Tactile learning and Letter Manipulatives

Hands on learning makes it easier for young children to keep their attention focused. When teaching the alphabet, Letter Manipulatives (letter beads, letter dice, magnet letters, foam letters, and Lego letters) are the perfect method for working with toddlers, preschoolers and children with SPD and ADHD.

Children respond better when allowed a tactile hands-on approach to learning. One item I like for young children are the …… Foam Letters. These are large enough they cannot be swallowed, have a fun squishy texture and bright colors.

When first giving any letter manipulatives to your child be careful not to step in too quickly to “teach” the alphabets, but instead let your child touch, play and feel the letters until they seem comfortable with them. They may lay them out on the floor, put them up, dump them back out again, each time becoming more familiar with the shapes of each letter and their differences. Then begin singing the alphabet song while sitting down and touching, or holding up the letter that corresponds to what you are singing, change it up and sing different alphabet songs, different versions of the ABC’s – each time playing with and touching the letters, letting your child play with the letters. You can even sign the alphabet with one hand while holding up the Letter with the other. Just do this little by little every day, and again allowing free play of the letters with your child, giving them the chance to grow confident in learning and expressing what they are learning in their own time.

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