I have fond memories of my grandmother teaching me my letter sounds after school when I was a youngster. Today it is my turn to teach my young children their letter sounds and it can be a bit daunting to start out with so I have compiled a how to teach list for anyone who is just starting out. I also share a bunch of resources and activities that will help you along the way.
When should one start teaching letter sounds?
You can start as young as three. You can start by singing funny songs with letter sounds in them, reading books with first words in them, and focusing on the starting sounds, and using objects in the home to practice forming different sounds correctly.
Sounds first or letters first, when learning words?
Some people believe that it is better to teach the sounds of letters, before learning how they are formed. We can do this using a phonetic alphabet. Children learn through listening to our language, and learn letters auditorily.
I think it is important to learn the uppercase names of letters first, and then refer to the sounds after that, once the sounds can ‘belong’ to a letter name. Playing games where you learn both uppercase and lowercase letters is the best way to help you child learn, as well as link the sets together. Similarly, learning the sounds, and learning the names, and linking them through fun, is a great way to familiarize a child with letter sounds and names. Learning through play is the best way to learn.
Ideas to teach letter sounds:
Look to everyday life for letter sounds. Sound the names of pets and items you come across in daily life.
Find Songs & Tv shows that teach letter sounds. We loved leapfrogs letter factory DVD!
Read books that teach letter sounds or use existing books and sound out interesting character names such as caterpillar, cat etc.
Play games to help teach letter sounds! Take a look at the awesome ideas below.
25 Ways To Teach Letter Sounds
- This Sensory ABC Activity with colored rice & mini foam alphabet puzzles is great!
- Big letter & small letter stamping are a great way to learn uppercase & lowercase letters.
- Collect same-start-sounds pictures together in a creative ABC photo book
- Matching Cards are a clever way to learn beginning letter sounds
- Learn to match uppercase & lowercase letters with these alphabet letter case puzzles
- Use a Cookie tray to link your letters to pictures in this fun activity
- This Sidewalk Chalk game gets you sounding out letters as you jump on them!
- Have fun with these 4 alphabet Spy Sensory fun games using neon rice
- Defrost your letters & practice their sounds with this messy play Ice melting experiment
- This letter sounds alphabet game will keep your child’s attention as they learn their letters!
- This beginning sounds Alphabet Mat is a great quiet time learning activity or dinner place mat
- Get up and jumping while learning your letter sounds with this Rainbow hop letter sounds game
- These beautiful Fall clip cards get you picking the correct starting letter from 3 letters.
- The pictures on these printable alphabet cards with sound pictures make learning letter sounds easy!
- Look at these fun ways to make an Interactive Alphabet for your child!
- Beginning sound coloring pages are a fun way to spot matching starting sounds & color them in
- Learn letter sounds in a really fun way with this game, using toobs on a tray
- Have board game fun with this Monster themed Phonics game, learning cvc words.
- See these 5 clever ways to put together an alphabet puzzle
- Alphabet magnets are a fun way to link starting sounds with letter magnets
- This Free alphabet book has cute pictures & lines for uppercase & lowercase letter writing practice
- Check out these Bilingual letter ‘Cc’ sound baskets with free printables for Spanish & English
- This clever Car track delivery Spelling game helps your child sound out & spell words
- Buy these beautiful Initial sounds cards and match your pictures with your letters
- Learn your letters a really fun way, by driving your cars on this DIY alphabet road construction kit
Teaching your child to learn letter sounds takes time, but the funner you make it, the more they will learn that learning is fun, and they’ll enjoy learning their letter sounds. Have fun with these 25 ideas and help your child to learn their sounds!