These are simple but very powerful tips for practicing the alphabet at home with your children. When we get creative and have fun teaching our kids, learning feels a whole lot like play! 
1. Get them moving - Anything you can do to get kids moving will help them activate different parts of their brain when learning. Doing something active as a warm-up to get wiggles out will help them stay more calm when you start doing more focused work. Kids can absolutely learn while they are moving, and some kids actually learn better that way! 

Warm-up Ideas: 

  • Jumping Jacks- go through letters and sounds with each jumping jack
  • Hopscotch- write letters in squares and have them make the sound when they jump on it. 
  • Duck Duck Goose with Letter Sounds -“ Aaaa Aaaa Apple”) (Bb Bb Baby
  • Alphabet Motions Game - as you say each letter sound do something that reminds of that sound. Make up motions with the child and have them help to get them more involved (A A Alligator- clamp arms down like an alligator) (Bb Bb Ball- pretend to hit a ball with a bat) (Cc Cc Cat- pretend to pounce and claw like a cat)
  • The Floor is Lava - Write letters on pieces of flat cardboard (or whatever material you have you can recycle) and as they jump on the “stones” they have to make that sound

 2. Teach in short bursts - One of the best teaching techniques that may be hard to remember is to keep teaching sessions short. It’s much better for parent and child to have a child’s full attention for ten to fifteen minutes with focused practice than thirty minutes with a distracted kid and tension trying to get a child to finish a drawn out lesson. Not only will keeping things short have more impact because you are teaching only when they are alert, fresh, and are most likely to retain information, but it will keep the child interested and wanting more next time! If you are using the Waytoplay roads, you could do a structured alphabet practice for a bit with guidance and then just let them continue to play on their own when you are done!



3. Know the correct letter sounds - Watch this video (above) to make sure you are practicing letter sounds with your child correctly. It's easy to add additional sounds to the original phoneme and accidentally practice letter sounds the wrong way. It's important practice correctly to avoid confusion later when they begin to read and sound out words.

 4. Let them teach - One of the best ways for kids to really learn something is to teach it to someone else. Be that a sibling, a parent, or video call with a friend or loved one, having them teach the sound and words that begin with a certain sound can help them with long term memory of that letter and sound.



5. Have FUN! - In addition to keeping lessons short, get creative and make Fun can be simple! Below are some simple ways to have fun learning with your Waytoplay roads: 

  • Pick a letter a week so they can practice the same letter over and over for muscle memory as they drive over the letter you make together and practice the shape.
  • Build letters on different surfaces- You can build your Waytoplay letter on hard surfaces, on windows, in the bath, or even in the mud! 
  • Use texture- Find something you can use to cover your letter (beans, rice, shaving cream, dirt) and have your child practice covering the letter and then driving on the roads to practice drawing the shape as they say the sound the letter makes
  • Window game- Put the letter you are working on in a window and have them see how many things they can find during the week that starts with that sound. You can even use a washable marker to write those words around your roads on the window itself! 

Check out our Pinterest Board with lots of ways to learn with Waytoplay roads!