One of the six early literacy skills children need under their belts before ABC'slearning to read is “Letter Knowledge.” This is the one skill that is a little “teachy” oriented. Do children recognize a fair number of letters, lower and upper case? Do they know their ABC’s? And do they realize, at least a little bit, that those letters stand for sounds?

Here’s a couple of easy ways to encourage letter knowledge:

  • Read ABC books.
  • Sing the ABC song.
  • Make letters with playdoh or cookie dough (the cookie ones you can bake and eat! Yum!).

The best ABC books do more than just show the letters and a correspondi9ng picture; they give you other things to talk about as well, encouraging conversation and vocabulary. For instance, in Alphabet Under Construction, the letter L page shows a level, a scaffold, and a mouse laying bricks, all items worth at least one conversation! Here’s some of my favorite ABC books and the ones that go out in our Storybox Special boxes:

  • Now I Eat My ABC’s by Abrams: Each letter is illustrated with a photo of a food item starting with that letter–and the food’s arranged like the letter!
  • Alphabet Under Construction by Fleming: A mouse builds each letter with different materials; lots of action words here!
  • The Construction Alphabet Book by Pallotta: Each letter stands for a construction machine. Many here I’d never heard of and nice explanations for each.
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Martin: A classic that children quickly learn to “say/read” with you.
  • A Child’s Day by Pearle: Lovely collage illustrations and lots of action words describing ways to play.
  • Superhero ABC by McLeod: A full page comic hero illustration and rhyme for each letter. My fave? Captian Vomit!
  • ABeCedarios by Weill (bilingual): Photos of Latin American art for each letter and the book  follows the Spanish alphabet!
  • P is for Peanut by Gelber: Black and white photos for each letter, many from the city.
  • A Isn’t for Fox by Ulmer: Tickle those neurons with what the letters are NOT!

Have fun!