Girl with lettersLETTER KNOWLEDGE is…

  • Recognizing that letters are different from each other
  • Knowing that letters have different names and sounds
  • Recognizing letters everywhere

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?  Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to sound out written words (decoding).

Children learn language through meaningful experiences, not in the abstract. Recognizing shapes comes before recognizing the shapes of letters.


  • Read and re-read bright, colorful board books.
  • Talk to them about their world all day long.
  • Let babies mouth books and toys. This is their first way of exploring shape.


  • Play with shape sorters, sorting shapes that are the same into groups.
  • Do simple puzzles to match shapes and to begin developing visual discrimination.
  • Point out shapes in the environment.
  • Point out the first letter in your child’s name.


  • Point out letters in the environment.
  • Look at Alphabet books with clear, simple fonts.
  • Make letters using play-dough, paint, etc.
  • Letter Hunt: search for a letter in books and magazines.
  • Play “I Spy”: Look for objects that start with a letter and sound it out.