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It's Fun to Learn the ABCs
Children that are preschool age are at the perfect stage and developmental level to learn their ABCs. While older, traditional ways are always popular, adding fun ABC learning tools is also recommended. The goal is to encourage learning while having a good time. Here are a few different ways that both preschoolers and teachers will enjoy.
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Having Fun with Food!
Most preschoolers love snack time, and what better way to use snacks then by incorporating them as ABC learning tools! One way to do this is by making sugar cookies and cutting them out with special ABC cookie cutters. You can then let the preschoolers decorate the cookies. Teachers will need the following supplies:
- A few dozen already made and cooled sugar cookies in the shape of letters of the alphabet. (ABC cookie cutters can be found at several different websites online as well as in craft stores.)
- Lots of paper towels since it will likely get messy.
- Decorating icing and sprinkles for the cookies.
Teachers should hand out cookies to students giving them each their own special letter. Before decorating the cookies, teachers should have each student come up in the order of the alphabet while reciting all the letters. Once every student has stood up and said their letter, the teachers may assist the students in decorating their cookies with decorative icing and sprinkles.
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A Lesson A Day Using Coloring Sheets
Another popular choice for ABC learning tools involves using color sheets. Alphabet color sheets can be found in a number of different preschool or kindergarten work books and may also be found online at several different free web sites that allow teachers to print them out. Most of them use special pictures of items or animals that begin with each special letter. Teachers will need to simply have enough coloring sheets for each alphabet letter for each student as well as crayons or washable markers for the students to use.
To use coloring sheets, teachers should dedicate one or two days to each letter, so this lesson may go on for quite a while. Teachers should have their own completed coloring sheet to show the students as an example and should go over what the letter is, why it represents what is on the coloring sheet and what sounds it makes.
Once students have finished all of the coloring sheets for the alphabet, teachers also have the option of making a special alphabet book by stapling the pages together and putting on a book cover made of construction paper that students are able to decorate with crayons, markers or even special alphabet letter cutouts or printouts. Teachers also have the option of giving each student special alphabet stickers for those students who color all their pages.
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Preschoolers love to play games, so why not combine an important ABC learning lesson into a game? One of the more popular games for preschoolers is the memory game. Teachers can easily make their own ABC memory game by making game pieces using small square pieces of paper and writing the letters of the alphabet on them. Teachers should be sure to make two of each letter so students can find a match. For larger classrooms teachers will probably need two or three sets of the game and divide the classroom into two or three groups. Each student tries to make a "match." If the student can correctly identify what the letter is, they should be rewarded in a small way such as with a sticker. Once all the matches have been made teacher may then go on down the alphabet identifying each letter with the students.
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Flashcards are another excellent tool to use when teaching preschoolers the alphabet. After going through the flashcards a few times with the toddlers they will begin to identify the letters and it will all become familiar to them. Alphabet flashcards can be found at a number of different stores, online or can also be made. Many preschool teachers give their students their own smaller set of flashcards they can look at and take home to practice with their mom and dad.
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Reading Books About the Alphabet
Last but not least, teachers should take advantage of all the great children's books there are out there that teach the alphabet. Many of these children's books feature favorite cartoon characters that will capture the preschooler's attention. Preschoolers love story time, so this is the perfect way to throw in a lesson on the alphabet and encourage them to learn their ABCs on their own.