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2 and a half year old recognising letters

(29 Posts)
rachelp73 Sun 14-Sep-08 22:18:51

My DS2 is 2 and a half and surprised me the other day by naming most of the letters on the front cover of a book we were looking at, off his own bat. DS1 who is 4 never did it that early. I'm sure it's probably not that unusual, and can probably be explained by him playing with an electronic Thomas the Tank Engine alphabet toy thingy, plus watching Super Why. (we've certainly never taught him anything like that)

But if he's showing a natural interest in letter names etc, is there anything I can do/particular types of books that we can look at to encourage his interest? (apart from carrying on reading to him as we've always done?) And are we better referring to the letter names rather than the sounds, if that's what he seems to be picking up? When DS2 learnt to recognise his letters at preschool he started with the letter sounds rather than the letter names.

I'm kind of expecting a fair number of replies along the lines of "just carry on reading to him as normal and forget about formal learning of letters until he's older". But just thought I'd ask.

Dior Sun 14-Sep-08 22:20:48

Message withdrawn

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 14-Sep-08 22:33:03

Dd (2.7) has foam letters which she can play with in the bath, and recognises the initials of a lot of her friends' names, and things like N for nanny, M for mummy and D for daddy.

We go for the sounds, but no idea which is 'right' to use at this age.

EachPeachPearMum Sun 14-Sep-08 22:34:13

Definitely sounds, rather than names- they will start on phonics at school in this way.

Yanda Mon 15-Sep-08 10:00:52

Second the foam bath letters, DD 2.2 loves hers. She also adores Dr Seuss's ABC (although I know some people don't like Dr Seuss). We got her one with the CD with the book read by Rik Mayall (and some people don't like him either lol) but it does the letter names and sounds, so he picks up both from it.

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 10:04:25

DS 22 months has been able to recognise about 6 letters for a few months his initial, m for mummy, d for daddy, n for nanna and a few others.

Each time he does his ABC jigsaw he learns some more

MuffinMclay Mon 15-Sep-08 10:05:07

Ds1 (2.4) recognises numbers and some letters (from reading Kipper's A to Z, I think). The numbers are off his own bat, and have quite caught me out.

He seems to go for the names rather than the sounds, even if t

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 10:05:33

ELC do phonetics books that they use at school and do ABC jigsaws and games.

Best to learn though songs, games and fun stuff at this age

MuffinMclay Mon 15-Sep-08 10:06:34

sorry ds2 helping.

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 10:10:08

DS is 2.5 and can name most of the letters and is learning the order slowly. We do the names of letters and the sounds, and he seems to catch on that they are two different things, iyswim.

We have a counting puzzle and an alphabet snake wooden puzzle and they seem to be the most effective at teaching without making it too onerous.

The other thing he loves is one of those free Kipper CDs that came with packets of persil - it has Kipper's A to Z on it and it's quite witty and nicely done. (DS can now say 'N is for No! Not Now!' grin) If you haven't got one of the free CDs, might be a nice book to read with him?

Sounds like your DS is a natural reader, enjoy! smile

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 10:10:44

cross posts Muffin about Kipper's A to Z!

EachPeachPearMum Mon 15-Sep-08 10:40:57

The fridge magnet letters (elc, or supermarkets) are great too- for those los who don't spend hours in the bath!

One of DD's favourite books is Cleo's ABC (Cleo is a cat)- I love the illustrations.

A keyboard not connected to a PC is a great toy for them as well- they are role playing being like Mummy & Daddy doing 'typing' but also learning to recognise different letters.

ClareVoiant Mon 15-Sep-08 11:12:16

Funny, when i read the thread title i wondered if he'd been watching super why. Its ds's favourite program at the mo. A couple of months ago we were driving home and he spotted a l-plate on the car in front, he said is that an elle mummy, a red elle? I was amazed. We've never taught him letters. He now knows many letters, but does not do sounds. He can write a j and l. But only knows caps.
It was handy the other day when he wanted a dvd and wouldn't believe me when i told him it was a

ClareVoiant Mon 15-Sep-08 11:17:26

Cd he was holding. I told him to tell me the letters. He said c d. He couldn't find a v. As in d v d. He then accepted that it wasn't a dvd and didn't have a meltdown :-)
no advise on what to do about it, as am in the same boat as you :-)

rachelp73 Mon 15-Sep-08 14:38:55

Oh yes, some great ideas here! Will definitely get some foam bath letters, they will go down a treat as he loves his baths.

And I will have a look at some ABC books too - DS1 used to adore Kipper but never had that book.

ClareVoiant - does your DS say the letters in a very pronounced kind of way? My son says them in exactly the same precise, clear way that they're spoken on Super Why, fairly loud and with the same inflection etc LOL. And with the Thomas the Tank Engine letter engine thing, he's doing the same - if he sees a letter O in a book, for instance, he repeats the phrase that you get by pressing the "O" button on the Thomas toy - "Oh" says "O" and "Oooh", almost parrot-fashion. It's quite amusing hearing him talking so precisely cos we're a family of scousers LOL!
Most kids' TV programmes are great these days, for teaching them stuff like that, I think - the only thing I can think of like that from when I was a kid was Sesame St. Same with Thomas the tank engine stuff - he knows all his numbers too, just from seeing all the engine numbers on TV and in his books.

Thanks, everyone! He is showing a natural interest - when I'm changing his nappy in his bedroom he lies there looking at the alphabet poster on his wall mumbling the letters to himself and laughing when he knows he hasn't got it quite right. Now, if he would just show the same interest in using the damn potty......grin

ClareVoiant Mon 15-Sep-08 17:44:38

lol at the potty... yes that took a awhile and a few attempts. maybe you should write P O T T Y on it, or give him a letter sticker everytime he tries? (though tbh we used chocolate coins, can't beat a bit of bribery where toddlers are concerned) grin

ds will be 3 next week, but i definately think that super why and thomas have helped. the same as you Thomas for numbers and super why for letters. yes, ds says them precisely. eg. L = elle, K = Kay, H = aitch etc

deaconblue Mon 15-Sep-08 19:52:58

take care with teaching letters and sounds yourself as you can confuse them if the school they go to do it differently. Ds calls "C" curly c because that's what I taught him (he's 2) and my primary teacher sister was horrifed as they use synthetic phonics. I now have a stash of the cards and am using those when he wants to look at letters.

Overmydeadbody Mon 15-Sep-08 19:59:09

If you're going to teach them anything, teach them the sounds the letters make, not the names of the letters.

But, be careful. Most people get the sounds wrong when trying to teach small chidren, like saying 'ha' for 'h' and 'da' for 'd' and stuff like that. Makes it hard to learn to read by sounding out letters if you think they all end in an 'a', they'd sound out hot as 'ha' 'o' 'ta'. Kind of hard to then read it as hot iuswim.

chipmunkswhereareyou Mon 15-Sep-08 20:21:53

really OMDB - surely they do huh, tuh etc.?

Hulababy Mon 15-Sep-08 20:27:51

I agree - sounds far more important than names of letters. Encourage those, rather than the names.

If you google there are some websites that have audio bits to show you how the sounds should be said.

As for OP - I would say not to bother with specific resurces and materials. Just keep reading lots and lots with him, and encourage the love of stories and books.

I wouldnt do any formal teaching with him at this stage.

chipmunkswhereareyou Mon 15-Sep-08 20:29:46

To clarify, as I realise my post was confusing, what I meant was, do people really do ha and ta not huh and tuh? That's strange.

mytetherisending Mon 15-Sep-08 20:50:32

My dd1 is about the same age and although she doesn't name letters she loves books and 'reading' to her teddys smile She reads the bits of the story she remembers grin We got phonics books called frog on a log, pig on a dig, toad digs a road, all in a set of about 6 books. DD1 loves them and are good at developing rhyme which is part of reading as it emphasises certain sounds iyswim. Usually you can get the book club magazine which has these at a local nursery/pre-school or online.
Due to schools teaching in phonics now, it is important to call letters by sound rather than capital name iyswim.

mytetherisending Mon 15-Sep-08 20:55:13

A = a
B= buh
C= cuh
D= duh
E= eh
F= fuh etc

kt14 Mon 15-Sep-08 21:01:23

There's some great things in the ELC to help with phonics. We use their flashcards and jigsaws where you have to match the word to the picture. DS1 started recognising letters and numbers at around 2.6 and now at 3.1 can read lots of words. Some children are just very visual learners I think.

We use the "Your baby can read" dvd's and he's picked up loads from there. Strangely, the reason I'd got them is that he actually has a language delay, so the reading thing was a bit of a shock as I'd only intended to help expand his receptive vocab. Now he reads the words on the screen before the voiceover says them.

Overmydeadbody Mon 15-Sep-08 22:51:11

chipmunk yes you are right lots of people get it wrong by doing huh duh etc etc, my first experiences of a child being corrected for this was abroad where their mum had an american accent and did the whole da ha ba thing, so that's what I think in my mind when I think of parents doing it wrong!

It needs to be a soft sound, just the sound the letter makes, without any -uh or -ah or other elongation after it if that makes sense.

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