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Teaching toddlers to read and count is not a difficult process. In fact, it can be quite fun and entertaining for you and your little one. Most toddlers begin recognizing the alphabet and numbers by the age of 2 or 3. By the age of 4 and 5, they usually can identify all of the letters and some numbers. This means you can start teaching your little ones at any time you feel they are up for the challenge. This post covers how to teach your child to read at home, along with tips on how to help them learn to count.

A baby looking at a book

Read ‘ABC’ Books Aloud

Read ABC books with your little one aloud. Select books that are interesting and will show the alphabet along with fun and colourful pictures. While reading with your child, use your finger to point to certain letters being taught for the day or week. Ask them to tell you what the letter is when you point to it. Continue to do this until progress is made.

Play Word Games

After your child begins to recognize letters, play word games with them. Start a game by asking them “What words start with ‘C’? cat, car, cookie …” do this for all the letters. You can also create a game using the first letter of the child’s name as the starting point.

Sing Fun Catchy Tunes

Children love to sing and dance around. Sing the “Alphabet” song every chance you get to your toddler. Sing it at bed and bath times, or any other time you choose. If you are teaching counting through a song, use songs with lyrics that have numbers in them such as “There Were Ten in the Bed.” You can also make up your own songs for learning purposes.

Make Up Your Own Learning Games

Little ones love being praised and rewarded. Create learning games using the alphabet. Show the toddler the letter ‘A’ and then tell them, that ‘A’ is for apple. Show them a picture of an apple.

You can purchase toy food sets with fruit, vegetables, and all kinds of food as a learning tool. Not only will they be learning the alphabet, but they will be learning different types of foods and objects as well. The game can be played with any other items of your choice.

Finger Counting

Start teaching numbers by first showing your toddler how old they are by using your fingers. Hold the correct number up so that they can see it, then ask them to repeat the process back to you. Continue the process until they catch on. When your toddler does get it right, applaud them. Consider using stickers as a reward for their accomplishments.

One for You-Two for Me

Count everything out to your toddler. While preparing meals or making snacks, sort and count out certain foods. Veggie sticks and fruit are perfect for this type of exercise. Sing songs such as ‘One Two Buckle My Shoe’ or ‘One For You and Two For Me’ to get them motivated and interested in singing along.

Learning Props/Point Out Numbers

Teach children how numbers look by using books, number blocks, refrigerator magnets, or create your own charts with numbers. Start pointing numbers out to your child. While taking a stroll through the neighbourhood, point to numbers on homes. Play number games by counting how many dogs, cats, trees, or people you see on your walk.

There are many ways to continue the reinforcement of identifying the alphabet and numbers. Continue the use of books, alphabet refrigerator magnets, personalised toys, and puzzles with alphabets and numbers on them. Also, put letters on the child’s door that spell out their name. Most importantly, make learning for your little one fun and engaging. Allow your child to learn their way and at their own pace.

This post covers how to teach your child to read at home, along with tips on how to help them learn to count.

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