We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house! It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother. G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months. And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing. Then she started working on learning the letter sounds. By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”
To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet. She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too. But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make. Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.
And on her heels is AG (2 years-old). In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader. His most requested picture books are alphabet related. And he spends much of his time identifying letters. And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.
I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me. They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun! The way learning should look! I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.
But as I sit back and wonder at my kids and their learning to read without me, I try to evaluate. I think, “What made this possible?” And I come up with two specific things over and over:
- Reading with them every day from a very early age.
- Having access to awesome alphabet books – available to them at all times.
We are readers in this house – for sure! And we have worked hard to instill a love for books in our little ones. G took to them immediately and had clear favorites before she could talk. W took a little bit more coaxing, but she came around and fell in love with books, too. It is not strange around here for our girls to take an hour or so to sit and read books in the middle of the day. And I think this is due to diligent daily reading with them from long before their first birthdays.
Because we have 4 kids in our family, I try to make sure each kid gets one-on-one time with me every day. We usually find our one-on-one time is time for reading together. Grabbing AG just before nap time and asking him if he is ready to read a book with me is one of the supreme joys of my day. All the way up the stairs, he is deciding which book he wants to read.
Some of our absolute favorite books from our reading times are alphabet books. The options for alphabet books are seemingly endless! And we have accumulated quite a collection over the past 7 years. I have shared our absolute favorite alphabet book here before, but I thought I would take the time to share our collection of awesome alphabet books.
You may find one you haven’t heard of before to add to your collection. Or you may want to collect them all to share with your little ones (start as early as possible). These also make great gifts for baby showers and birthdays!
Awesome Alphabet Books
The alphabet and animals come together in this fun lift-the-flap book – Eric Carle’s ABC. This book is so well-loved that I have repaired it a couple of times already. Eric Carle’s illustrations are always a delight for young eyes. My oldest loves to read this book to the younger ones.
An early introduction to both the silliness of Dr. Seuss and the alphabet is what made Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Awesome Alphabet Book a favorite board book for our girls. The board book is an abbreviated version of Dr. Seuss’s ABC. We have both. We read both, but we start the younger ones on the board book first. It includes such FUN poetic language that will delight you for years!
A newer addition to our alphabet book collection that quickly became a favorite is Alphablock. It is a really fun board book for kids with the pages in the shapes of the letters making the pages fun to turn for little fingers. There is also much for little eyes to discover on the cover and in the pages of this book.
For a season the Bob Books Collection of alphabet books were used almost every day in our home. Our girls love them! And I can’t keep AG out of them because they are on a low shelf. Although I am not a HUGE fan of the Bob books, I realize they are beloved by my kids. The bite-sized nature of the books help to build confidence in our learning readers.
I am currently obsessed with TouchThinkLearn: ABC for our little learners. The textures of this book are awesome! I love the simplicity of it, too! There is much to explore without overwhelming little eyes or hands.
The Biggest Story: ABC has a prominent place on the most requested list for our 2 year old. A picture alphabet book created as a companion for The Greatest Story, it introduces the gospel story in it’s pages. I love the illustrations, too.
A is for Angry – Our kids LOVE Sandra Boynton books! We are HUGE fans of giggling our way through her books. And this alphabet book is just as fun as her other books. I love the alliterations because they are so easy to remember and they encourage kids to start thinking through the beginning sounds of words. Alliteration is a fun game to play with kids of any age. This book makes it seem all the more fun. This one will be on the shelf throughout early elementary for our kids, too! It teaches parts of speech with such whimsy.
My Awesome Alphabet Book is another absolute favorite for AG! This is on the top shelf of his book case and he points to it saying, “That one, that one! ABCDs!” I love that this alphabet book combines letter identification with a first words format. Similar to Alphablock, the pages are in the shape of the letters of the alphabet. But on the back of each page are a number of illustrated words that begin with the letter on the front. We spend a lot of time pointing to the pictures and asking, “What is this?” AG is increasing his vocabulary every time we read this book.