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Knowing Letters

Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children to sound out words:

  • Learning about different shapes is a child's first step to learning the letters of the alphabet.
  • To read, children must understand that written words are made of individual letters.
  • Knowing the different sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words.
  • This section offers some ideas and activities to help your child learn the names and sounds of letters.

Developmental Milestones

A child needs to know the alphabet in order to read. Each child will learn at her own pace, but by age six almost all children will know all the letters and their sounds.


  • Explore shapes by touching and mouthing.
  • Learn to recognize and respond to their own names.


  • Can match simple shapes with each other.
  • Start to use imaginary objects in play.


  • Start to match letters with sounds.
  • Recognize some letters, like the ones in their names.
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