We have a USB keyboard that we occasionally use. When it’s not hooked up to the computer, my kids love playing with it! I’ve learned it’s a fabulous way for them to practice the alphabet.
Here are a few activities we use it for:
Type the ABCs in Order
I ask my kids to hunt and peck the alphabet, in order. This forces them to look at all the letters, and use their ability to recognize a letter by shape.
As they search for each letter, I ask them to sing the ABC song, slowly. So they sing “A” as they hit the A key, and “B” as they hit the B key, and so on.
Once they hit Z, I ask them to do it again, a bit faster.
They keep practicing the alphabet until they can find each letter in the amount of time it takes to sing the ABC song normally.
Name the Letters in QWERTY Order
Using the non-alphabetical order on the keyboard is a great activity for ensuring your child knows each letter. I just have my child start at Q, and name all the letters in the top row.
Then we move to the A and do all those letters.
We finish with the last row, starting with Z.
When we work on letter sounds, I can point to a letter and ask my child to say the sound. She’ll say the sound, and then type the letter.
We’ll typically do 10-15 letter in a single setting.
Any that my child can’t automatically name, I know I need to continue working on that letter with her. It’s an easy way for me to assess progress in a way my child thinks is a game! 😀
Spell Your Name
My kids love trying to spell their name on the keyboard. So, I’ll ask them to find all the letters in their name. And in my name. And spell Dad. With 10 people in our family, there’s always a name to practice!
We love to bring the keyboard out when we’re playing store. The cashier sits and pretends to type out several things:
- The names of customers
- Items in the store for sale
- The name of the store
- Prices on items
Even if they’re using invented spelling, it’s a fun way to practice the alphabet and letter sounds.
Do Your Kids Enjoy Using a Keyboard?
If you have an extra (or broken) keyboard lying around, try letting your kids practice the alphabet with it. It’s a favorite activity here (along with the old-fashioned typewriter!)
Of course you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any keys popping off, as that could be a choking hazard.
If you give it a try, come back and let me know what your kids thought!