How to Teach Toddler ABC's and 123's: Easy Fun Activities
Teaching your toddler the alphabet and numbers does not have to be stressful! Tips to teach ABCs and 123s included in this article are fun, easy and meant to slowly educate your toddler over time.
All babies and toddlers develop at different speeds. My son became fascinated by numbers, letters, shapes and colors at an early age. Now I won’t take all of the credit, but most of it! I worked with him everyday, and made it just as much a part of our daily routine as brushing his teeth.
On the other hand, I have mom friends whose toddlers are starting school and continue to mix up letters and numbers.
I went to visit one mom friend that was struggling with her son even wanting to learn about these concepts. I noticed that on her wall were varied colors of construction paper with letters written on them. Even I got bored watching her point and sound out the letters. Her toddler agreed with me, and was busy trying to feed the cat a crayon instead of paying attention.
So forget taping letters to a wall. Forget fancy alphabet banners and colorful construction paper. Nobody cares, especially your toddler.
When to Start Teaching?
I recommend starting at 1 year. Milestones around 12 months include an increase in attention to speech and listening to the words you are saying. Should you expect much comprehension at this age? No. But this is the perfect time to start immersing your now toddlers world with basic alphabets and numbers.
As mentioned above, practice every day. Try using a new technique every day too. Surround your toddler with objects that focus on what you are trying to teach them. For example, if they love their new monster truck toy, why not have them decorate it with alphabet stickers while you sound out the letters for them. If your toddler is playing dress up with her doll, go over to her and start lining up and counting the dolls shoe collection.
The important part here is to learn to integrate what you are trying to teach in to fun every day activities!
Below are a list of fun items to use when trying to teach your toddler their ABCs and 123s!
Between the ages of 12 months to 24 months, your toddler will be feeding themselves at snack time. What a perfect opportunity to make snack time an educational learning experience! My favorite food items to use are:
While they are snacking, say each letter before the letter is eaten, or
ask your toddler what letter the gummy is... Say “Is that a purple letter A?” Bonus points if you can get them to say the letter or color!
Counting Cheerios while eating them or sorting them in to different cups is a fun counting exercise! Clap for each one that your toddler eats or gets in the cup... Say “Wow! You ate 4 Cheerios! Can you eat 5?” You get the idea! Make it fun and exciting and build the learning in to everyday things you guys do anyways.
The best products to use every day for teaching your toddler are:
Magnets: Young toddlers love magnets! They are like stickers...only easier! Use your fridge, your magnet board or just sort through the letters and see if you can line up the whole alphabet!
Bath Foams: If your toddler is a fan of bath time, integrate letters and numbers in to their nightly routine. Make silly faces while sounding out the numbers or letters they hold up. If you get lucky, your toddler will want to play along too and start sounding out the letters!
Puzzle Boards: Your toddler may not get interested in puzzle boards until closer to 24 months, but it is just another tool to teach with that can be fun to play! I love Melissa and Doug toys, and they have a ton of number and alphabet related boards to choose from. Take a peak at Melissa&Doug and check out their Developmental Toy section!
Books: The best books for kids this age are books that they can engage with. Touch and Feel books, Lift the Flap books and books with sounds effects. Below are links to my favorite books:
B Is For Bear, Touch and Feel 123, and Baby Touch and Feel Numbers
Songs: Of course songs always make it easier for toddlers to remember sequences. Sing the ABC's while you are in the car, make up silly counting songs and you can even try singing an alphabet book to them!
YouTube Television Shows: TV!? Yes. Let's be honest...watching the television has its pros for sure. Not only can you take a shower, but your baby or toddler will learn something at the same time! The best videos on YouTube for young learning are: Crazy Smart Baby, Super Simple Songs, Little Baby Bum, and Blippy.
Toys: Melissa and Doug Water Wow! In the letter edition and number edition. These are a must! They are mess free, travel well and you will use them over and over again. Having a collection of these will definitely make toddler education more fun!
What are your fave education toys for babies and toddlers? Sharing is caring - let's help each other grow!