Teaching Your Toddler their ABCs

As a parent of a now pre-schooler, yes Madison is no longer considered a toddler, I have my work cut out for me. I was recently asked how is retirement life and I answered, "it seems like I am doing a lot more work now that I'm retired than when I was active duty military".  While I've been at home before on vacation, being at home 24/7 is something I have to get used to. I've been thinking of homeschooling and one of the thing that I've been trying with my toddler is teaching her the alphabet. Have you also been trying to teach your toddler their ABCs but don’t know where to start? It’s possible to begin teaching your toddler while they are still little, but it does take some creativity. Check out these 10 tips for teaching your toddler the ABCs.

#1. Always Start Early

There is no right or wrong age to begin teaching your toddler the ABCs and I suggest starting the earlier the better.  After all kids pick up on things very quickly. Have you noticed how easy it was for your little one to learn "Let it Go"?

#2. Start with the ABCs Song

As silly as you feel singing the ABC Song, this is a great place to start. Sing the alphabet song with your toddler, even if they don’t quite know the lyrics yet. Eventually they'll begin singing right along with you.

#3. Take the Time to Make an Alphabet Book

Using printer paper, you can make an alphabet book out of items around your house. Use macaroni noodles to make an A or stickers to make a B. This has the potential to be a great learning experience for your child.

#4. Learn to Sign the Alphabet

Toddlers love anything that’s “hands on.” Learning to sign the alphabet is a great way to teach your toddler the ABCs. You may have to modify each sign a little. Learning to sign is also a great way for those who have difficulty with speech.

#5. Paint the Alphabet

Most toddlers love anything that has to do with paint. Spend time each week using finger paint to “paint the alphabet.” Keep a progression binder that shows how far your toddler comes in the ABC learning department with painting.

#6. Use Flash Cards

If we’re being honest, flash cards don’t work for every child. However, your toddler may be very visual and able to benefit from using something visually stimulating like this. You can also take it to the next level and make your own alphabet flash cards, having your toddler help.

#7. Use an Online Curriculum

Again, this is one of those tips that doesn’t fit everyone, however some toddlers will flourish using an online curriculum. Programs like ABCMouse.com are designed for toddlers+ to help them learn basics like the ABCs.

#8. Through Reading Alphabet Books

There are so many Alphabet Books on the market today and this makes for an easy tool for teaching your toddler the ABCs. A quick search on Amazon will bring up lots of choices. Simply choose the one that you think would interest your little one. I'm a judge a book by the cover type of person.

#9. Get Interactive

Nothing is a better teacher than getting interactive with your toddler. Play games with him or her that encourages her to learn her alphabet. Ask her things like “what does apple start with”?. There's a reason you learn, A is for Apple, B is for Bat, C is for Cat etc.

#10. Matching Game

This is a game that comes a little later, but the ABC matching game is a great way to reinforce the ABCs but also teach upper and lower case alphabet letters. You may also want to think about buy those magnetic alphabet that are perfect for your refrigerator. Get both lower and uppercase letters and start a matching game every time you and your little one grab a snack from the refrigerator.

Those are some of the ways we are currently learning our ABC's.

What are some ways you teach/taught your toddler the ABCs?


  1. When Bella was learning how to do the alphabet she liked painting the alphabet and feeling how it's written. Bella also liked air tracing the alphabet and of course we did figure letter sign language. Songs were great different songs that were silly always worked the best.

  2. We learned with the fridge magnet and by singing the song over and over again! These are great tips, too.

  3. I homeschool so I have always tried using different methods of teaching ABC's, colors, shapes, etc. New ways make them want to learn!

  4. It is all about repetition. Our kids definitely used music to learn theirs! Amber N

  5. Great ideas! I love teaching my littles ABC's and 123s it's such fun! Especially watching them get it by themselves the first time!

  6. Since I run a home daycare, we have a letter each week. Most already know how to sing their ABC's but letter recognition is a new ball game for them.

  7. Wow there are so many great ways to help you teach your toddler. Matching games were some of my favorite activities.

  8. My son sings them and he's three. I feel like he's way ahead.

  9. I love the idea of signing the letters. That's such an original way to teach kids even those without hearing impairments.

  10. We did a lot of letter tracing with my kids. They like to learn hands on.

  11. These are all great tips, and we used a lot of them to teach our kids when they were little.

  12. We stuck with the music method. My kids always learned when they were set to a tune. We did that for our phone number and house address too!

  13. I was very old school with teaching the alphabet, we would just sing it out and have fun!

  14. I found that my daughter learned best when using the song! And yes, starting early is always a good idea!

  15. I liked to use flash cards with my kids. Singing the ABC song was a great way to teach them as well.

  16. I homeschool my boys and my 4 year old daughter always wants me to teach her. She is ready to learn!

  17. Great tips my friend. Both my girls learned from the song and then through recognition from books.

    Thanks for sharing.