Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

When you read, you begin with A-B-C

And that’s the fact of it.

Knowing that ubiquitous Alphabet Song – we even use it when we wash our hands to make sure we soap up for a full 20 seconds – and recognizing the letters of the alphabet is truly your little learner’s gateway to reading.

When reading with your little learner, point out the names of the letters and the shapes they make. Children’s knowledge of letter names and shapes is a strong predictor of successful reading.

Once your little learner is able to identify and name letters with ease they then can begin to learn letter sounds and spellings. Recognition of the first letter of your little learner’s name is a good place to start.

Silly songs like Raffi’s Willoughby Wallaby Woo can help with that. It, and other fun songs, can be found on the CD Singable Songs for the Very Young. 

Other ways to begin understanding of letters and the sounds they make include:

  • Read alphabet books
  • Point out letters and print wherever you see it
  • Talk about letters and their sounds in everyday activities
  • Play with letter shapes and sounds – encourage rhyming
  • In shared reading point reference letter names, sounds and shapes – you know your little learner is onto something when they point out you are reading the book upside down!

Here are three fun alphabet books:

LMNO Pea-quel

Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!

Dr. Seuss's ABC

-Jeannie, Children's Services staff, Sahuarita Library

Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!

Reading helps children understand how text works and positions them to increase their language and literacy skills throughout their lives.

Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.