Thursday, March 29, 2012

Learning Letters & Numbers {Need YOUR Input!}

So Noah will be three next month and he still get's his letters and numbers mixed up. He generally knows most of them but he doesn't really know what order they go in. He counts like this "1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 2" :) So since he's almost three and will be starting preschool in another year I want to start working on his letters and numbers more so he will be more prepared when he does start school.

But here's the thing about Noah....he doesn't just like to sit and color. He'll do it for about 5 minutes or so but then he's on the move again! He's all boy and LOVES to run and throw balls and race cars and is constantly moving, running, and jumping. So I have to find ways to help him learn his letters and numbers by doing things he loves to do. I've had some friends give me some great ideas using sidewalk chalk and paint and even puzzles, but I want to know how you taught YOUR child letters and numbers? If you have a fun idea on how to teach letters and numbers let me hear it! I'm going to give them a try and then blog about it later and let you know how it's going! Hopefully in a month or so he'll know ALL his letters and numbers all in the right order! :)


  1. As a mama of 4 (soon to be 5) and holding a degree in education, let me tell you that this is not that important. He is going to school TO learn. He's not even three yet. Research shows there is absolutely no advantage to learning those things early.

    It's more important that you teach him the things that he needs to know socially-manners, sharing, taking turns, being polite, hygiene, etc. Those will make it easier for him to learn in a structured environment.

    But if you are really concerned about it, repetition is the key. Just keep repeating it, and do it every day. Also, with numbers there is a difference between knowing the names of the numbers and actually being able to count. I think being able to count is more important so with my 4 yo, I put things in front of him and count them to build one-to-one correspondence (I actually only go up to five with him right now because five is a very important number in our counting system, though he can go up to 10 sometimes).

    Your boy sounds like a very kinesthetic learner so have him count things and count actions, like counting rocks or counting how many giant steps he takes.

    As I said, I don't focus on teaching academics early because there are some developmental facets that I'm not going into bc they are super long, but let me say that both of my older children (11 yo 5th grader and 9 yo 3rd grader) tested and qualified for advanced programs. My 3rd grader reads on an 8th grade level. My 5th grader scored exemplary (the highest level) on our state's standardized test and in the 99th and 95th percentiles in national standardized tests so the proof is in the the pudding.

  2. Get some foam letters and number for the bath. Play time and learning time! We did that with Brendon, an I was seriously surprised when he told me "r" and "e" and "m/n" (he says what sounds like "dum" for both of them) but with bath time he puts them up on the wall and we say them all, then we wash them off. It'll do colors too since they're all colorful and such. But like ^she said, he's going to school TO learn and he's not even three yet. But bath time, yeah, worked for us :)

  3. My 2.5 year old is the same way with coloring and sitting. She just doesn't do it. She actually know a lot of her numbers and letters and I didn't even know she did! One day she just said to me "that's A" "that's P" and I was like whoa! You know letters?!

    The only thing I can think of is we count everything...steps up the stairs as we are walking, toys, how many jumps...that's how she learned to count. We started small...repeating 1-5 then as she learned it moved to 1-10 and so on. She can count up to 30 now {but skips 17 for some reason}.

    We also teach her sign language and I think signing letters while she sees them on the TV has helped with letter recognition too.

    I wouldn't stress it though, just point out letters when you see them and count when you can. He will retain it, even if it seems like he's not paying attention. Like I said, I had no idea my daughter was listening to me and all of a sudden she knew it all!

    Good luck & don't worry about it. :)

  4. He is very young to worry about that stuff. A great book to read about the impact of early formal learning is "Better Late then Early" by Dr. Raymond Moore. The book is full of research on that compares early structured learning with delaying it. Read to your little guy everyday. Talk to him a lot! Many children are not ready for letter identification at this age. My oldest didn't read until age 8 and now at age 20 she reads Dickens novels for her own enjoyment. Yes, the full, unabridged versions. At age 3 she was utterly oblivious to the letters and numbers.

  5. I was a reading specialist before I had my kids, so here are some fun things that more active kids love:

    -foam letters in the bathtub
    -put colored sand on a cookie sheet, and draw letters with your fingers
    -spray shaving cream on the shower walls and draw letters (this usually turns into pictures and messy fun too!)
    -leapfrog has a cool electronic toy where you put letters into the slots to spell three letter words
    -just talking about rhymes that you hear verbally, and reading to your kids helps a ton!

  6. Newest follower from the blog hop! Thanks for hosting. I am now following you on GFC and G+.

    My daughter for awhile was getting her letters and numbers mixed up. I bought a lot of easy 1,2,3 and ABC books for her that I would read to her and she started to pick up on it. I also got basic flash cards and put them in order and went through them with her.

    I tried to make learning fun. She was into animals at that time, so anything I got for her, I made sure that they were animal related which made it fun for her.

    Good Luck!

    Hope you have a good week and looking forward to reading more.

  7. I honestly don't think I had anything to do with how well my daughter learned her letters and numbers. I gave her a foundation by talking and singing about them, but enrolling her in preschool at 18 months (she's 3 now) with fantastic teachers is what has taught her the most. Over the summer, we'll be doing A is for airplane and apple and counting windows on planes and how many apple slices we can make or that we have and working our way through the alphabet.


Show me some love by leaving a comment! <3