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How can I introduce the ABCs to my baby?

Whether it's reading alphabet books, singing the alphabet song, coloring in the alphabet, or learning through play, your baby can never get enough of the ABCs!

Dinosaur alphabet, ABC, Dino, baby, alphabet song

At Cali's books, we are always aware of the value of educational books and learning through play. The alphabet is the first step into the world of reading and writing. Children learn their ABCs at different speeds, so here are some of my tips and ideas on helping babies and toddlers get going!

Hi, I'm Cali! Cali's Books Founder. I'm a happy mother of two young kids and an all-time book lover. I am French living in California and I'd love to share with you my experiences of bringing up my family in America. I built Cali's books book publishing house for my children and I hope you enjoy our interactive books created with love to inspire and cultivate a love for books.

  • Reading Alphabet Books
  • Alphabet Art and Tracing ABCs
  • Learning Through Play
  • My Top 3 ABC Activities For Learning The Alphabet 

Reading Alphabet Books

Reading alphabet books, whatever the format is the best way to get babies started! I found that combined with singing, reading helped my children get familiar with the alphabet. One of the books I created for my children was Sing the Alphabet. This book uses easy first words and a well-known tune to provide an ideal introduction to ABC. I find that singing the alphabet while interacting with the book introduces letters in a fun way. My babies were able to listen, and as toddlers, they began to sing along! As they get older, we started using different books with different words and different themes to focus on forming letter sounds and phonetics. I have been working on and am about to release a new alphabet book, Dinosaur Alphabet! This book helps babies, toddlers and children sing the letters of the alphabet while associating each of them with the name of a Dinosaur. There is so much more material out there though, and in my opinion, you can never have too many ABC books!

Alphabet Art and Tracing ABCs

We spend a lot of time coloring and painting in my home, and I found using the alphabet as a nice way to introduce babies and toddlers to shapes whilst associating them with familiar words. I try to get them to use different colors for each letter to differentiate them. 
Coloring and tracing are great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. We often think of fine motor skills, or dexterity, as something that comes naturally with age. In fact, there is a parallel between fine motor skills and cognitive development. Studies have shown that  although gross motor skills  such as the movement of the arms and legs are not predictive of subsequent achievement, fine motor skills are  linked to later performance in literacy and mathematics at school.
Here are some free printables to get you started!

Learning through Play: ABC Activities 

As with any learning process, I always recommend learning through play! Play is a crucial part of children's development. So even if you think your baby is too young to be introduced to letters, just play with them! Playing increases children's brain size and improves their memory while enhancing the learning process.
As they play together, children create and strengthen relationships. I found that my daughter began introducing her little brother to the alphabet by playing with letter blocks and singing the ABC song. This helps engrain sounds, shapes, and words while having fun. Play also helps with impulse control and emotion regulation in a way that can only help your children as they grow up. 
Play is how children learn about the world, and therefore introducing the world of the alphabet through play is the best way to get reading and writing! 
I found the games on scholastic a nice and affordable way to get playing with the alphabet! You can also download our free audio file to sing the ABCs.

My Top 3 ABC Activities for learning the Alphabet

  • Become the Letters:
    Move your body into letter shapes while you sing along to the alphabet song! You can also keep going with letter shapes and sound movements to associate letters and words. My favorite is making the capital A shape and using an imaginary apple to eat the a-a-apple!
     
  • Find the Alphabet:
    Hide Letter shapes in a sandbox or around the home, once you find each letter, shout it out! You can also use post-its or letter cut-outs to make this game easy and affordable. My kids love to hide and seek so this is a way to make their favorite game educational.

  • Eat your ABCs:
    We love to make ABC cookies using the alphabet cookie shapes, but you can also eat your alphabet in other flavors! Alphabet pasta is a fun way to add some letters to your dinner time routine.  

So let's get singing, eating, playing, and coloring the alphabet with the whole family! Don't forget to share your family's beautiful and fun moments with us while enjoying your #Calisbooks, thanks a lot!!

Love,

Cali 💛

Sing the alphabet, ABC song, leaning the alphabet

Sources:

Angela Thayer(2013) 5 ways to teach the alphabet , Teaching Mama, https://teachingmama.org/5-ways-to-teach-the-alphabet/

Bekky Lindner (2014) 5 Fun ways to help your children learn their ABCs, Scholastic , https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/learning-toolkit-blog/5-fun-ways-to-help-your-child-learn-their-abcs.html

Deena Keller(2021) How to teach toddlers (9 effective ways), ABCDee Learning, https://abcdeelearning.com/how-to-teach-toddlers-the-alphabet/

Montessori Education (2021) Fine motor skills and Montessori education, https://montessoriacademy.com.au/fine-motor-skills-and-montessori-education-2/