What is the first thing you think about when you hear: “Let’s learn our letters!” I bet you think of printables to color, trace or cut. Some kids like to trace, but others don’t. There is good reason!
Children in the Early Years love to move and experience activities in multiple different ways. In fact, activities that include more than one “learning language” entice children to repeat the activity over and over again!
What are Learning Languages?
Harvard University Professor, Howard Gardner believed that humans are able to learn multiple different ways. He identified the “eight intelligences” and pathways to learning.” These 8 ways of learning build off children’s strengths and interests, resulting in a love of learning!
It was this discovery that pioneered the Early Childhood Educator movement to plan their curriculum around play, even for teaching the alphabet!
How To Teach the Alphabet to All 8 Learning Styles:
- Linguistic – “Word Smart” – These children learn best through listening, reading, writing and literature. Conversations with rich conversations about different topics or alphabet books is a great way to teach the alphabet to children. Not only do they learn what the letter looks like, but their sounds and how letters make words. A fabulous book that will be released at the end of November is called: “Sammy Chases the Alphabet!”
- Logical-Mathematical – “Numbers/Reasoning Smart” – These children learn best through solving problems and mechanics. You can find these children building anything out of, well …. everything! Using glue or tape, along with all sorts of art or recyclable materials to shape letters. The challenge to create a letter out of anything, gets these little ones excited!
- Spatial – “Picture Smart” – These children learn through pictures, art and 3-D materials. You can find these children looking at photos of buildings, signs and searching ”Where’s Waldo” puzzles. Keep an eye out for letters while you are on a walk or at the store. Letters are everywhere!
- Bodily – Kinesthetic – “Movement Smart” – These children learn through obstacle courses and dancing. You can find these kids playing sports, climbing the jungle gym and always on the move. Learning letter sounds through Alphabet yoga books and movement games are great ways to teach letters to kids who don’t like to sit down for very long.
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- Musical – “Rhythms and Songs Smart” – These kids learn through music, dancing and singing. You can find these kids playing musical instruments, singing familiar songs, learning a variety of dances and creating living art of their own. There are a variety of alphabet songs out there, and adding hand gestures and musical instruments into the mix sets music up for as awesome learning experience. One of my favorite alphabet songs is called “Soundabet.” You can find it on YouTube (it is the sound of each letter to the tune of the ABC’s.)
- Interpersonal – “People Smart” – These kids learn through discussions and projects. You will find these children as “leaders of the group”, organizing and directing their friends to get a job done. Ask these children to teach the alphabet to you! Watch their little brains come up with some awesome ways to explain and demonstrate what letters look like and how they are used. Searching for letters in books together is a fabulous way to expand on this learning language.
- Intrapersonal – “Self Smart” – These kids learn through self-expression. You can find them drawing pictures, creating art, journaling and spending time in calm places. These little ones enjoy tracing and coloring on their own. Interpersonal kids love worksheets, but there are other ways to teach the alphabet, such as drawing their own photos that start with certain letters, or creating an alphabet collage with old magazines.
- Naturalist – “Outdoor/Nature Smart”- These kids learn best from being outdoors. You can find them hiking through the parks, burying their feet in the sand, watching a caterpillar up close and covering their little bodies in mud! Letters are everywhere and so are these kids! Did you know that you can create letter shapes out of sticks and sand? How about using leaves or rocks to spell their name?
Wow! There are so many different ways that children learn. Which one describes your child the most? Are you having a hard time deciding?
Most humans learn in more than one way! Creating games that teach new skills using all of these different learning styles is the best way to find out how your child learns the best. Once you find your child’s top 3 or 4 learning languages, you can teach them anything, in a way they will love and remember!
Are you looking for alphabet activities that teach to all of these learning styles? Pre-K YOUR Way Homeschool Curriculum basis includes all of these learning styles! Check out this Alphabet download that includes 5 different play-based activities for every letter! On Sale this month for under $20!
Jeana Kinne, MA is an Early Childhood Developmental Specialist. She has worked as a Parent Educator, Preschool Director and with children with special needs. Jeana’s goal is to teach families how to use items they already have to encourage their Preschoolers to learn anytime, anywhere! She loves creating hands-on, play based activities that teach children new concepts while building upon their strengths. Visit her website and follow her Facebook page for more activities!