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By Julia Solovieva – Language teacher with more than 10 years of experience in teaching English as a second language. You can follow her on FB on Random English.
Playing with toys is not just about ‘fun and games’ for young kinds: it is the way they learn about the world around them.
In fact, playing is the main way they learn, including their mother tongue and foreign languages.
Using toys to learn the alphabet is a great way to help kids along the way.
Why Teach the Alphabet Through Toys?
Children, especially young preschool kids, learn by doing.
They need to experience letters and play with them in different ways to memorize them – just seeing the letters on paper is not enough.
By choosing fun toys to learn the alphabet with your kids, you help them understand things faster and retain information much better.
Have you ever noticed yourself that you learn much easier when you’re enjoying the process?
Having fun learning is also great for motivation.
If your child finds a toy they like, they will play with it regularly – and keep learning without noticing it.
Using educational toys with groups of children also helps them practice social skills.
What Toys to Choose for Learning the Alphabet?
Nowadays, there are so many toys to choose from – it gets overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Here are the most popular types of toys that are great for learning the alphabet with kids.
Don’t be deceived by their simplicity!
Blocks are one of the best educational tools for toddlers as they help develop imagination, problem-solving, self-expression, and more.
Simple cards can contain a lot of information: letters, words, pictures.
They can be of different shapes and materials, for instance, made of felt instead of paper.
Cards can even be interactive: for instance, alphabet puzzle cards include puzzle pieces that need to be put together to make letters.
Such toys are great for teaching sounds as well as letters, but be careful using them. Too many ‘bells and whistles’ on battery-operated toys are not always the best thing for speech development.
Books may not be as interactive as battery-operated toys or blocks.
However, an ABC book with colorful pictures and catchy nursery rhymes will surely attract the kids’ attention and keep them engaged.
It may not be the first type of toy you think of for alphabet learning, but it can be very helpful.
They can be used together with blocks or cards to illustrate words. They can also be the kid’s ‘companions’ in learning.
Overall, soft toys are an amazing educational tool for young children.
How to Choose Toys to Learn the Alphabet?
The best tip here is to go with the type of toy that your child or children already love.
If they can’t keep their hands off blocks then blocks with letters are perfect.
But if they like puzzles then alphabet puzzles are a good option. Why not assemble a few of puzzles with them and ask them to talk about the letter on the puzzle?