If you are ready to begin teaching your preschooler the alphabet, consider doing so using arts and crafts. In addition to encouraging creativity, alphabet-themed art activities are an effective tool for reinforcing letter recognition, sounds and the spelling of simple words. When children use their minds and hands to create art, they are using several parts of their brain, which can lead to increased retention.
Making an alphabet caterpillar is an appropriate art activity for your preschooler. To make an alphabet caterpillar, make a circle template from a piece of cardboard. The size of your circle will determine the width of your caterpillar. Have your preschooler trace the template on colored construction paper using a pencil or crayon. Next, have him cut out the circles using preschool or blunt-tip children’s scissors. Draw block letters on white paper for your preschooler to cut out. He can use a glue stick to affix a letter onto each circle and to affix the circles together so they slightly overlap. The overlapped circles create the caterpillar’s body. Your toddler can draw a face on one of the circles that can be used for the caterpillar’s head. He can also cut out small strips of black construction paper that can be added to the bottom of each circle for the caterpillar’s legs. You can create alphabet caterpillars of the entire alphabet or create a shorter caterpillar that has the letters that spell your child’s name or a simple word like “mom,” “dad,” “cat” or “dog.”
Creating an alphabet book is an educational art activity that you can do with your preschooler. To create your book, fasten 14 pieces of construction paper together. Your preschooler can use a hole punch and yarn or a stapler, with close supervision, to bind the pages together. Have your preschooler decorate the cover, using markers or crayons and starting with the first page of the book, write a letter of the alphabet on the top of the page. On each page, your preschooler can place pictures or embellishments that start with the letter on the page. The letters written on each page in the book should be in alphabetical order. On the “A” page, for example, your preschooler could place apple stickers or glue a picture of an ant cut from a catalog or magazine. On the “C” page, he could glue coins and draw a picture of a cow. As an alternative, you can draw large block letters on each of the pages and have your preschooler place and draw the items inside each letter.
Using old magazines, newspapers or catalogs, your preschooler can create an alphabet collage. Have your preschooler cut out all the letters of the alphabet from a magazine. Encourage him to glue them randomly, but with space between them, on a piece of construction paper or poster board. After all the letters of the alphabet have been glued on the paper, have your preschooler cut out various items that start with different letters of the alphabet from the magazine. Around each letter, your preschooler can glue pictures of items that start with that letter. As an alternative, alphabet-shaped pasta can be used in the collage instead of letters that were cut from a magazine.