- Recognizing that letters are different from each other
- Knowing that letters have different names and sounds
- Recognizing letters everywhere
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to sound out written words (decoding).
BUILD THE SKILL:
Children learn language through meaningful experiences, not in the abstract. Recognizing shapes comes before recognizing the shapes of letters.
- Read and re-read bright, colorful board books.
- Talk to them about their world all day long.
- Let babies mouth books and toys. This is their first way of exploring shape.
- Play with shape sorters, sorting shapes that are the same into groups.
- Do simple puzzles to match shapes and to begin developing visual discrimination.
- Point out shapes in the environment.
- Point out the first letter in your child’s name.
- Point out letters in the environment.
- Look at Alphabet books with clear, simple fonts.
- Make letters using play-dough, paint, etc.
- Letter Hunt: search for a letter in books and magazines.
- Play “I Spy”: Look for objects that start with a letter and sound it out.