Children begin learning about language at a very young age. They begin saying and repeating sounds when they are just babies. A baby’s early babbling is the beginning stages of learning to talk. One day you’ll find that those bababas and mamamas and dadadas turn into real words like ball, mommy, daddy, etc. Most children will begin saying real words (well what sound kind of like words anyway) at around a year old. Throughout their second year of life their vocabulary will really begin to increase and they will go from saying single words to forming short little 2-3 word sentences. It is so fun to watch their faces light up when they correctly repeat a word or get their point across the first try using real words. You can just see the pride written all over their darling little faces.
An important part of helping your child grow and develop language skills is teaching them their ABCs. The alphabet is the first building block to being able to read. Once your child begins to use words you can begin to really start teaching them the alphabet. That early reading, singing and talking you did with them as babies will work as building blocks for learning and grasping the alphabet and counting.
Here are a few suggestions you can use to work with your child to help them learn their ABCs and 123s:
- Read to them early and often. Children learn a lot about language simply by listening to us talk to them and read to them.
- Sing the alphabet song regularly and encourage your child to sing along once they are old enough to copy and repeat sounds.
- Repitition, repeat letters and numbers often and encourage your child to repeat them with you.
- Use flash cards once your child is old enough.
- Invest in some books, puzzles, letters/numbers fridge magnets (or bath toys), etc.
- If you let your child watch television or DVDs include programming that helps them learn their alphabet and counting.
Now that my daughter’s language is really beginning to develop we have begun working with her on letters and numbers. She can repeat all the letters of the alphabet and all the numbers up to 10 when prompted. We make it fun by including it in fun activities like reading, singing or games. Since she was born I have read to her every day. She loves books and will sit and listen to stories or flip through a book on her own for long periods of time (a trait she gets from her mom!!). She doesn’t recognize the letters yet, but that will come with some time and practise. We use fridge magnets and bathtub sponge letters/numbers to help her with recognition and to give us just another opportunity to include learning in her play.
When children start school having a firm understanding of the key building blocks for learning such as knowing their ABCs, 123s, having some early reading skills, some early math skills, etc will help them learn more easily and enjoy school more.
The ABCs and 123s are such a simple thing but they truly are the building blocks for all learning. Getting started early and making the learning fun are great ways to show your child that learning is fun and they can do it.