Children who are dyslexic learn differently. Learning to read and write can be extremely difficult. That's why it's important for both parents and teachers to incorporate multi-sensory reading activities, when introducing the twenty-six letter names and shapes of the alphabet. Multi-sensory reading activities use all the senses, sent to the brain—visual, auditory, touch and body movement.

Here are eight multi-sensory reading activities that help dyslexic learners learn the alphabet:

1. Touch - Trace and cut out both the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet out of sandpaper. After introducing a letter name and shape demonstrate for your child how to use their two fingers (their index finger and middle finger) to trace the letter's form. Next, have your child do it independently. The rough surface of each sandpaper letter helps children learn and retain letter shapes.

2. Touch - Pour a bag of rice, dried beans or peas into a shallow pan. Again, model for your child how to trace the alphabet letter they are currently learning with their two fingers, in the pan. Then, have your child trace letters independently. The sensation of the dried food supports children's retention of letter shapes and names.

3. Visual - Mix Elmer's glue with colorful craft fabric paints. On a piece of construction paper have your child draw letters of the alphabet in different colors. The variety of colors of glue helps children hold onto each alphabet letter's name and shape.

4. Visual - Put together a collection of crayons, colored pencils, and glitter pens. Draw in pencil on either notebook paper or construction paper the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. Instruct your child to trace over each letter. Using color helps children memorize the shapes and names of alphabet symbols.

5. Auditory - Sing the alphabet song with your child. Parents and teacher need to sing the song slowly. Children need to hear distinctly, all twenty-six-letter names, as you sing together.

6. Auditory - Read alphabet books aloud to your child. While reading parents and teachers need to take time to point out how illustrations and pictures reflects each letter name of the alphabet. Typically the storybook images are the first letter--such as "z" for zebra.

7. Body Movement - Find a large flashlight. Turn the lights down. Using big sweeping arm movements show your child how to write a letter on the wall. Have your child do the same using their arm. Tapping into arm muscles, by making big sweeping motions, helps children learn alphabet shapes.
8. Body Movement - Using a long piece of clothesline or a jump-rope help your child make a big letter of the alphabet. Using the body muscles through movements helps children remember alphabet shapes through muscle memory.

Multi-sensory reading activities are easy to make and take just a few minutes to do. When parents and teachers take additional time to include one, every time they teach a letter name and shape, they will find dyslexic leaners identify letter names and symbols much more easily. Also, these multi-sensory reading activities work equally well with adult dyslexic learners.

Author's Bio: 

Carol Fraser Hagen is a former elementary Reading Specialist, now a Dyslexia Therapist in the Midwest. Carol holds a bachelors degree in Secondary Education, a Masters Degree in Special Reading and an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to writing about reading education Carol is a freelance writer and a published children's writer. For more tips, resources, and articles on reading education drop by Carol's website