We like to introduce our preschoolers to letters and numerals. But have you stopped to think about the font you use? Experienced readers see a or a and know what is meant. We see 1 or 1.But the different fonts that represent these letters and numerals can easily confuse children. Is it g or g? We need to be vigilant in looking at letters and numerals through the eyes of children who do not have the years of experience we do. So, be sure when you show children letters and numerals, you use one consistent font.
To help children recognize letters, have them “paint” letters on a small blackboard using water and a paintbrush.
You might have them form numerals from play-doh.
Ask them to find specific letters from the lowercase magnetic letters you have for the refrigerator. Using a giant magnifying glass makes this especially fun!
Then, when you feel confident your child knows the letters and numerals, introduce various fonts and have children match them. You might want to use a paper such as the one shown below. Cut out the letters and numerals. Let children match them.
You can also have children find various a’s etc. in environmental print examples such as newspaper circulars, signs, or household objects.
Make finding letters and numerals part of your everyday routine. By showing children that print is everywhere, it becomes meaningful and natural!