learning letters, part 1

We’ve got an abecedarian on our hands.  Adeline’s interest in letters and words is growing, so we’ve been trying to encourage her with some fun and games.

I’ve been looking for a Montessori movable alphabet set, and found this one on Amazon via Ginny at Small Things.  As soon as we got it, Adeline set to work writing messages.  Can you see “I love you, mom,” and “I love you, dad”?  She also likes to put together her own “words” and then asks me to pronounce what she’s written.

I just read (and loved) The Write Start, where I picked up the idea to play “alphabet store.”  While I sometimes have a hard time getting into the spirit of play, I think I enjoyed this game as much as Adeline did.  There are so many possibilities!  We used our alphabet puzzle and Monopoly money, and I’m envisioning sometimes using our movable alphabet so we can buy more than one of each letter, or our alphabet blocks so we can build ABC cities.  (Hmm, do we possibly have too many alphabet-related toys?)

Playing store led to this game which I like to call “letter-carrier.”  We were playing “mailbox” one day, where I would pretend to be the mail-carrier and put random things into this miniature mailbox (which I got at a craft store so long ago that I don’t know what I meant to do with it).  Well, I grabbed one of our foam bathtub letters and put it in the mailbox, and a new game was born.

I deliver a different letter each “day,” (Adeline pretends to sleep in between) and when I’ve brought her 3 of them, I ask if she can put them together to make a word.

I love the Monstessori sand writing activity, but spending good money on a sand writing tray seemed a bit preposterous to me.  So we went with the cornmeal-on-baking-sheet method (which I think I read in The Write Start).  It was fun; the “sand” stayed in pretty well.  But trying to get the cornmeal back into any sort of container without spilling half of it was a bit of a challenge — nay, a huge pain in the butt — enough to make me re-think finding an affordable sand tray where the sand can just stay put.  This one might do.

Stay tuned for part 2, which will include our homemade alphabet book, and possibly sandpaper letters.


8 thoughts on “learning letters, part 1

  1. what excellent ideas! i am going to have to incorporate these into my preschool repertoire. although the sand letters might be too messy if there are 3 or 4 tiny pairs of hands in it. maybe outside…

  2. I can’t get enough of the I love mom and dad! So sweet! The letter box game is so cool. Have you seen the ziploc bag full of paint instead of a sandbox? It seems kinda cool, easy, cheap. I’ve been dying to DIY some sandpaper letters, maybe you’ll beat me to it and I can learn a thing or two first 🙂

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