You might not be able to get your little one reading Shakespeare before his fifth birthday, but you can introduce some basic ideas about the alphabet and phonics. According to the National Association for the Education for Young Children, the best way to teach children about the alphabet is to do so in a way that brings meaning to your child. Teach him the letter "O" by finding things that start with that letter.
Incorporate "o" foods into your meal plan throughout the day. For example, you might start out the day with a bowl of oatmeal or an omelet and a glass of orange juice. At lunch, serve orange slices alongside orange-colored macaroni and cheese. Your dinner might make use of olive oil, oregano or okra. If your child is old enough to eat hot dogs without choking, you can cut them in small pieces and stick four sticks of dry spaghetti through the pieces. When you boil them, they become "octopi," which makes for a fun "o" meal.
Kids seem to be naturally attracted to animals, so you can show her some pictures of animals that start with the letter "O." She may already be able to name an octopus and owl, but orangutans, otters and oysters may be a bit more exotic. Try looking for a video featuring one of these animals, or read a book like "A Lot of Otters" by Barbara Helen Berger.
Around the House
Take your child on a hunt around the house to find words that start with the letter "O." By dressing him in overalls and showing him the oven, he can start to hear how the letter can make different sounds. You might be able to see an oak tree from your living room window, an opal in mom's jewelry box, an ornament hanging from the Christmas tree or an office where dad and mom can do their work.
Incorporate the letter "O" into your craft time as well. For example, you might create an ocean-theme craft, by coloring oysters and octopi with crayon, then brushing over it with blue watercolor paint. Even young children can make a dog using origami -- fold the square origami paper diagonally to form a triangle, then create ears by folding the corners of the folded side in.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.