Helping Young Children Learn the Sounds of Letters

Alphabet blocks

Understanding the basic sounds of individual letters is an important basic skill in learning to read. Child care providers sometimes call this “learning the alphabet.” It also is called phonological awareness, which is the ability to pay attention to, identify, and use sounds of speech. Phonological awareness helps children break words into sounds and to blend sounds into words.

For example, children need to tell the difference between “d” and “t,” or “b” and “p.” Some letters can have a …

Helping Young Children Learn to Write

Girl writing

Children’s writing actually starts with their earliest scribbles. By giving infants and toddlers chances to draw with crayons, child care providers are encouraging them to practice the skills that they will need for later writing. With time and practice, children gradually learn to control the scribbles to make lines, circles and eventually some simple letters. These letters are often upside down or backwards, which is normal for young children. After a while, preschoolers may start to put these letters together