Thursday, November 5, 2015

Teaching Together: Learning Your ABCs and 123s

I've been working on teaching Olive her ABCs and colors lately and we've had a great time playing all kinds of alphabet games.  It's all fun for her so I thought I'd share some preschool teaching ideas with you today.

We have foam bath letters and numbers, cups, funnels and animals.  There are tons of colors, letters and fun learning opportunities so we take advantage of it.  Olive has loved these bath toys for at least a year.  She initially just chewed on most of them and stuck them to the walls, but now she's able to do more with them.  We don't do all of these activities every time we do baths, but try to squeeze them in when we have time.

We pick a color and gather everything we can find in that color: 
BLUE and then count how many items we came up with.
 Name letters and numbers.
 Sort out all of the animals.  Name them and talk about their colors.
 Find all the cups.
 Dig the letters and numbers out of the sea of bubbles.  
We name them and then stick them to the wall.
 Practice counting and stacking things.
 Practice spelling her name and monogram :)
Sometimes we even sing her name to the tune of BINGO

We got this learning game for Olive last Christmas and it's been on our fridge ever since.  She plays with it while I cook and loves it.  It says the sound of each letter, gives words that start with that letter and then uses the word in a sentence.  It also sings the ABC song.  It's been a favorite for almost a year.

Flashcards often get a bad rap these days, but these flash cards are the best!  They are Touch and Feel flashcards and they come in several different varieties.  We have four sets and love them all.  There are pictures, numbers, counting, colors and each card has a section to touch & feel.  They are so much fun.  On the back of each flashcard there are questions to engage your child with.  We have just started using the questions now that Olive has mastered naming the objects.  We also point out letters on the front of the cards.

I point out letters on signs, in the books we're reading and now Olive points out the letters on her own.  It's an easy, nearly free way to practice letters anywhere you go.

We loved the 123 NYC and Edible Numbers book from our last library trip.  There was so much to talk about and learn from on each page.

I picked up some Alpha Bits cereal and we had a great time with it.  We sorted the letters, named them and put them in letter piles on the alphabet train place mat.
 We also eat several meals a week on this alphabet place mat.

I offer Olive lots of opportunities to write.  She loves to trace letters, write together with me and is getting the idea that you write letters.  She can name most letters that I write and tries her best to write her own letters.  Most of the time it looks like scribbles (except for her Os) and she tell me what letter it is - This is an A Mama :)  She loves her magnadoodle and I keep a tiny pen & notepad in my diaper bag for her to doodle on while we wait.


  1. Olive's place mat is awesome! And I love how you incorporated an alphabet themed food! Both my girls are water babies I should probably invest in those letters. Thanks for linking up with us, Whitney!

  2. Jack loves all things letters. He knows them well and so he really enjoys saying them whenever he sees one. His newest favorite thing is shapes. He'll make shapes with his fingers and say "look Mama a triangle". It's so stinkin' cute. We still don't have our numbers completely down but we are getting there. You do so many wonderful activities with Olive. She'll be ready to do those with brudder when he gets ready.

  3. That leap frog alphabet thing is AWESOME. We have the letter factory dvd from them and it sings the same song- Abigail learned every single letter sound from it. It's amazing.

  4. Thank you so much for the great tips and ideas! I'm interested in knowing where you got the Touch and Feel Flash Cards. Any information you have on those would be great too!

  5. You bathtub could seriously be ours. The foam letters, the stacking cups, the burgers & blues cup - identical. Laughed out loud.

  6. I'll second what Courtney said. The Letter Factory DVD is definitely what helped Julia learn her letter sounds. That's the first one and then they have more that build on those skills: Talking Words Factory, Talking Words Factory 2: Code Word Caper, etc. Those are the older DVDs and they have come out with newer ones like The Letter Machine Rescue Team. They also have math DVDs (Numberland, Math Circus, etc.).

    I found most of ours at garage sales, but I bought a box set for my nephew at Costco. They might be at Sams, too.

    -Lindsey M.

    1. Oh and Target has some on their $5 DVD rack sometimes.


  7. She is going to be so prepared for school!


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