Do you record your toddler\u2019s milestones? After talking, walking, and being potty trained, another milestone that almost all parents want to see in their child master is alphabets. It does not matter if they are in nursery yet or not, we are excited to introduce them to the world of letters and words. Letter recognition is fundamental before your child can learn words. However, it is more than just repeating the ABC song and telling them that A is A and B is B. Their young minds don\u2019t work that way. When it comes to learning alphabets, children learn best with their hands. Since alphabets are somewhat abstract, you will need to make it apparent to them; something they can touch, feel, and play with! Image by Prashant Sharma from Pixabay Play is crucial for children\u2019s cognitive development. When children are playing, their connection of neurons at the front lobe of their brain changes, wiring up their executive control centre. When this happens, children become better at making plans and solving problems. When you feed them \u2018brain food\u2019 like Similac Gain Plus Gold, you are supporting your preschooler's cognitive development - that is your child\u2019s ability to think, understand, communicate, remember, imagine, and work out what comes next. If you are struggling to help your child remember their ABC (we know, it can be really tough sometimes and sometimes, they\u2019ve got you on your last nerve), we\u2019ve got fun-for-you and fun-for-your-child games that will foster their learning. The best thing is, you already have the tools to create these activities at home! Letter Recognition Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay Let\u2019s start from the basics - and that is letter recognition. Children will be exposed to the alphabets throughout their pre-kindy years as it will help them with their pronunciation and spelling further on. So, when it comes to teaching them at home, you need to note that children should be able to master their ABC\u2019s (or at least recognise that they are alphabets) before their preschool age. But don\u2019t stress! A friend of mine once told me that she does not teach letter recognition in alphabetical order. She began with "name letters" as it held a more important meaning to her daughter. Hence, for the name Sophia, she learnt s, o, p, h, i, and a first. Once she could recognise them well, my friend then introduced her to the other alphabets (and sounds). Contrary to popular belief, you don\u2019t have to teach your child the alphabet according to the alphabetical order. There is a school of thought that says teaching them alphabetically could be harder because children cannot link the name of the alphabet with the sound it makes. \t Peg a Name Image from Learning Through Play If you do laundry at home, you\u2019ll have pegs at home. For this activity, you\u2019ll only need three materials: \tPegs \tBlack marker (or use whatever colour your child likes) \tA card with your child\u2019s name Write the letters on each peg (you don\u2019t have to do all the letters yet, but make sure the letters to create your child\u2019s name are there), then present them their \u201cname card\u201d. Let them choose and peg the correct letters to their name card to spell their name. Once they have mastered their name, you can give them cards with other words and repeat the same activity. This easy alphabet peg game helps your child spell their name, develop letter recognition, and advance their fine motor skills. \t Letters in the Snow Image from Hands On As We Grow Mess does not need to bring you a headache. It can be really fun if you set the ground rules earlier on. If you didn\u2019t get the hint, this activity will involve the creation of a mess. However, it can be cleaned in a jiffy. Plus, you only need three items! \tTray, broad pan, or a shallow cardboard box \tFlour \tList of alphabets on paper If you are using a cardboard box, colour the base with different colours just to make it attractive for your child. Ensure the base is really dry before pouring the flour in. Spread it about the base until the flour covers the whole surface. Start writing! Allow your child to draw first before introducing alphabets for them to copy on the tray. Be sure to explain that their hands must be thoroughly dry when handling the flour. Tell them the "snow" is only allowed in the tray. It will most likely spill over, so you\u2019ll have to tell your child that clean up will be done together. Just a vacuum and a wet cloth will ensure everything is cleared up - pronto! \t Drive on Letters Image from Parenting Chaos There are two ways to go about this activity. You could DIY the alphabet roads or simply print them out. If you want to make them, you\u2019ll need these materials: \tCardboard box \tScissors \tPaint Cut a few small letter c\u2019s and it\u2019s mirror image. Cut a few l\u2019s and half some of them. Paint the cardboard pieces black and draw white dashed lines so it resembles a road. You can piece them up to make different alphabets. Or else, you can simply print the templates here. Then you just need a toy car from them to journey on the alphabet. Be with your child as they play so you can point out alphabets they are tracing. Uppercase and Lowercase Once they can recognise the letters, don\u2019t forget to help your child distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters. The ability to identify lowercase letters are important for reading because most of the words in the English language (and even the Malay language) are written in lowercase. Uppercase letters are more suited to teach the letter names and lowercase letters are better to determine the letter sounds. If your child is confused, tell them that every grown-up letter has a child, \u2018Just like mommy and you!\u2019 Sometimes the child looks like its parent and sometimes it does not. It will help your child perceive the uppercase and lowercase letters better. If you are looking to help your child differentiate and identify lowercase and uppercase letters, try the activities below! \t Bottle Cap Letter This activity is versatile and can be used for letter recognition to word-formation. Start with a few letters first before expanding the alphabet collection. Here are the materials you need: \tBottle caps (up to 26 x 2 for the full collection) \tPaper \tDouble-sided tape \tScissors It\u2019s time to reuse unwanted bottle caps for an activity that will benefit your child. Write down the uppercase letters individually on a piece of paper. Cut them out and stick them on the tops of the bottle caps. Print out the lowercase letters and enclose each letter with a circle. Allow your child to match the uppercase letters with the lowercase letters. You can swap this with the lowercase letters on the bottle caps. After they are well versed with the activity, you can level it up by: \tCreating words that are in their name. \tArranging the vowels. \tCreating other simple words. \tPick out letters from the headline of a newspaper or magazine cutting. \tLay out bottle tops in alphabetical order. Get creative with your child and allow them to explore new words. They could create make-believe words and try to pronounce them too, it all adds to their understanding of alphabets. \t Matching Puzzle Image from No Time For Flash Cards As of now, I don\u2019t know any child who is not remotely attracted to stickers. Every time there is a sticker around the corner, you best believe it will be used, and you\u2019ll find it stuck somewhere in the home later on. That said, I have a strong feeling that your child is going to enjoy learning the alphabet when there are stickers involved. For this matching activity, you\u2019ll need these materials: \tCards (any cardstock around the size of a name card) \tFoam letter stickers \tMarker \tScissors Write simple words on the card (similar to the image above) and allow your child to hunt for the letters and stick on the cards. You can use from an array of high-frequency sight words like and, to, this, that, and you. \t Alphabet Hunt Put on a Sherlock Holmes coat on your child and arm them with a magnifying glass, because they are going for an alphabet hunt (much better than the Big Bear Hunt, in my opinion). Here\u2019s what you need: \tPencil \tNotepad \tMagic marker Write down the letters they have learnt (if it is all of them, then write them all) with a magic marker (just to make it more attractive). Hand them the notebook and let them hunt for the letters at home or outside when you are shopping. Once they find a letter, they get to cross off the alphabet in their notepad. Their goal is to cross out as many letters as possible. It is so easy, and they are learning as you complete your household chores! Find Fun in Learning Once they can recognise alphabets in their names, they can expand their vocabulary to include words with more letters. Slowly, they will be able to read 3-letter words up to 6-letter words. Similac\u00ae is a 6-letter word they can easily spot at home! Similac\u00ae Gain Plus Gold We\u2019ve elaborated on how cognitive functions are important for your child\u2019s developmental years. As they learn new things every day, you need to ensure their food intake is also filled with nutrients. Add Similac\u00ae Gain Plus Gold to their diet! It contains 2\u2019-FL, also known as 2\u2019Fucosyallactose, a breakthrough ingredient in pediatric nutrition that helps support children\u2019s body defense systems. Similac\u00ae Gain Plus Gold also contains Eye-Q nutrition. 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