leap frog fridge magnets, they teach phonics as well as letter recognition.
have a "letter of the day": post it, have foods starting with that letter, name animals, peoples names, etc with that letter, or scavenger hunts through the house for things that start with that sound
as for writing, start with observing together the individual components of letters: loops, straight lines, curves. use chalk to write them a foot tall on the sidewalk (large motor before small motor). spread flour in a baking pan and have them use their finger to "draw" the letter in it.
for reading, after they know their phonics, or while they learn, label things around the house with sticky notes.
read together A LOT, especially stuff like dr. seuss: it's simple, fun, and repetitive. my earliest reading memories are starting to recognize words in stories I knew by heart.
buy them three dimensional letters to spell out their names.
at 1:17 PM on Mar. 23, 2010