Best Way To Use An ABC Chart For Kids

An ABC chart is a very important tool in the classroom for pre-kindergarten or kindergarten kids.

There are so many different types that you can use and most are colorful and engaging for young children. But what is the best way to use an ABC chart for kids?

Best Way To Use An ABC Chart For Kids

On its own the chart will not impart much information to children, it needs to be engaged with and used as an interactive tool. 

Using one for the wall of the classroom as well as printable alphabet charts will help children learn about letter recognition and their corresponding sounds. 

What Is An ABC Chart?

An ABC (see also: The ABCs Of Raising Well-Rounded Geeklings)chart is a visual aid for young children learning the alphabet. Typically an ABC chart will include the letter in both uppercase and lowercase with a picture of an object which begins with each letter. 

This helps children to recognize the letters in both uppercase and lowercase and to associate those letters with the beginning sound of the corresponding picture. 

Learning The Alphabet With An ABC Chart

There are lots of ways to use an ABC chart to help kids learn the alphabet and the different sounds of the letters.

But simply having an ABC chart in the classroom or homeschool room isn’t enough to help children learn how to recognize and sound out the letters. 

Engaging kids in fun activities will allow them to learn more quickly and make the process much easier for you and them. 

Alphabet Song

One of the first introductions that children have to the alphabet is through the alphabet song. You can use the chart while singing along with your child and have them point to the letter on the chart as they sing.

This way they learn the name of each letter and recognize its shape. 

It’s a good idea to do this quite slowly at first as some parts of the song can be tricky particularly around L, M, N, O and P where it speeds up.

Slow it down for first time learners and make sure they are confident with recognizing each letter before moving on. 


Using colorful pictures to help children associate the letter with the beginning sound of the objects’ names. As they get more confident and familiar with the alphabet you can create activities and games to help them recognize letters at the end of words too. 

For example, ask your child to point to the letter that Dog ends with. Make it into a Bingo game where as they find the correct letter they cover it up with pom poms or pieces of paper.

When they have covered a whole row or column on the ABC chart, give them a prize. 

Matching Letters

Using magnetic or foam letters with an alphabet chart helps children with visual recognition of the letters. Have them find the matching letters on the ABC chart and cover it with the correct magnetic or foam letter. 

Once they have mastered the idea, speed up the game so that it helps with their letter recall. 

Letter & Sound Association

One of the best ways to introduce children to the sound of different letters is with their own name. Help them find the different letters on an ABC chart that spell out their name and teach them the sound associated with each letter. 

Now you can move on to other words that they are familiar with like their favorite color or food. This gives children a personal connection to the letter sounds and helps them retain what they have learned. 

Letter Hunt

A good activity for children is to engage them in a letter hunt on the ABC chart. Kids love to search for things, so this is a fun game for them.

Tell them the sound of a letter and ask them to find the correct letter on their alphabet chart. 

Using small post-it notes you can cover up some of the letters on the ABC chart. Your child can then tell you what the missing letter is and write it on the post-it note. 

Dice Roll

Combine letter and number learning with this fun activity using an ABC chart and dice. Give your child a game piece or small pom-pom and put it on the letter A.

Now let them roll the dice and whatever number comes up they move their game piece that many spaces. 

Have your child tell you what letter they have landed on as well as the letter sound. Mix it up a little and start on Z and have them work their way backwards through the alphabet. 

Alphabet Chart Jigsaw

Print out an alphabet chart for each child and then cut them up into the individual letters.

Have your kids put the chart back together in the right order to form the whole alphabet. If the letters are laminated you can keep this for other activities too. 

Children can spell out their names, their favorite animal or anything that makes the activity fun and helps them learn. Combine this with helping them sound out each letter or rearranging the letters to make new words. 

Capital & Lowercase Letters

It is easier for children to recognize letters in the uppercase or capital form rather than lowercase.

You can use two separate ABC charts, one just in capitals and the other with capitals and lowercase letters so that your child can associate one with the other. 

When kids learn to write it is also easier for them to form capital letters too. 

Learning To Write

When children start learning to write you can use the ABC chart to remind them of the shape of letters both in upper and lowercase. 

It can also be used as a prompt if they are writing a new word. They can use the chart to find the letter to correspond to the sound that the word begins with by sounding it out. 


What Is A Sound Wall Chart?

An ABC chart is an excellent resource for introducing letter recognition to children.

A sound wall chart is where the sound of the letter or phoneme is displayed. Matching speech and sounds to letters is vital for teaching children to read. 


A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language and there are 44 of them in English. They are divided into 19 consonants, 5 long vowels, 5 short vowels, 5 r-controlled sounds, 7 digraphs, 2 diphthongs, and 2 ‘oo’ sounds. 

Phonemes come together to form words. When words are broken down into phonemes it helps children to understand how they are sounded out. This is what kids learn from phonics. 


Phonemes are represented in writing by using symbols which are called graphemes. They help to distinguish one word from another. They are written either as a letter or a sequence of letters such as ‘igh’ or ‘ough’. 

ABC Chart Vs Sound Wall Chart

We have seen that an ABC chart is used to help preschool children recognize the different letters of the alphabet both in uppercase and lowercase. But how does a sound wall chart help children with their alphabet? 

Sound Wall Charts

Many classrooms and homeschools will have a word wall where high frequency and sight words are displayed. This helps children with words that they are using often and in the case of sight words, those which don’t follow the usual phonetic patterns. 

Sound walls are where different speech sounds are displayed. They are organized based on their sound and are split into different categories. 

Consonants are divided into several groups while the vowels are organized into what is commonly known as the vowel valley. This depicts the motion of the chin as it makes the different vowel sounds. 

Between the ages of two and five children should be familiar with the different sounds of letters and combinations of letters. 

How Do Sound Wall Charts Help Kids? 

While the alphabet chart is an aid for children learning letter recognition and the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters they are limited in teaching (see also: Learning How To Use A Alphabet Arc And Other Teaching Ideas)letter sounds. 

Most ABC charts feature a picture of an object that begins with the corresponding letter. But letters make more than one sound and this is where the sound wall helps children learn. 

The ABC chart is great for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. However, when children start learning that some letters and combinations of letters make different sounds the sound wall becomes a good teaching aid. 

A sound wall chart will show all 44 English sounds as well as a keyword image for each sound. Teachers and homeschoolers can also use phoneme cards and visual aids to help children with these sounds. 

Final Thoughts

An ABC chart is a vital resource in the classroom and can be used in many ways to help children with letter recognition, sounds and writing. 

We hope that you have enjoyed this guide to the best way to use an ABC chart for kids and that it has been helpful.

Suzy Anderson
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