Teaching your children their letters and the correct sounds is a great way to help them get started on the right road to reading. Here is a fun and easy activity you can do with your preschooler to help her learn how to read.
You can make an ABC book several different ways and here are two of the easiest. Use a ready-to-decorate spiral-bound scrapbook that you can purchase at local craft stores. The benefit of using this option is that it is put together professionally so you know the book is going to withstand a good deal of use by your preschooler. Another option would be to use a 3-ring binder to put the pages in. Use 8 x 11-inch sheets of paper (one for each letter) then place the pages inside plastic page covers. The benefit of using this option is that is a little bit cheaper and you can easily redo pages or make changes to a page because it is not permanently bound together.
Dedicate at least one page for each letter of the alphabet and label each page with the letter of the alphabet. You can do this several different ways. Try printing a letter in a large and cute font in various colors from your computer and then cut it out and paste it to your book page. Or, you could use stencils to trace the letter shapes, then cut them out and have your children decorate the letters. You could also use large letter stickers to label the ABC pages. Feel free to use your imagination and include your children in creating these pages.
The first thing that you can use this book for is to teach the names of the letters to your toddler or preschooler. You can do this by going through the book and teaching your children the names of the letters. Another way that you may practice is by singing the ABC song and pointing to the correct letters as you go through the book. You can also play "find the letter," where you ask your child to find the letter "P" in the book and let them turn through the pages and try to find it.
Once children have the names of the letters down, you can begin to teach them the sounds that they make. A great way to do this is with the ABC book. Go through old magazines with your children and cut out various pictures. Then help them determine the correct letter that the picture starts with and help them paste it on the appropriate letter page. For example, say your child cuts out a picture of pizza, you can say, "Pizza, wow! I wonder what letter that starts with? Do you know what letter makes that sound?" Help the child paste the picture in the right spot. You can also use pictures of family members or favorite characters and determine what letters they start with as well. You will be surprised how quickly they will remember the sounds and begin to know the starting sounds of each letter.
You can go through the ABC book with children often and practice the names of letters and the different items that start with that letter. This will really help them begin to understand the correct sounds that the letter makes. Kids will really enjoy feeling like they helped create this special book that is going to help them learn a very important skill.