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Teaching Your Preschooler the Fundamentals

Make Learning the ABCs and 123s Fun For Your Preschooler

There is a wide range of ages for when children learn the alphabet and how to count to 10. Some verbally precocious toddlers love counting stairs as they walk down them or singing the ABCs, while other children don't master these skills until they enter elementary school.

Kindergarteners aren't required to know the alphabet or how to count so don't feel pressured to teach your children. William Sears, M.D., emphasizes the importance of letting your child enjoy her preschool years because playtime is actually when children this age learn.

If your child seems interested in learning the ABCs and 123s, make a game out of it. Use rhymes and songs. Think "One, two, buckle my shoe..." and "This old man, he plays one...." To encourage your child to count, let her see how it's useful -- count aloud the number of geese flying overhead or the number of socks in the laundry basket. Point out letters and numbers in everyday life -- the numbers on a sports jersey or the letters on a box of a cereal.

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