Learning letters of the alphabet, phonetics, and learning to read are the most important first steps in a child’s education. Once children can read, they have access to a fantastic cornucopia of knowledge and can open up their horizons for a bright future. However, while some kids are able to sit for long periods of time copying out letter after letter, most kids get bored and need a more active way to study. Try various methods and see what works best for your kid because every child learns differently. To save you some effort, we’ve put together just some of the ways you can make learning letters fun for your child. We recommend that you make a combination of your kid’s favorite study games to keep them interested and help them learn comprehensively. Let’s play games and get literate!
Learning the Alphabet with ABC Learning Games: with These Activities, You Can Teach the Alphabet
Flashcards have gained popularity as a teaching tool, but if all you do is flash them up to memorize, they get boring fast. Instead, try making different games with flashcards. In Japan, there’s a flashcard game called Karuta. The simple version of this game teaches a Japanese alphabet and is easily adapted to teach the English (or any other) alphabet. Here’s how to play:
There are two sets of cards: reading cards and grabbing cards (See the card examples below.) First, spread the grabbing cards out on a surface. Then one person, usually the adult, reads out the word on a reading card, and the players, probably children, scramble to find the first letter of that word. The first person to touch the right card keeps it. Keep going until all the grabbing cards have been snatched up. The player with the most cards wins!
For younger players still learning their letters, start with just 5 letters. Read the letters out together to make sure they know them, and then play. As they remember more letters, keep adding more to the game until the whole alphabet is there.
Coloring pages with letters on them are fun for artistic children. Our Bini Bambini Pinterest page has loads of letter learning printouts that each feature one of our lovely letter characters and words starting with that letter.
ABC dominoes are easy to make at home. All you need is popsicle sticks and a marker! At one end of a popsicle stick, write an uppercase letter, and at the other end, write a lowercase letter. Then explain to your child that each letter has a matching letter and they have to connect the sticks by matching the letters. Et voila! You can sit back and supervise while your kid figures it out.
Songs are a great way to learn so many things. Why? If they’re catchy enough, they just stick in the brain and you’ve learned without even trying. Upbeat songs also get your body moving, which can relax you and allow you to refocus.
Learning Apps for Kids: the Modern, Interactive Way of Learning Letters of the Alphabet
Devices and gadgets are now a part of everyday life from a young age, so why not use them to educate your kids? Good children’s learning apps can offer interactive (and mess-free!) education that is modern and fun. And since mobile devices are, well… mobile, they can be used to keep kids occupied on long car rides, in restaurants, and in other situations where kids are expected to sit still for long periods of time.
Bini ABC Games (on iOS and Android) is one such app. When an educational app like Bini ABC Games has been designed by early education experts and dedicated parents, it takes into account what difficulties children might encounter and what they enjoy. Attention spans in children are short, so each of our activities is quick and effective. Children might also find stationary letters on a board boring, but the Live Letter characters in our apps love to jump, giggle, and play, just like kids do. Most importantly, the instructions and interface in the app are simple, so children can play and absorb the lessons without frustration. Learning apps let children learn at their own pace, giving them an experience personalized to suit them. If they’re ready to move on to new games, they can. If they want to play the same game to reinforce what they learned, they can. With apps, kids have the freedom to choose what they learn.
Sensory Games: for children learning the ABCs, sometimes it’s good to get messy
Ok, so educational apps like Bini ABC Games are great because they provide a non-messy way to learn. But we often forget that learning for kids is an experiential and sensory process. Don’t be afraid to use unconventional materials and learn with a mess! (Although it’s also a good idea to have a clean-up plan prepared in advance.) Give some of these sensory activities a try:
Sand writing and air writing – for one you need sand and for the other you just need air! For sand writing, sit your child in front of a plate of sand. (Flat surfaces work better for this.) Show them a letter, a word, or a picture according to their spelling level, and get them to write it into the sand. For air writing, you can use the same letters, words, and pictures but get them to write it in the air with their fingers, feet, or noses!
ABC search – excavate to find the letters you need! You can reuse your sand for this activity or fill a box with rice. While filling the box, throw in foam or magnetic letters at random. Then give your child a printout with letters or words and let them dig for the letters that match.
Alphabet maze – Got a child that likes cars? An alphabet maze gives them a track to follow while teaching them the order of the alphabet. Lay down some tape on the ground or a piece of paper in the form of a maze with a start and a finish. At each turning point, write the alphabet letter that comes next. Let your kid drive their car along the maze, reciting the letters as they go. To take it to the next level, give it a few wrong turns so that your child can figure out the right way to go.
So, from games to learning apps to sensory activities, there are loads of ways to simultaneously keep your child occupied and teach them to read. With just a little creativity, a google search or two, and some help from dedicated educators with the vision of edutainment (that’s us), we can make learning more engaging, more effective, and more fun for the next generation.