Learning Letters

I started this post last November, and now here we are in July!  I’m finally lifting my head out of the sand after 4 months of adjusting to life with a preschooler and a new baby.  Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was so exhausted and run down, that I was just in permanent survival mode.  It didn’t help that Ellis or I were always sick (Hand Foot Mouth Disease, anyone?).  So my parenting to Ellis fell back on relying a little too much on Disney Jr., half-hearted play, and a babysitter for entertainment.  Ellis has been out of school for about a month now, and I’m really trying to make our time together count.  We do a lot of activities out of the house, but I wanted our time at home to be fun and memorable, too.  I started up Tot School with her again when I saw that she was counting (correctly) everything and identifying letters she knew everywhere.  For example, she would see the sign for Barnes & Noble, and she would say, “Look, Mommy, there’s an E for me!  Two E’s!”  Or she’ll count and recount her goldfish after each one she’s eaten.  She can do simple math, too, like if I say she can have five of something, and I’ve given her three, she’ll say she needs two more.

That all said, here are some activities I did with her last fall to help her with her letters.  I’ve been trying to teach her the name and phoneme (just one) of each letter, but I’m realizing that may be too much right now, so I’m stressing identification now.  I pair letters with things that are meaningful to Ellis to help them stick, so of course we started with E for Ellis, then M for Mama, D for Dada, and so on.

 

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Tactile learning. A tub of beans with letters D, E, and M “hiding” within. I took letters from around the house, puzzles, and games. After she found them, we sorted the letters.

 

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More bean fun. This time I just took all the letters out of the mat and put them in the tub. She would grab a letter and find its place on the mat.

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Focusing on the letters D, E, and M, I had Ellis identify each picture. I made the beginning sound, and we figured out which letter the picture went with. We had a little fun with glue, too!

 

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A few of Ellis’ favorite D things. D is for Dada… and dog, and duck, and donut.

 

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Be ready to expect a mess when you play with beans. Maybe don’t do this activity with a mobile baby on the loose.

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