Learning Letters: Why Not Hold a Letter Day?
What better way is there to get kids hooked on reading than to make it fun? Parents (and educators) can do exactly that by implementing “Letter Days” in and around their residences or classrooms.
What is a Letter Day?A “Letter Day” is exactly what you’d imagine – one day completely dedicated to a single letter of the alphabet.
Basically, you and your child or student would plan activities that correspond with that letter, such as eating apples for a snack on “A” day or drawing cats during “C” day. It’s really that easy.
Why Will My Child/Student Enjoy a Letter Day?Children often have difficulty making connections between concepts and that which is concrete. Additionally, for many kids, associating letters with sounds and words can seem too abstract.
By devoting a 24-hour period to a letter of the alphabet, you can help make letters “come alive” for the youngster who might otherwise have difficulty understanding how language, words and sounds all come together.
How Old Should My Child Be?Kids can participate in a Letter Day at any age; in fact, some parents like to offer experiences of this kind before their sons or daughters even realise what’s occurring on a conscious level. By repeating the activity from the time the child is very young, the parent (or caregiver) is helping the boy or girl make necessary correlations between letters and sounds in a very casually way.
With Which Letter Should I Start?There’s no reason to start with any particular letter, although “A” might be a wise choice if you want to help your student learn the alphabet in a systematic manner. If you’re a more creative individual (or you feel your child would enjoy “bouncing around” a bit), pull letters randomly out of a jar or hat.
What Types of Activities Could We Do?Truly, it’s up to the parent/caregiver and child to determine how to implement a Letter Day! That’s what makes it so exciting and original (not to mention memorable!)
If you need a few ideas to get you started, why not try one or more of the following:
- Listen to music that starts with the letter you’ve chosen to highlight for the day. For instance, if your letter is “M”, you could introduce the works of Mozart. If your letter is “B”, Bach or Beethoven would be perfect.
- Head to your public library and check out (or just read) books that begin with the letter upon which you’re focusing.
- Cook or bake something that starts with your letter of the day. “P”? Pizza! “S”? Sausage! You could even devote a whole meal to only items that begin with the letter. (This activity can provide picky eaters with encouragement to try new foods, too!)
- Walk around your home or neighbourhood and look for objects that begin with the letter you’re studying. For example, “C” could be “clouds”, “D” could be “dog”, “G” could be “gate”.
- Write a story or poem with your youngster (if he or she is older than toddler-age) using mainly words that begin with your Letter Day letter. This is typically a silly exercise that results in plenty of giggles: “Edward’s Eerie Elephant Easily Eats Eggplant with Eels.”
We've Done Letter Days… What’s Next?After you’ve covered the alphabet at least a couple of times, why not introduce phonics? Instead of a “Letter Day”, you could have a “Sound Day”. Sounds like “ch”, “sh” and “th” are a few of the possibilities.
But no matter what, have a great time and learn with (and from) your child during the process! Happy reading!