Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quick Way to Sneak in Letter Recognition and Word Building

Well, today I am nursing a sick 4 year old. Man, two days in pre-k and she's already caught a nasty virus. She's normally so healthy, so all I can think is that she caught something as soon as she walked in the door on the first day. Hopefully it's just a 24 hour thing and she'll be back on her feet, though, our regular routine is on hold. They are watching inordinate amounts of television.

So I thought I'd take this brief interlude post a super quick activity that Daniel and I worked on the other day. He's so anxious to start his school since Natalie started school earlier this week (he's pumped for that dino dig!). But since I hadn't planned to start until next week, I decided to just go through our supplies to come up with simple learning activities that can be thrown together at the spur of the moment.

Daniel can only recognize a handful of letters right now. I've decided that as we go through the alphabet this year, I wanted to start with those closest to home: the letters in his name. After that, we'll tackle the vowels and then move on to the consonants.

The goal of this activity is to both practice letter recognition and the spelling of a word. It's perfect for those kids that are ready to start learning the name and the order of the letters in their own name.

You'll need:

dry erase board and marker (or paper and pen)
pipe cleaner
letter beads (I purchased our set at Wal Mart)


Use the dry erase board to write down the word or group of letters that your child is working on. After I wrote down DANIEL (with capital letters) I had Daniel point to the letters one at a time as we went over their names.

You can take this as far as you like. I've done this activity with an eraser and had the kids erase letters as I called them out, or scrambled the letters and had them point to each one without the word order to help them. 

After that, start with the first letter in the word. Have your child say the name (and/or the sound if you're building words). Ask them to find the bead with the same letter and string it onto the pipe cleaner. 

Continue with all the letters in the word. You'll see that Daniel put some of them on upside down. I'm okay with that. Right now my concern is with letter recognition. Daniel completed the activity perfectly. Later, when he's fairly solid with recognition, we'll focus on writing them / facing them correctly.

After Daniel finished his name, we went over each letter one more time for good measure and then this happened:

As far as Daniel's concerned, time with the dry erase board is top notch. 

And Silas was loving those beads on the pipe cleaner. Come to think of it, as long as it's supervised, this might be a good busy bag for a toddler. He loved moving them along the line. But I definitely wouldn't give it to him unsupervised - those beads are just the right size to be scary.

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  1. Oh, I love it! My girls would be all over stringing the beads - I just hope my 3 year old will have enough patience to go through the lettering.

    1. Sorry for the late reply! Glad you liked this idea and hope it went well for you guys!! Daniel really likes it :)


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