- Introduce the “Bee Learns Letters” as a game! Kids are more excited about “playing” a game rather than sitting down to “learn”. Although kids do not know this, but most learning in the early years happens through play.
- Do not start with the whole alphabet as this is overwhelming for any Kindergarten student. Start by picking out letters that are meaningful to them, e.g. the letters in their name, their pet’s name, Mom and Dad and any words that interest them.
- Start by using their name and print their name using upper and lower case letters. Name the letters as you print them. Now, match the letters in the set to their name (again naming them as you pick them up), then , scatter the letters on the table and ask them to match the letters in their name to the printed version.
Play this game several times over several days or weeks, until they are able to identify the letters in their name both in sequence and when the letters are scattered. Then move onto more words that interest them and label the letters as you spell the word and again have them match the letters.
You can also play a sorting game with their name and sort each letter into a separate pile, for example finding all of the lower case “i”, “c” “h” etc.
- Once your child takes an interest in playing the “game”, you can go on a “letter or word hunt” asking them to find letters or words in the community or around the house.Some children will not understand the concept of a word, so you might have to point some out to them. Example- McDonald’s, Canadian Tire “ H” for hospital, STOP signs, or words in their favourite story book, these are some of the many letters and words young children can already identify. You will be surprised what they already know about “print”!
- For older children they can start to identify “sight or word wall” words that they have learned at school. The letters in the “Bee Learns Letters” can be used to make simple sentences too. Children can practice printing their words or sentences after they have made them.
- Letters and Numbers- can be used together is a “sorting” game where students pick out all of the letters into one pile and all of the numbers into another pile. It is quite common for young children to misname a letter by calling it a number and this is a fun way to teach them.
- Younger students can practice using the numbers with stuffed animals, playdough cookie cutters, or other small toys: for example placing the number “1” on the table and making one cookie, then placing “2” and making two cookies etc.
- If your child is 3 years old, it is best to play the “Bee Learns Letters” game in the beginning for a 3 - 5 minute period. If your child is in the Full Day Kindergarten Program- 5 + minutes is an appropriate time limit. You must remember that young children have a shorter attention span. As your child becomes more engaged in the game, you can lengthen the time spent playing!
IMPORTANT: Parents please remember that every child is different and some are ready to learn their alphabet and letters beginning at 2 years of age, while others are not ready until four. It will only benefit your child as you prepare to help them throughout their learning process.
Take it “slow” and have fun with the “Bee Learns Letters and Numbers”, your child will be happy with the time you take to spend with them each day!
Ms. Lamont – Retired Kindergarten Teacher