Introducing letters and letter sounds to your toddler grandchild.

Lately we’ve been using Daisy’s easel and a set of magnetic letters to play short activities/games to give her practice in learning about letters. To start, I filled the whiteboard side with a random selection of the magnetic letters.

A child's easel with a set of magnetic letters randomly arranged on it.

We sat together and talked about the colours of the letters and together we sorted the letters into their colour groups. Daisy enjoyed this and did not find the activity too challenging so it was enough for a first session 

A child's easel with a set of magnetic letters arranged on it by colour.

The next time I put some letters onto the easel left some in the tub. I then asked Daisy to find more letters that ‘looked’ the same at the ones on the easel. At her age I want Daisy to enjoy letter shape activities. It’s interesting to see that Daisy can recognise the different letter forms.

A child's easel with a set of magnetic letters arranged on it by similarity of appearance


I am not trying to teach Daisy the alphabet and I want to keep her interested so after she had sorted the letters into groups of shapes Daisy had fun just playing with the magnetic letters; pushing them around on the board, fitting the ‘i’ into the upside down ‘m’ then fitting the ‘n’ into the ‘u’.

 For all of these activities I used a tub of magnetic lower case lettersfrom Learning Resources; they are sturdy, brightly coloured and the magnets grip nicely.* 

When I next introduced the letters to Daisy I started with the letters of her name; this is probably the easiest way to introduce letters to your grandchild.  If I was writing Daisy’s name I would use a capital letter for the initial letter and then lower case letters for the rest of her name.  But my magnetic set of letters are all lower case so for my next game, I put ‘d’,’a’,’i’,’s’,’y’ magnetic letters onto the board and let Daisy find letters to match these.  This is a development of the previous matching games from my February blog “Sharing Letter Shapes”.

A child's easel with a set of magnetic fridge letters arranged on it to spell the word Daisy

The next big step is to introduce the sounds that letters make and, again, it’s good to start with the letters in your grandchild’s name.  So I started with ‘d’, repeating the sound ‘d’ for Daisy until she joined in with’d’,’d’,’d’.

Remember that this game is to introduce the sound that the letter makes and not to introduce the name of the letter. so this is d,d,d not Dee, Dee, Dee.

 Knowing that Daisy’s name starts with a ‘d’ we then talked about things that also start with an initial ‘d’ sound such as duck, dog, doll.  Daisy went off and found these toys and we put them all together.  I would have stopped the play at any stage that she became disinterested but Daisy was engaged and found all of the things.  

A selection of toys beginning with an initial 'd' sound - duck, dog, doll - depicted on a child's table

Granny Smith says

We engaged in these activities over several days during a recent visit and we left the easel and magnetic letters out for Daisy to access any time during her for pally. Back at home, when Daisy has taken the magnetic letters from the fridge, Mummy and Daddy have continued to help Daisy learn about letters and shapes.

A child sorts through a selection of magnetic fridge letters on the floor.

Of course these activities can be practised with letters from any alphabet.

*Be careful with magnets around young children. Toys that display the CE mark are tested to make sure the magnets cannot come loose and present a hazard.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s