Teaching your kids to read and write can seem intimidating, especially if they are being resistant.
I found that I was really stressed about it with my first one, but with my second, I’m much more laid back. Kids will learn at the rate they are able to, which isn’t the same for all of them, and that’s okay.
There are some ways to make it fun instead of like work. Check out our early reading and writing resources to get started.
Read to your kids
The biggest thing that you can start with is reading to your kids. Reading to them will help instill a love of books, which is really the best way to begin with reading and writing. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a fun book for helping your kids recognize letters. Once your kids start to recognize words, you can take turns reading together.
Use their name as a starting point
Starting with random words won’t have nearly the impact as starting with your child’s name. This one is the first word he will be interested in learning because it means something to him. You can focus on the first letter and then expand into the others. The next names to focus on would be mommy, daddy, the names of siblings, and your pet’s name.
TIP: Use labels to keep their name visible throughout the day. Mabel’s Labels has cute labels for everything!
Get letter magnets
Teaching letters is all about the fun factor, so magnets are another great tool for helping teach your child. Start with spelling their name and then add on other names. Once they get comfortable, begin adding on other words and then letting them try to form words themselves. Magnets are also great for showing which upper and lowercase letters go together.
Letter puzzles are a fun learning method that is more like a game than work. There are various puzzles available, such as single letters or ones that make words, that not only help with letter recognition but are also helpful for learning three-letter words. The pictures help reinforce what they are learning and present a colorful backdrop for learning letters.
Point out words at every opportunity
There will be plenty of opportunities to find letters as you go throughout your day. We are surrounded by them. Point out street signs or lettering on boxes. The entire world around us is full of these opportunities. Your child may even start asking what certain words are, and he will begin to recognize different letters too. A few moments of learning can go a long way.
Talk about different sounds
Pointing out which words rhyme will help them understand how things group together. You can also emphasize which words sound the same at the beginning of them.
Word flashcards are great for helping your child recognize sight words. Start out with flashcards for individual letters, and then bring in those with full words as your child progresses. The repetition of flashcards can be great for helping them remember.
To work on writing, tracing letters, and getting fun printables can be very helpful. These will help them get more comfortable, and then you can start having them write letters on their own without tracing.
Give them plenty of art supplies
Drawing is a great way for kids to start to build the skills needed to write letters. By practicing the right way to hold markers and pencils, they can work more effectively on letters. Plus, art is way more fun than tracing letters all of the time.
Games involving letters and words
ABC mouse is a great resource for helping learn to read and write. It mixes these things with other games to help keep kids interested. I’ve found this to be a great option to mix things up.
In the end, the most important thing you can do is read to your kids. Be patient as they learn and help encourage them where you can without putting too much pressure on them.