activity book for Nursery Prenursery Montessori - My first book of ABC (Capital Alphabets activit15

2. Learn Objects starting with an alphabet

The first part of this alphabets activity book contains each alphabet letter followed by multiple objects starting with the alphabet. So I used this is an OBJECT finder game that I have talked about above.

This helped me reinforce and teach about each alphabet and objects that start with it. This activity book also had small fun games which we enjoyed

3. Matching alphabet with object

The same activity book also contains matching activities to practice what kids have learnt in the first part of the book. So I used it for reinforcing and practicing what my kid had learnt.

I also found their ‘I Spy book for small alphabets quite useful to teach recognition of small alphabets. See pic below

These matching activities are also available as Reusable Alphabets Activities and games. We loved reusable cards as they can be used again and again :-). Actually as many times as we want and they are pretty cheap as well. Thus great for reinforcing and practicing concepts.

These alphabets books for kids  can be used to teach alphabet recognition as a part of three activities. Here are three ways I used Dr Seuss ABC book to teach alphabets.

1. Reading Books

A parent can read the rhyming lines on the pages and let the child listen while looking at the book; a parent’s voice is the best rhyme a child recognizes.

2. Finding the Alphabet

The child can be told to find an alphabet on the page. This book devotes a single page to an alphabet so it is easy for a preschooler to recognize alphabet.

3 Finding Object starting with alphabets

As the preschooler progresses in the recognition, a parent can choose a random alphabet and tell the child to search for the object beginning with it. It tests the child’s recognition, retention and helps in memorizing the relation between the alphabet and the object.

how to teach alphabets

THE SECOND BOOK “CHIKA CHIKA BOOM BOOM” BY Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault is also pure fun. This book has big bold alphabets and helps in recognizing the upper and lower case of each alphabet with the help of beautiful rhyming poetry.

how to teach alphabets

Here are three ways I used Chika Chika Boom Boom book to teach alphabets.

1. Recognition of alphabets both Capital and Small

Teach them using flash cards or picture books showing both uppercase and lowercase alphabets. Teach your kid what starts with A,B,C with multiple pictures and right sounds.

You would love these Alphabet pictures charts that covers simple words that start with letter a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.

Alphabet Uppercase Lowercase Matching Clip cards is also a great hands on activity for learning alphabets as practice make the child confident leading to next topics.

2. Matching of alphabets

The book has two sets of ABC, once climbing the coconut tree and then when they fall down from the tree. A child can be told to find the second “a” in the book. This turns it into fun as the preschooler turns all the pages one by one in each attempt and learns so fast.

3. Using Colours

One can happily help the preschooler to recognize the bold colors in this board book and find the alphabet from which the color starts.
You might be interested in our 52 Free beginning sounds clip cards with images (Capital and Small letter Alphabets)

Sing-Along Alphabet song

Singing Alphabet Song is one the most effective ways to ease their learning journey. The more they listen, the more they will humm, and finally, it will create a positive impact on their memory.

Stick an Alphabet Chart at a place where kids could see it for the maximum time of the day, point to each letter, and sing A, B, C, D, E, F, G with rhythm. Go slowly like 2 or 3 letters at a time.

Singing/Watching Nursery Rhymes on YouTube (Cocomelon, Blippi Alphabet Show, Alphablocks) or Watching Letter Shows On Netflix (Leap Frogs, Phonics Farm) was our all-time favorite.

A healthy #screentime can be as effective as it can be at times to teach alphabets.

Start With The Letters In Kids Name and plan easy Name recognition activities to teach alphabet letters

Kids are always eager to learn their names, and if we introduce their name letters first then it will help create a great focus on those letters.

Here are some of the low preparation Name Recognition Activities I did with my son

Name Modelling with Play Dough Rolls

Roll the play dough snakes and make name letters out of them. This was an amazing fun activity we did for Name Recognition.

Name Christmas Tree

Cut triangular-shaped cuttings with green paper, label each cutout with name letters, The task is to form Name Christmas Tree following the proper sequence of letters. Decorate the tree with a star at the top and a stem at the bottom.

Name Balloon Bunches

Make balloon bunches as per the child’s name, code each letter of the name with different colors. Write one letter in each balloon bunch, the child has to peel and stick the right color dot sticker in each balloon bunch.

Rainbow Name

Draw rainbow lines and write name letters on different color dot stickers, the child has to complete name lines with the same color dot stickers.

Trace Your Name With Paint

Write kids’ names on the A4 sheet, give one color and a paintbrush to trace the name letters. They can also use their fingers to trace the letters with paints making it a great sensory experience. 

Give Sensory Experience and plan fun sensory alphabet activities to teach alphabet letter recognition

When it comes to absorbing the information every child learns in his way. Hopping from one place to another, touching and feeling the objects with their fingers, or watching/listening to the songs.

And, if incorporate the multi-sensory experience into their learning, conceptual things get practicality. I am not talking about tracing or writing a letter, but if you want to know how to teach letter recognition to struggling students.

Check out these out of the box sensory alphabet activities that will make alphabet learning very quick and easy.

Alphabet Soup

Take a big bowl, add water and some alphabets in it making it look like a soup. Place a big scoop and another bowl near to it. Speak a letter and ask the child to scoop and transfer it from the water bowl to another bowl. The child may not recognize all the letters initially but if one or two letters serve the purpose will be a great achievement.

Sensory Alphabet Letter Hunt & Match

Make a sensory bin with lentils/dals/puffed rice/ like with anything available at home, Hide letters inside the bin, make a chart with A-Z the task is to hunt a letter from the bin and match it to the letter written on the chart.

Sticky Notes Alphabet Match

Write A-Z (Capitals) on a paper, Pasted 26 sticky notes labeled with alphabets on each in random order on a wall. The task is to eel a sticky note and match/stick it on the corresponding letter.

Alphabet sensory games – eating the alphabet

One thing that I have learnt from my pursuit of knowledge is that what seems like a burden is never happily learnt I make sure that learning is all fun for my little prodigy!

See for yourself how we are learning to recognize alphabets these days! yummy friams 😊 we name them and we eat them and so we learn them !

how to teach alphabets

It’s always amazing how these little miracles of nature, our children learn and grow up every day.

The attempt here is to make their learning experience more playful so that they look forward to reading and exploring the world.

Associate Letters of the Alphabet With Images

I used a big size Alphabet chart with pictures that served two purposes- one letter recognition and two sound of each alphabet. Because when kids see a letter and a picture associated with it, they quickly develop a connection between the two- the sound – and an object that begins with that letter.

Be selective while making a picture chart as some words may confuse the kid, for example, to teach Letter O, I used O as an Octagon or Octopus, not Orange or owl- because if we use phonetics Owl and Orange don’t make the sound of /O/

Alphabet Puzzles

Puzzles are a great way to let our young minds foster many developmental skills. From mental learning opportunities, cognitive to problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills puzzles eventually increase their learning capacity. Moreover, puzzles will help kids learn the order of letters with ease.

Below are the different Alphabet puzzles I used for my son:

best puzzles to teach alphabets and their sounds

Choose One Letter For A Week and plan activities and crafts

For detailed knowledge and better recognition of letters and objects starting with that letter, plan “One Letter A Week” activities.

Doing some fun-filled letter-based activities including letter crafts, tracing alphabet worksheets, some painting, and sensory fun will make the Alphabet journey smoother. This helped my son recognize each letter with great ease.

And if you are looking for ways how to teach a child to memorize the alphabet, below are a few self tried and tested activities I did my 3-year-old

Invest In an Alphabet Curriculum

If you are planning to homeschool your child and wondering how to homeschool a 3-year-old you must check out these amazing educational resources designed by our team of experts.

We have a jam-packed bundle of activities that includes powerful hands-on activities to teach alphabets to preschoolers.

From alphabet recognition to tracing, alphabet hunt, roll and cover, letter sounds, and other alphabet workbooks. Get our Ultimate alphabet bundle. You just have to download and get a print and let the fun begins!!

Alphabet bundle pack hands on activities for learning letters of the alphabet

I know how challenging it is to teach alphabets to toddlers but if we stick to the above-mentioned tips and tricks with a proper flow keeping our patience level in place, I am sure alphabet learning will become a delightful experience. 

Use Alphabet Flashcards for babies and toddler and plan alphabet activities

I always find flash cards handy for a preschooler since they don’t require them to sit still.

While flash cards promote recognition of the alphabet, they are also great at reinforcing the learnt alphabet since the child takes it for a game!

Flash cards are great for organizing alphabet classroom games.

how to teach alphabets

These Cardboard ones from Creative have bold and clear print and they suit the pocket well. I have used so many of them and personally prefer them to increase memory.

I love how my daughter learnt to associate pictures with alphabets and sounds with the things by practicing on the these rewritable SOE alphabet cards.

See the images for the wonderful alphabet games which make alphabet learning a delight.

If you are looking for Alphabets flashcards with pictures. You can check out these ones below.

How to use Alphabets Flashcards to teach the alphabet

These flash cards can be used for loads of fun alphabets activities for toddlers and elder kids as well.

1. They can be used to plan games and organize fun ways to teach letter recognition of alphabets
2. They can be used to help the child learn the relationship of an alphabet to the object.
3. The SOE reusable cards specifically test the I.Q of a kid by prompting the kid to circle the object which does not start with the said alphabet.

Check out this Quick and easy Flashcards activities for kids and fun games to play.

Alphabet Blocks to plan hands on games for preschoolers

Blocks make learning fun. While they teach balance and control, adding alphabets to them teaches so much more!

My set of alphabet blocks has capitals, small, an image of the related word and a number. While my daughter tries to build a tower, she learns a thing or two even though she is not studying.

Activities which can be done with these alphabets blocks are
1. Naming alphabets
2. Naming alphabet and placing an object starting from that alphabet in front of it.
3. Using blocks to help children learn the difference between capital and small.

how to teach alphabets

Magnetic Alphabets

Expecting preschoolers to sit still is too much to ask for 🙂

I love magnetic alphabets for they can be placed on the almirah, fridge or her bicycle and she learns through play.  Its a great way for teaching letters through movement.

I have these magnetic alphabets, These are pretty affordable and quite open ended to plan loads of alphabets activities..

how to teach alphabets

Alphabet learning with a canvas art for preschooler

Learning when included with fun activity kids learn fast and enjoy it. Here we have a simple canvas art activity to learn Alphabet for preschoolers. This activity is shared with us by @happymommydiaries.

 Alphabet Recognition teaching using canvas art through colors.  Easy and colorful way to learn Alphabets.

Alphabet Sequencing with Raindrops for toddlers

It’s rainy season now and kids enjoy playing with raindrops. So, why not combine the Alphabet learning with tip-tip raindrops… Here is a simple and unique activity to learn the alphabet. This activity was shared with us by @mom_of_sardarji_ekam.

Alphabet recognition with the raindrops perfect for the rainy season. Ideal theme based activity for preschooler, toddlers and kindergarten.

Frequently asked questions on how to teach the Alphabet

How to introduce Alphabets to babies?

Introducing alphabets to babies is a low-time process where we need to set our home environment and schedule accordingly. My favorite way with the best outcome is reading lots and lots of alphabet books. Make it a daily practice and point to the letter and its picture- Look there is an Apple, /a/, /a/ Apple, and then say I see Letter A. The goal here is to make reading a natural part of a baby’s life.

How to introduce alphabets to 2-year old?

I am not insisting to focus on “teaching alphabets to toddlers” instead of helping them to learn each alphabet with fun.

Start casually by introducing some alphabet toys or puzzles on a rotation basis to keep the interest alive, reading alphabet books in routine, Slowly make the transition to include alphabets in your day to day practice- like I even made letter roti’s and dosa and some alphabet shaped cookies involving my 2.5-year-old while cutting the cookie with alphabet cutters.

Once they pick it, just ask “Which letter do you see?” Wait for their response, and if you see them finding it difficult, say it yourself “I can see a letter B”. Keep it conversational and start encouraging!! The goal is to help your toddler identify the letter by name and know their sounds naturally, but with their timeline.

How to introduce alphabets to preschoolers?

Up until 3 years of age, the alphabet learning should be kept more informal and casual. But once the child turns 3 years old, he is ready to start his early education for formal schooling.

So, they need to know the letters and their sounds in a purposeful way. Make a habit of practicing alphabet activities for about 10-15 minutes in a more structured way (keeping a little fun intact).

Check out some activities that helped my 3-year-old learn alphabets in a fun way:

Alphabet modeling with clay

Give some colorful clay to the child, roll playdough snakes out of it, and watch them modeling the alphabets.

Fine-motor activities

Wrap magnetic alphabets in foil paper put them in a box with an open top. Ask the child to take out one ball, unwrap it and tell the letter.

Sensory Hunt & Match Games

Make a sensory bin with lentils/dals/puffed rice/ like with anything available at home, Hide letters inside the bin, make a chart with A-Z the task is to hunt a letter from the bin and match it to the letter written on the chart.

Gross motor activities: Alphabet Treasure Hunt

Hide a few objects all around the house like Apple, Banana/Ball, Car/Cat/Cow, Dolphin/Doll- the objects that start with alphabets, they could be any toy or their picture even. Place 4 bowls labeling A, B, C, D on them. The game is to hunt the object and place it in the right bowl- like if the kid finds a Car toy, it should be placed in a C letter bowl. With this two-way purpose of recognizing the letter and object whose sound starts with that letter is served. You can increase the complexity of the game as per your child’s ability. The complete A-Z treasure hunt will be great fun learning if the child’s interest remains intact.

How To Introduce Alphabets To 4 Year Old?

Including some fun learning games for a 4-year-old may be quite tricky as they tend to lose interest very quickly. One physical activity that I did with my son is, I laid alphabet cards in random order on the floor and asked him to follow the sequence of alphabets. This way the child will be able to learn the order of alphabets in a fun way.

The other way, wrote alphabets in random order on the floor, placed a mug with water, alphabet flashcards on a side, and a flat paintbrush. The task is to take a card, read it aloud (help your child if he/she finds difficulty in recognizing it), and wipe the same letter written on the floor with water using the paintbrush.

Should a 3 year old be able to identify letters?

Most children between 3-4 years learn to recognize letters. My son learnt the letters in his name first and gradually started identifying other letters. Most children in kindergarten begin to associate the sound with letters by the time they turn 5.

How do I teach my 3-year-old numbers and letters?

You can check the details of activities and fun ways to teach letters in our article and for numbers, can use this article.

How many letters should a 3 year old recognize?

By the time children turn 3, they are able to recognize half of the letters in the alphabet. By the time they are 5 year old most children recognize all the letters in the alphabet and most often can associate the sounds with the letters.

Did you use something outside my article to help your kid learn ABC alphabets recognition, please share in comments.

How to Teach Alphabets to Preschoolers_pin

You may also want to read our popular post to keep your 2 year old engaged – Games, activities and toys for 2 year olds

Games, activities and Toys for two years old

Do tell us what are your favorite alphabets activities and games are. If you want to add any  – Let us know using comments below, we would love to hear from you.

Payal Gupta
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  1. These are really great pointers mentioned to teach alphabets in fun way. I have used most of them but friams idea amazed me. Already bookmarked it. The fun ways and links are really useful.Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Flash cards and songs are my all time favourotes for many things and not alphabets only. This post is very helpful and i will try the other ways mentioned to trach alphabets to my daughter,

  3. Teaching kids sub consciously helps a lot, songs and books are surely a good way.

  4. I used to follow many of these methods to introduce alphabets to my son, but when he began his schooling journey in an international school, I was told all these methods are outdated! Now the norm is to teach the alphabets phonetically. Would love for you to do a post on that too please?

  5. An insightful Post on how to make alphabets… Lot of resources for toddler moms… Loved it

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