My youngest, Little B, is in her last year of preschool and soon turning 5 years old. Although she’s a pretty bright little squirt, we’ve been doing some activities to prepare her for Kindergarten in September.
Little B knows the letters of the alphabet and the sounds each letter represents. She needs a little more practice writing the letters in upper and lowercase form. Now, just printing the letters over and over again on paper is so not fun. So Mommy has come up with numerous ways to practice our letters in fun and interesting ways.
Here’s what we’ve done …
The girls really love manipulating Play-Dough so I use this to my advantage. We take the Play-Dough out and we play the letter game. I call out a letter and the girls make the letter using their Play-Dough. The first one done shows me the letter and then it’s their turn to call out a letter for the rest of us to make. Not only are my girls having to visually remember what a letter looks like, they’re also creating the letter with their hands by manipulating the dough.
Pipe Cleaners and Wicky Sticks are much like Play-Dough in that they can be manipulated by the girls into the shape or letter form they desire. The pipe cleaners are fuzzy and bendable and fun to play with. They can be connected to together to build larger letters or used singular to make smaller letters.
The chalkboard has been around forever yet it’s still fun for kids to use in play. Chalk comes in an array of colours to choose from and make writing and colouring on the board more appealing. When we use our chalkboard at home, the girls like to play school where they are the teachers and I am the student. They love role reversal play with Mommy. This is perfect for me because it allows me to direct the learning by pretending not to know how to print alphabet letters. In turn, the girls model for me how to form the letter a, b, or c and then I copy them. It’s a great way to practice writing letters and assess what they know or don’t know, all the while we’re having a great time. A whiteboard works pretty much the same way except that you’re introducing the fun of getting to use whiteboard markers and erasers. Kids love it!
Another way to practice forming or making letters is by using counters or junk. I collect all sorts of things from bread tags, to Bingo chips, to shells, to glass rocks … the list goes on. I call my collection junk and store them in see-through containers. The kids and I use the junk to make letters of the alphabet while we’re sitting up at the kitchen table. The more junk, the more choice the kids have to be creative when they’re making alphabet letters using Mommy’s random collectible items. No matter what junk you have laying around at home, collect it! The kids will love to play with it.
Using sand or flour in a baking tray is yet another way to present letter making in a fun and different way. Kids are usually very tactile so being able to get their hands into something makes the activity that much more appealing. My girls love drawing the alphabet letters in the sand, shaking the tray to erase and then starting all over again. It’s a great way for kids to also perfect fine motor skills. We usually keep and reuse the sand but if you’re using white flour, you’ll probably want to change it more regularly.
As you can see, there are many different activities you can do with your kids that practice and refine letter formation. The more interesting and fun the activity, the more motivated your kids will be to get involved. Most items needed for these activities can be found in your home or purchased from your local dollar store. It’s all affordable and easy to set up.
You don’t need to be a teacher to create a fun learning environment at home for your kids. It just takes a little creativity!
Linking up today with MommyFergo2
from The-Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom!