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Category: Alphabet

Letter R is for Roll

Five year old Sweet Pea and I are still reviewing the alphabet in various ways throughout the week. Letter R was especially fun and lends itself to some experiments! I did, however, remember to include making rainbow milk again! So. Much. Fun. for my kiddos every time we make it!

In the past, our letter R learning was centered around railroads and rainbows. We also did a very short Bible Story concerning the Rich and poor.

This time for a letter R activity Sweet Pea and I tried to discover what does and doesn’t roll and what the objects have in common. This was a really simple experiment to throw together and was fun, so it’s a good one to keep in your ‘rainy day’ arsenal!

Gather your materials – any objects of interest, making sure some will roll, some won’t, and some are cylindrical and some are spherical. (Great vocabulary words, right?)

Set up your experiment area – make a small ramp. We made ours by positioning wood blocks with one end on top of the other, creating a gradual slope.

Pose the question – Will these objects roll down the ramp? Or create a hypothesis about the objects with your child.

Then, have fun experimenting with the objects asking prompting questions during the play.

Activity extensions:
Have discussions about why some objects roll and others don’t.
Come up with a list of what each group has in common.
After we discovered what rolled and tried to roll the objects that didn’t roll a few other ways, Sweet Pea selected toys to try, too!

This was fun for us indoors on a small scale, but if you’d like to integrate gross motor into it, take it outdoors! Last fall we created a small, low ramp outdoors on our driveway with a 2 x 4 (with the 2″ being the height) and a piece of plywood. We tested our outdoor play toys, including rolling a scooter down the ramp (holding it with our hands, not riding it- that wouldn’t be safe!) a whiffle ball, a toy truck, a rock, a tennis racket, chalk, and a bike helmet.

I say this was gross motor, because it required a little more walking and running to get the materials to test, which the boys were happy to do on their own, and to chase after them when they rolled away. I challenged them to try rolling the objects in different ways to see if they could roll if set on the ramp in a different manner.

F is for Foil

Since we’re nearing the end of the school year I’ve been recapping some letters with Sweet Pea as we learn new ones.

Last week we reviewed the letter F. I pulled out the Foil and we made balls, covered bowls and made a foil F (which was subsequently destroyed before I got a picture of it!)

Sweet Pea loved crinkling it and molding it into different shapes. We also tried to paint it and poked holes through it.

Thinking of words that start with F led us to discussing how ‘ph’ can make the ‘F’ sound, so words like phone don’t start with an F, which of course thoroughly confused Sweet Pea!

This also brought up the word Feelings, so we’ve been talking a lot about what others might feel when things happen, but that’s for another post!

Four Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Preschoolers

Yesterday I posted about a simple LEGO activity I engaged 5 year old Sweet Pea with last week. Today I’m sharing a few scavenger hunt ideas for the under 5 crowd.

A couple of years ago a mom’s group mom put together a scavenger hunt for the under 5 crowd.

It was basically finding certain spots along a paved path and stopping to place a sticker on that spot on the map. Then you followed the map to the next spot, which was the next spot along the path. 

It was very simple, yet exciting enough for the little ones. All of the clues as to where to stop were in rhyme and using a little pirate lingo. At the end was the treasure – pirate popcorn!

This was so clever. I know I never could have thought of something like this on my own, so thought I’d share! I wish I had a picture!

There are other simple scavenger hunt ideas for the under 5 crowd and here are just a few you can put together quickly with no maps needed (although you could print out cards, like I did up there in that picture):

  • Find x number of toys
  • Find x number of (color) toys
  • Find things that start with (letter)

Like I said just a few ideas for you to pull out of your hat when you need one! There are seriously so many different things you can include in a scavenger hunt!

Chalkboard Letter Learning

Have you ever watched your kiddos drawing on the chalkboard and all they do is scribble all over it and erase it over and over? Sweet Pea loves to do that!

One day I saw an idea of putting clear tape onto the chalkboard and letting your child draw all over it then pull the tape off, sort of like resist painting, but with chalk. I didn’t want to try this for fear our cheap tape wouldn’t come off, so I replaced the clear tape with masking tape. (I tried to find the original place I saw this idea, but I couldn’t. If you know the link please let me know and I will update this!)

When Sweet Pea was once again scribbling all over the chalkboard making a dusty mess, I put some masking tape on it. He was totally confused at first, but once he helped me remove the tape after scribbling on it he was hooked!

This was great and then he started to put the tape on himself, trying to make it in the shape of his name!

What a great activity for fine motor work as well as a little gross motor drawing!

P is for Picnic

Letter P fun at http://www.momistheonlygirl.com
Letter P on the climbing wall at
The Strong National Museum of Play

With the white stuff still lingering outside I thought it would be fun for Sweet Pea to have a Picnic for letter P week – indoors!

We had a lot of fun making simple food that started with P – Peanut butter and jelly, Pineapple bites, and Potato chips! Of course we followed that with some (pretend) Pie and Pancakes!

I also have to mention we had Pancakes for breakfast one day! If I had thought ahead I would have made them into the letter P! As per Sweet Pea, instead they were O’s, with the middle still in.

Switching things up and having a picnic indoors for the Letter P, and eating foods that started with the letter P seemed to reinforce the letter P sound. We had a lot of fun all week thinking of words that started with P and making up our own, too!

Grandpa also joined us for a trip to The Strong National Museum of Play at the end of the week and we found a lot of letter Ps hanging around there for Sweet Pea’s eyes to find! When you go keep your eyes peeled – there are letters hiding everywhere!

For past letter P ideas check out these posts:

Letter P
Milk Plastic
Mama’s last week in review – Letter P

What have you done to teach, review, reinforce the letter P with your kiddos?


P is for painting

Letter P week has been so much fun and so colorful! We’ve been painting!

We splatter painted, painted with big brush strokes, painted lots of polka dots, painted more snow, and even painted cookies!

I think Sweet Pea’s favorite part of painting is exploring different things to paint on. He really liked painting on some shiny blue paper that was stuffed in a gift bag with a present. He loved the way the brush felt as he brushed it across the paper. Unfortunately, he didn’t like the way the paint crumbled off it as it dried.

And he always has fun mixing all of the colors – like a huge science experiment!

Sweet Pea did paint a letter P, but then had lots of fun covering it up with tons of paint (which turned brownish black)! It was a very messy process, but one that he thoroughly enjoyed!

I’ll be sharing more letter P fun throughout the week!

Preschool Paper Games – tic-tac-toe

Everyone knows how to play tic-tac-toe, right? (Or, tic-tac-tow, as some of my friend spell it.)

Sweet Pea has really liked this game lately. In the past he only played this with blocks that had X’s and O’s on. Lately, though, he’s getting better with his pencil grip, so has liked trying to make is letters just right!

It’s a simple pencil and paper game, reinforcing the letters X and O, and takes fine motor coordination and lots of thinking through the process of playing the game!

L is for Legs

I know we started on the letter L over a week ago, but Sweet Pea seems to keep going back to it, so we keep working on it because he finds it fun!

We’ve been busy trying to keep active even though the bitterly cold weather has kept us indoors. I never really thought of my 5 year old as liking things like Lunges, Leg Lifts, and Large arm circles, but he was really getting into the action of doing some simple exercises with me! (and of course I don’t have any pictures of him doing them because I was doing them with him!) He was having a ball!

Now I have one more thing in my ‘stuck indoors’ bag – simple gross motor exercises! And I think we’ll try to find an exercise for every letter of the alphabet! After all, L is for Legs!

L is for Listening – a game

Listening games - http://www.momistheonlygirl.com
Echo drumming listening game

The other day I made a special afternoon treat of chocolate chip cookies. When the timer went off the boys both came running into the kitchen with their high pitched screams of excitement…and Hubby retreated to his den!

To say the excitement-noise in this house is sometimes overwhelming is an understatement. What to do?
I quickly told the boys they couldn’t have their treat until they listened really well to me and did exactly what I asked. Then I proceeded to send them running around our ‘loop’ 3 times. When they were done with that, and obviously still had waaaaaay too much energy, I sent them hopping around for 2 laps…then skipping for 3…then galloping…you get the picture.

Twenty minutes later the cookies were cooled off and the boys were ready to sit down and enjoy their snack. Hubby was also ready to come out of his den hoping it would be a bit quieter! And the boys seemed to be listening better!

This is the perfect picture of a listening game. Calling out instructions (or whispering them when you really need to get their attention) and their following them.

There are so many other lsitening games for you to play that go along with Letter L is for Listening! Here are just a few:

  • Play the old telephone game, speaking into cups strung together with yarn that is held taut from ear to mouth. Can you understand what is being said?
  • Simon Says
  • Echo drumming (like I posted about here)
  • Drawing Instructions game – one person describes an object to another while the other tries to draw it on paper. This is a good one for all ages, don’t think it’s just for older kiddos!

 What sort of listening games do you play with your kids?

L is for (Q-tip) Letters

Four year old Sweet Pea is getting pretty good at writing his letters, when he’s in the mood. Sometimes he likes to paint them with a brush or write them inside a bubble letter I made for him. Sometimes he also likes me to draw small circles, then take a q-tip with paint and dot the letter!

Now, I know this isn’t a very unique idea as preschool classrooms everywhere seem to use Bingo markers to dab out shapes and letters. However, there is something about using a Q-tip that draws Sweet Pea to this. It’s also nice that this uses his fine motor skills and draws the letter size-scale closer to what he would be doing with a marker. (There are also a lot of blogs out there with free printables that you can use for this!)

We all know what it’s like when you are trying to prepare dinner or work with your older child on their homework and you just have to find a quick activity to keep your younger one occupied. Or if you are simply trying to work with your child helping them to remember how to write their letters! Sometimes you just need a quick and easy activity!

I found this to be great at giving me a few minutes, and it doesn’t get too messy for us, either. Bonus that it’s something I can whip up quickly and set aside for when I need those few minutes!

Rainy/Snowy Day Indoor Fun – Magnetic Letters

As you know, Sweet Pea has been learning his letters at home and at preschool for a while now. I thought it would be fun to share a few ways we’ve been playing with the magnetic letters everyone seems to have accumulated on their refrigerators! An educational spin on some indoor fun activities!

Here are just a few ideas!

Simply let children play with the letters. They don’t need to be spelling or reading anything. Playing and touching them helps them learn how they look!

If you have multiples of the same letter, play a matching game!

Make names! Spell their name for them…they’ll need to know it because they’ll be using it the rest of their lives! They need to see it!
  ~You can move on to writing their names on a piece of paper and having them put the letters in order spelling their name.
  ~If they are at this stage you can then give them more letters than are in their name and see if they can pull the letters of their name out!

What ways do you play with magnetic letters with your kiddos?

Letter D – Dinosaur Dig

Do you have a dinosaur lover in your house? Do you have a big tub/bin, one that you can fill with sand? What about plastic dinosaurs and/or homemade dinosaur bones?

If you do, then I think you have the makings of a dinosaur dig!

I have tended to shy away from sensory bins since our rice level has deteriorated in our rice box, but recently rediscovered how much Cutie Pie enjoys this type of play when it is centered on something he likes so much, like dinosaurs.

Through our local recreation center, Cutie Pie had the opportunity to enjoy a dinosaur class for kids his age. He told me he really enjoyed the ‘dig’ and making a fossil! (I now have the materials for the fossil so we’ll be doing that soon!) At the class there was a huge tub of sand with cleaned chicken bones, shells, small plastic dinosaurs and a variety of other things in it, resembling a tiny dig site.

On an unusually warm day a few weeks ago we got outside when Cutie Pie got home from school (no rain). Before he got home I buried some dinosaurs in our sandbox. It took a bit of coaxing, but we dug in the sandbox for a bit and he was totally surprised to actually find something! (He really wanted to ride his bike!)

I love that this little idea worked! I love being able to do just a tiny bit of prep and have an activity for the boys that they totally love! I even buried a letter D for Sweet Pea!

D is for Dinosaurs

Of course around this house D is for dinosaurs. If you’ve read this blog for long you probably could just assume it would be! But Sweet Pea also reminded me that D is for Dots and Dogs!

Sweet Pea’s preschool class was right on board a few weeks ago with D being for dinosaurs. They read The Magic School Bus Flies with the Dinosaurs and they cracked open baking soda eggs to discover baby dinosaurs! Sweet Pea had done this at home recently (with plastic bugs), but still loved every minute of it! They also read How do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon and made their own (super cute) doctor kits. (Another post!)

Here at home we assembled our 3D letter D and came up with quite a few D words, some of which were quite funny to Sweet Pea (like dung) but totally reminded him of animals. (He still wants to be an animal rescuer like Diego and Dora!)

We also read some of our many books about dinosaurs, played with our dinosaurs and dug in the dirt as we re-potted some plants. We got out the construction equipment and played in the sandbox (on a really nice day) with our dump trucks, too!

I’ll share a couple of the activities we did later this week!

D is for Doctor

D is for Doctor

Sweet Pea’s preschool made the cutest little doctor kits when they were learning the letter D! I just had to share!

You’ll need black, white and red construction paper, glue, scissors and rather flat doctor kit items like gauze, bandages, tongue depressors and the like.

First, take a piece of black construction paper, fold it in half.

Then outline two bubble letter Ds and cut them out. Glue this to the edge of the construction paper, so it looks like the top of a briefcase with a handle. This is good practice for cutting skills for those who can use scissors!

Next, lay out bandages, tongue depressors and gauze for the children to adhere to the inside of their doctor’s kit! Great fine motor work!

Don’t forget to cut out red crosses for the kiddos to adhere to the front of the kits! More scissor work!

This is also a very cute way to talk about how doctors can help us, too!

Exploring words


I love the magnetic tile words. I can’t help but move them around and make sentences whenever I see them! Evidently, Sweet Pea follows in my footsteps!

On a recent visit to the library a door was closed that usually isn’t. Sweet Pea discovered the word magnets on the reverse side for the first time. Even though he can’t read, he started moving them around, then asked me what each said. It was very fun standing nearby listening to him jibber-jabber. Sometimes he’d point out a letter he knew. Sometimes he’d remember what some of the words were and try to place them where he thought they made sense.

Mostly, though, Sweet Pea had fun just lining up the words and asking me to read the nonsense sentences he made.

I love when my boys explore the written word this way. (pre-reading) There are no expectations. I can be as involved or not as involved as I want, or as they want.

As a parent, it is so easy to just take over and read for them, or talk and talk about the alphabet and the words that can be made from the letters. Sometimes we can discover so much more about our children if we just stand back and observe.

C is for Pete the Cat Counting

I always try to engage 4 year old Sweet Pea in activities which include his interests. Sometimes I totally get it wrong, but this time I hit the nail on the head!

Sweet Pea loves Pete the Cat! His 3 year old preschool class had the book Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons memorized and he still knows it by heart! I thought finding an activity to help reinforce learning the letter C and centered on Pete the Cat would be just the thing for a recent cold, wet day.

After a quick Pinterest search (I love using that for a preschooler activity resource, don’t you?!) I found some great Pete the Cat activities. The one I chose this day was so simple and involved some print outs of Pete with numbers as well as some colorful buttons. (You can find it here.)

While Sweet Pea and I listened to the story, you can listen to a few books and songs here, he put the correct number of buttons on Pete’s shirt. After doing that several times we sorted the buttons by color, placing them on the coordinating shirt. Sweet Pea also noticed the numbers on the printouts and decided to count out the proper number of buttons and place those on the shirts, too!

I love finding an activity that totally pulls my boys in! (Like doing something to do with cats!) What activities have you found lately that have totally engaged your preschooler?

C is for Cats

Cats!

Sweet Pea loves cats! (At least the stuffed kind!) He has a little lovie he calls Kitty Goes and he’s excellent at making this little cat act real!

For letter C week we read a bit about cats, made cat masks and tried out best to be cats. (Unfortunately he thought he should try to drink his milk like a cat too, which lead to talking about how a cat’s tongue is much different than ours.)

We also talked about animals that are similar to cats as well as other animals we know that are in the cat family. Sweet Pea keeps telling me he wants to be an animal rescuer, so he really loved learning about one of his favorite animals!

And you can’t forget the Pete the Cat books we read! Sweet Pea has Pete the Cat’s Four Groovy Buttons memorized!

For more ideas to reinforce your preschooler’s learning the letter C, head here!

This post contains a link to Amazon, which may result in my being compensated for any purchase being made at no additional cost to you. I only link to products my children and I absolutely love!

C is for car

Car. Carrot. Call. Cry. Cousins. Cotton. Crayon. Cup. Curb. Caterpillar. Carpet. Crust. Coconut. Christ.

What do these words all have in common? You bet, the letter C! It was an easy question for Sweet Pea, too. Some days that little 4 year old seems really smart to me!


Sweet Pea’s preschool class covered the letter C by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric . Their craft for this story was making caterpillar necklaces out of red and green pasta, and enjoying a bit of patterning while they made them.

At home Sweet Pea and I spent lots of time making the hard C sound and listing lots of words starting with C. This has become sort of a game to him and I find we do this quite often throughout the week for letters we have learned. Some times I find him sitting at the table looking at the 3D letters we have taped to the wall and hear him whispering the ABCs. What’s not to love about that?!

He seemed to have a pretty good grasp on this letter, so I got out the cars and we had a lot of fun with them! We even made a letter C out of his car tracks!

For more letter C ideas head here for other fun we’ve had learning the letter C!

Recognizing Letters

Have you ever looked up something like “Letter E” on Pinterest? Were you totally amazed by all of the results? It’s incredible how many shapes, sizes, projects, educational tools and who knows what else is out there for each and every letter of the alphabet!

Do you know why this can be a good thing? Kids have a hard time recognizing letters in varying texts because they always see them in the same, or similar, typeface (font).

The other day 4 year old Sweet Pea and I did just this very thing. We typed “Letter E” into the search box on Pinterest. There were so many letter Es in so many fonts it was a bit overwhelming. However, Sweet Pea was fascinated as I scrolled slowly looking at all the images in front of us and could hardly look away.

The one thing he kept saying over and over was “What’s that letter, Mommy?” That’s when it dawned on me that he’s used to seeing letters in the same font (or nearly the same) in his board books, on the letter pages he’s given in preschool…He was so enthralled with all the letters in front of him and so surprised that one letter can look so different! All this does not even include a lowercase e, although we did see some of those, too!

Action: I encourage you to point out letters in different fonts to your kiddos. Let them see the newspaper, a variety of books, the same letter in different fonts next to each other. And tell me how your preschooler reacts! Do they recognize the letter all the time? Are they surprised, like Sweet Pea was, to realize the same letter can look different?

B is for…

So much fun reinforcing the letter B through different play experiences!

Building with the giant building blocks at
The National Strong Museum of Play’s Little Builder’s exhibit
Helping Daddy build the train table in our basement
Building with our wood blocks 

Bonging the bells in the garden at The National Strong Museum of Play
(yes, we love this place, and yes, we did go here twice!)

And playing with our giant ball in the back yard!
Sweet Pea went around all week being amazed at words he said that begin with B! It was almost like a puzzle to him all week – he loved it!

B is for Ball

B is for BallSweet Pea learned all about the letter B in preschool, so I extended his learning at home!

Books we read: Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton, 1001 Bugs to Spot by Emma Helbrough, Explore Bugs by Maurice Pledger.

Games we played: Richard Scarry’s Busytown. (Lots of I spy work and fine motor, too!)


I also found some paper 3D letters on Mr. Printables. They are a bit tricky to assemble (read: not for kids to make), but 4 year old Sweet Pea loved touching it and making it dance. I think it being 3D so he could handle it and physically touch it all over helped him really ‘feel’ that it was the letter B.

To extend this a little further I had him think of things that started with B and we found some of those items around the house. Since we had a ton of buttons, and buttons starts with the letter B, he decided to cover his letter with buttons. This was great fine motor work for him!

Of course, the weather was still nice so we spent time outside…playing with a big, big ball!

This post contains an affiliate link to products my children and I love. I may or may not receive benefits from your following the links.

Foam Alphabet Matching Game

The kiddos love to play with their foam alphabet letters. Sometimes they just lay them all out on the floor and poke the letters out and simply match the letters. Lately, however, they’ve been building with them again. This led to a fun (sneaky learning) game!

First, make cubes with your letters and poke the letters out. (Like Sweet Pea is doing in the pic.)

Next roll the cube like dice.

Whoever rolled the die has to find the letter that lands face-up!

Of course, there is no real winner or loser, but we like games like that sometimes!

This is a great game to accompany learning the alphabet, reinforcing the alphabet and one to one correspondence. It’s also a great gross motor game, especially when you play it outside and the kiddos try to see who can roll the die the farthest!

This post contains an affiliate link in which I may or may not be compensated. I link to this source because my children and I love this product.

Foam Letter Spelling

Cutie Pie is in first grade now, which meant we spent some time this summer reinforcing reading through some fun activities, which I’m sure he’s waiting for me to pull back out again!

One game we played was with those foam letters again. (You can read about what we did with them once before here.) We poked the letters out and used them in combination with the big squares to make words!

Six year old Cutie Pie loved this because he was in a phase where he loved trying to spell words, but also because it was challenging to come up with words and phrases that used letters at most twice!

What fun things do your kiddos do with the foam alphabet letters in your house?

Playground Letter Search

Have you ever gone on a tangible letter search? It’s sort of like Hidden Objects, but in real life rather than on paper and with a much larger area to search in! Sometimes when we visit parks we play this, mostly with the child least entertained by the park.

Tangible letter searches are very simple and involve no preparation! Simply look around at the equipment, benches, fences and whatever else is at the park and search for letters of the alphabet!

 Can you see the letter P? Its part of the railing.

 What about all of the Os?

And you can play with numbers, too. See the 0? There are several on the wall by the steps!

I usually find myself playing this with Cutie Pie when Sweet Pea has a lot of energy to burn long after Cutie Pie is ready to leave, but recently found Sweet Pea getting excited about seeing and touching letters on a recent trip to our favorite park without Cutie Pie!

As an introduction to letters for some of the younger set you can point out letters that have been formed and trace them! The large size of the letters seems to capture their attention and makes a great ‘aha’ moment to witness!

A is for apple/Apple Investigation

In the spirit of fall and wanting to get back into more learning activities with Sweet Pea (like I did with Cutie Pie at this age) we took a little trip to the apple store and did some fun ‘A is for apple’ letter activities!


After talking about the possibilities of why apples are sometimes red, sometimes green and sometimes both red and green, we picked out some that we thought would taste yummy! We plan to make apple crisp with some and eat the others! We also did a little investigation with one.

Here’s how to do our quick little Apple investigation Activity:

First, set out the apple.

  • Touch it. Talk about what it feels like -soft, hard, smooth, bumpy.
  • Talk about it. Here are some questions that might spur your kiddos mind:
    • What color(s) it is?
    • How/where did it grow?
    • How long did it take to grow?
    • How did it get to the store?
  • Talk about why it has a peel.
  • What does the inside look like? How can you open it to find out?
Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to the questions raised. Take the opportunity to look up the answer together, or give the question back to them and ask what they think!

Then, slice the apple around it’s diameter instead of through it stem-wise.

  • What shape do you see?
  • What else is in there? (seeds)
  • What can you do with what you find?
Tomorrow I’ll share what we did with the apple after we investigated it!

Fall brings changes

One of the things I love most about living in the northeastern U.S. is the fall season. I love wearing sweaters, the chilly nights and warm days, the yellow-orange sun rays making the fall early evenings almost glow and I love the apples…apple cider, apple picking, apple crisp, apple cake…

As school has started and we’re trying to get into a new routine, I’ve taken a little time to myself during Sweet Pea’s rest time to read, and have posted a few times about ‘finding me’ again, which happens to be the topic of books I’m finding myself drawn to.

One of the things I’ve realized is that I miss having little themes of things to do with my boys. They sort of kept me intentional on doing activities (with an educational slant) with my boys. When I began this blog I shared many activities we did throughout the days learning the alphabet, practicing counting…I am excited to do these sorts of activities again with Sweet Pea, and I’m excited to share them all with you!

So here’s to a fall of change!

What changes are going on with you?

How similar are the words?

I used to doodle in my writing books as a little girl. When I noticed words sort of lining up one under the other I would tend to look for similar letters and draw lines between them. It was sort of like seek a word which is drawing circles around words formed within a chart of seemingly random letters. This activity consumed more of my time than actually reading. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I’m a slow reader?

I showed this little similarity activity to 6 year old Cutie Pie one day, but he wasn’t impressed. I think it might have looked too much like a worksheet to him.
(I blogged before about how he doesn’t seem to like things that look like ‘formal’ learning when at home.) Four year old Sweet Pea was engaged in this activity a bit, and seemed to like finding the same letters in the words. It was great fine motor work and letter recognition for him! (And a sneaky way to try to encourage a little bit of reading!)

I thought I’d share it with you, just in case this was something that your kiddo might like, but that you might not have thought of before!

I started by simply making a list of our names on a sheet of paper, one below the other. I made the letters rather large. Of course, you can use whatever words you would like, but I kept my lists to about 4 or 5 words.

Then we set out to discover the similarities – the same letters. We drew a line from one letter to the same letter in the next word.

Very simple! But like I said, it appeared too much like a worksheet for Cutie Pie’s taste, but it might be just the right activity to capture your child’s interest or be something different to do in your homeschooling to reinforce letters of the alphabet.

Encourage Writing in Young Children

I personally love to download different fonts for projects from the computer. There are so many different handwriting fonts that I’m seeing. This got me to thinking that everyone writes differently.

I think sometimes we perceive our children learning to write through the same method, be it handwriting without tears or another means, with the end result being everyone writing the same at the same ability in the same timeframe. We know that as adults our handwriting is completely different from one another’s and also that children progress in abilities and skills at different rates. So why should children’s handwriting be the same and progress the same?
While our children may not acquire skills or abilities at the same age, it is still very important for the encouragement of the development of social and academic skills to be taking place, not just from teachers, but from parents as well.

Many children learn the same way. However, there are others than need to use their senses in different ways to learn the same thing. I think it is important that we, as parents, do our best to not only help our children learn what they should, but discover how it is they learn best to further the teaching at home.

Think about it in these terms:

  • Fine Motor activities – strengthen their fingers (to promote a better pencil grip)
  • Visual Motor activities – connecting eye-sight to hand/finger (greater pencil control)
  • Sensory Motor activities – learning through all senses
  • Gross Motor activities – improve balance and coordination on the large scale with can trickle down to improved hand and finger control
I will share examples (ones we use) in future posts. It is my hope that sharing this information will help you discover new (to you) ways of helping your child love to write!

*Disclaimer: These ideas are not totally my own. I have been given some resources by the Occupational Therapists at my child’s school to help with his handwriting at home, unfortunately not all came with sources attached. I’m simply sharing these ideas along with my observations in hopes that by seeing how they are helping my child they can help you or encourage you to seek help if you feel it is needed for your child.

Encourage Writing – Some Simple Ideas

I’ve been thinking a lot about encouraging writing in our young children (like here), so I thought I would share a few very simple ideas to encourage writing similar to how we often encourage our children’s artistic creativity.


    Encourage Children to Write

  • Display your child’s writing. If she’s learning to write and writes her name, put it where it can be admired. Even if it’s just one letter – pin it up!
  • When you’re working on an experiment, let your child do some of the recording (writing) of observations. This will also give them more ownership of the project.
  • Let them help write out the grocery list. If writing the words as you spell them or by sounding them out is too difficult, encourage drawing a picture of the item. This way they are still associating writing words with making a list to the best of their ability.
  • Consider making a family mailbox and exchange notes with each other.
  • Ask them to help write labels for items in your home and tape them up.

Just as you encourage your child by admiring their artwork, or specific things about their artwork, let them hear encouragement about their writing skills. “I really like the way you started your letters at the top today!”

I plan to post about encouraging writing in our kiddos weekly and would love to hear your feedback in the comments or on Facebook!

Glow Board Reading

Hubby spends more time with Cutie Pie at nighttime than I do, I admit it. Cutie Pie wants me to do shadow puppet shows against the wall with him and they just are, well, shorter than what Hubby does. I’m pretty sure it’s because my drawing skills are not good enough for him and Hubby is a great draw-er.

I know there are a lot of ideas out there for teaching kiddos to read, but my kids aren’t drawn to many of them. Are yours? (Sounds like I’m talking about two separate ideas in this post doesn’t it? Keep reading!)

A few years ago Cutie Pie was given this glow board and we have been drawing on it almost nightly ever since. At first it started out with us drawing pictures for him, then letters of the alphabet, then he tried his hand at drawing and writing letters. Now it’s a combination of drawing and writing done by Hubby. Let me tell you it’s been a great tool in helping Cutie Pie get better at reading!

Hubby sometimes writes what Cutie Pie requests be written. It can be a nonsense word, a silly word, whatever, and Hubby will write it so Cutie Pie can make the connection. Other times Hubby will draw something and then label it, be it a silly name for a drawing of a silly man or some such thing that will inevitably make Cutie Pie squeal with laughter.

Making learning fun seems to be one of the ways Cutie Pie absorbs and excels in the learning area. How do you make learning to read fun? I’d love to try other methods!

Alphabet Learning

I’ve posted recently about Sweet Pea learning the alphabet at preschool and how we’ve been trying to reinforce that learning at home.

One thing we still do to help Cutie Pie, his 6 year old brother, in learning to read is to have things labelled around the house and to point out words when we see them in writing (like on signs at the store).

I decided to take this approach with the alphabet, too, but by placing the alphabet around the inside of the house. I already point out letters when we are out and about, why wasn’t I doing it at home? Oh yeah, because they are only in certain areas of the house, not throughout it like the word labels!

We now have letters on cards we use as mail for their mailbox, letters on the wall in the family room, in the bathroom, on the stairs. He’s getting pretty good at recognizing them and getting them right! (My computer is on the fritz so I have no pics for you, sorry!)

What do/did you do to help reinforce learning letters with your little ones?