While there isn't agreement on which letters and sounds to teach first, it is common for children to want to learn those letters that are important to them. Children will want to learn to write their names and words like mommy, daddy, and even the name of your new puppy.
As you work and play with magnetic letters, sponge letters, letter charts, and so on, think about talking about letters in the following way:
- Say the letter names first. You may want to begin with all capital letters and then lowercase letters.
- Sing the ABC song while pointing to each letter. Sing the song in a variety of ways such as to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”
- Focus on the shape of each letter. Talk about how some letters have lines, such as the letter A; others have curves and circles, such as C and O; and some have both, such as B, D, and P.
- Start with continuous sounds. When your child knows the names of the letters and you are working on connecting the sounds to the letter, start with the consonants that have continuous sounds. These include F, L, M, N, R, and S.
Important tip: Be sure to keep learning about the letters playful and fun. Working with individual letters is wonderful, but keep in mind that reading good books often is still the best predictor of later reading success!