I’ve recently embarked on trying to teach Noah the alphabet, and although I know there are plenty of resources available online and in stores, I wanted to make my own materials for him.
I thought for a really long time about how I wanted to do this. I contemplated making matching games, then considered alphabet crafts, and finally, decided on this simple activity. I’m sharing my materials here, so please do feel free to use them with your kids, and let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement. (I’ve left the pictures blank for ‘Daddy’ and ‘Mummy’ so that you can insert your own photos. Don’t forget to add them before printing!)
– Printing paper
– Scissors / Paper cutter
– A4-sized board and glue (Optional. You can use the felt on its own, without making it into a felt board.)
UPDATE: I just discovered that I don’t need to use felt or velcro for this activity! The 3M Post-it® Cut-to-Fit Display Board works really well, and saves me a lot of time and effort. You can check out my post on Uppercase and Lowercase Letters to see how to use it, and to download the materials there too.
Alphabet Sheets for Free Download
I came up with a list of simple words for each letter, and tried to come up with six per letter. Unfortunately, some were just too difficult, and I ended up having only two words for some letters. Each word is typed twice, once with the first letter in uppercase, and again in lowercase, because I noticed that Noah has difficulties recognising the lowercase forms of certain letters. I added free clipart pictures of the words, and ta-dah, my materials were almost ready to be used.
Next, I printed and laminated the sheets of words and pictures, then cut them out poorly, but I realised that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Finally, I added bits of velcro behind each word and picture, so that Noah can paste them onto the felt board I made for him.
Initially, I tried making him put the words and pictures neatly on the board, then realised quickly that it didn’t matter if they were placed haphazardly, as long as he could identify the pictures correctly. I also realised that I was being way too ambitious in wanting him to be able to recognise words, so I’m taking things slow, and focusing on getting him to identify individual letters first.
I wanted to reinforce his learning of each letter, so I decided to do some form of alphabet craft with him. Because I’m “craft-challenged”, the best I could do is to cut out the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letters, and erm, print some of the pictures used in the previous activity, for him to paste on paper, and colour. (By colour, I mean “colour”, because all he does is scribble on the pictures, but it’s okay, at least he’s having fun, right?)
My friend gifted me with a very pretty sketchbook some time ago, and it’s been lying untouched on my shelf, because I couldn’t bring myself to use it. However, I decided to let Noah use it for his alphabet craft, because the paper quality is good, and having his work done in a book saves me the hassle of trying to store random sheets of paper.
So far, we’ve only worked on the letters A and B. I let him take as long as he likes with each letter, and try to read him books related to the particular letter that we are working on.
Learning the letter A
Learning the letter B
After working on two letters, I’ve noticed that Noah actually knows a few other letters, through playing with some foam letters* during bath-time. Since my objective is to teach him the uppercase and lowercase letters, I plan to prepare a simple matching activity for that, and I’ll share the materials soon.
I also want to teach him to spell his name, so I might move on to those letters next. I need to finish preparing the materials for those letters though, because I’ve only completed A to E. Oops. Oh, and here’s a tip: store the pieces for each letter in ziplock bags, and don’t mix them all together, because it’s really difficult to find the word/picture you want if you do. Trust me, I learnt that the hard way.
Have fun, and don’t forget to let me know if you think of ways to improve this activity! 🙂
*This is an affiliate link, which means that if you buy the foam letters after clicking on the link, a few cents from this sale goes to Noah’s book fund, at absolutely no cost to you.
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