The key to making sure your kids develop the skills they need is simple: exposure. If Mozart didn't have access to a piano in his early childhood, he never would have had the opportunity to find what he truly excelled at. While playing classical music doesn't exactly guarantee that your tot will become the next prodigy, it certainly can't hurt their probability of enjoying listening to it or even playing it in the future! Even in my own life experience, the things I was constantly exposed to as a young child were the things I excelled at in adulthood.
So what should we do with this information on your child's sponge-like development? Start introducing them to EVERYTHING now: Dinosaurs, history, yoga, sports, art, music, dance! Anything that you want your child to one day master, incorporate it into your daily routines NOW and you will be amazed at how much they retain and how quickly their skills develop.
Now, as wonderful as it is to dream of your child being the next rock sensation or the first pre-teen paleontologist, it would be a huge loss to not be using this knowledge to constantly be exposing them to the alphabet-- even if they seem too young for it. After all, olympic athletes and future presidents need to read too. Teaching them the alphabet song when they're only 1 or 2 years is the perfect time and it takes thirty seconds to have a "C is for Cookie" moment walking in the grocery store or hanging out in the living room. These little comments add up and make a big difference. If you're constantly reminding them of the letters that words start with now, the battle will be much easier when the time comes for them to start to learn to read formally.
Incorporating letter reminders into your everyday vernacular is one of the best ways to develop early reading skills in your child. Also keeping the alphabet fun and exciting with lots of activities! My personal favorite is coloring sheets. There may only be 26 letters but we use them a million different ways so you can really get creative.
I've searched the dark corners of the Internet and discovered what I thought were the best printable coloring pages for every letter of the alphabet. Coloring pages are the perfect introduction to not only the name of the letters, but what they look like. There are dozens of more options, but these were the ones that made me smile the most!
Introducing your kids to the first letter of their name is a fantastic way to start!
Best of luck! And don't worry about them coloring inside the lines ;)
Sophie with Babies @ MAFS