The most memorable way that we introduce letters and their corresponding sounds to children is through songs. One of our favorite songs to change to fit each letter of the alphabet is C is For Cookie. The lyrics are short, easy to adapt, and provide just enough repetition to allow the child to make the association between the letter and its corresponding word/sound. We often sing this song during bath time, using bath letters for visual reinforcement.
Here is a YouTube video, in case you don’t know the tune:
When we first started doing this, my husband and I would choose a word for each letter to sing to Andrew. As my son became more proficient we would sing A is for ____ and let him fill in the word. Two syllable words work best with the tune, but the emphasis should be on fun. So we make words that my son knows work no matter how many syllables or if they rhyme, especially if he makes the suggestion! Here are some suggestions to get you started:
A is for apple
B is for baby
D is for dirty
We do not sing all of the letters each time we do this! It is important to keep it enjoyable and even more important to stop while your child is having fun, so they will want to play this game again. This is how it would play out at my house:
I pick up a W and sing (in my very best Cookie Monster voice), “W is for water, that’s good enough me. W is for water, that’s good enough me. W is for water, that’s good enough me. Oh, Water, Water, Water, starts with W”. Then my son picks up a letter. I ask him what letter it is. If he answers great, if not, I say, “You found a D. D is for ________ (again if he answers great, if not I fill in a word and sing ) D is for Daddy, that’s good enough for me….” We will do this for 3 or 4 letters and then I say, “It is time to wash up, we’ll play with letters some more later”. This is just a very small portion of the entire bath time, with most of the time devoted to boat races, fishing, and playing with rubber ducks. However, a couple of minutes here and a couple of minutes there adds up!
Do you have some fun ways that you introduce letters to your children?