Support young children with letter recognition by surrounding them with a print-rich environment. Books, poems, name tags, labels, and posters will help them to become familiar with letters. Seize opportunities to point out letters, like the ones found in their name.
To help children learn to identify the letter “p,” consider displaying alphabet posters or providing them with their own alphabet chart to refer to. Involve them in sorting activities using magnetic letters or tiles. Allow them to experiment with letter stamps, make the letter “p” using playdough, and go on a letter hunt to find as many “p’s” as they can.
When teaching children how to print the lowercase and uppercase “p,” an important distinction to point out is how the lowercase “p” is a short letter with a “tail,” and the uppercase “P” is a tall letter. Use a verbal pathway to teach them the motions needed to make each letter. For both the lowercase and uppercase, “p,” use the phrase, “ Pull down, up, and around.” Model how to print each letter correctly as you say the phrase. Provide children with opportunities to trace the letters before having them practice independently.
In addition to traditional pencil and paper activities, children can use tools such as fingerpaints, chalk, whiteboard markers, and sand or salt trays to practice printing. They can also use juggling scarves to practice the motions needed to form the letter “p.”
Have children relate the sound the letter “p” makes to familiar objects that begin with its sound. For example, they can associate “p” with pigs, pears, and pandas. Have them fill a block letter “p” with pictures or drawings of these items. They can reference their block letter when they’re trying to recall the sound.
Children can also make their own alphabet books to help them learn letter sounds. Complete a page each time a new letter is learned. In addition to including the correct formation for the lowercase and uppercase “p,” add pictures that begin with the letter.
For additional practice learning the letter “p,” have children complete activities to match the letter to items like pandas, pots, and peas. They can also color pictures of words that begin with “p.” (e.g., Color the pirate. Do not color the fish.)