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Alphabet Games

Fun ways to help your child learn her letters:

Make a match Pick three letters and write each one on two index cards (stick with all capitals for now). Put the six cards facedown and show your child how to turn over two at a time to look for a match. When she finds a pair, set it aside; when she doesn't, turn the cards over and try again. Gradually add more letters to the mix (no more than ten cards at a time, though, so it's not overwhelming).

Puzzle it out In large, thick print, write a different letter on each of 26 index cards, then cut all of them into two or three pieces. Give your child one letter puzzle at a time and ask her to put it back together.

It's a toss up Tape pieces of paper onto the four sides of an empty cardboard milk carton, then write one letter on each. Toss the carton into the air and see whether your toddler can tell you which letter lands faceup. Once she's mastered those, try four new letters.

Hop to it With chalk, draw letters on your sidewalk or driveway, each in a circle. Call out a letter and have your child jump onto it.

Lasting impressions Press a ball of play dough flat, then etch a letter into it with the tip of a spoon handle. Ask your child to trace the impression with her finger and tell you which letter it is. Can she do this with her eyes closed?

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