My preschooler has been learning to write his name. He already recognises his name when it is written, and he knows all of the letters. He can even write the letters quite well, yet putting them together is proving a little challenging!
Adding stickers to his name.
To help him practice getting his letters in the right order, we tried this little activity. I drew the letters of his name in bubble writing, and then got him to fill in the letters using stickers (he is sticker crazy!). As he did this, we talked about the letters, and spelt his name aloud several times.
T1 really enjoyed making his sticker name. It’s up on the wall, and he has been going to it and reading the letters out to anyone who is nearby!
This activity could also be used for learning the spelling of any words.
You may also like Sticker Counting and Alphabet Stamping.
Horrible Histories: Wicked Words by Terry Deary and illustrated by Philip Reeve, paperback non-fiction, 191 pages, first published by Scholastic Ltd in 1996, this edition published in 2011.
Learn about the origins of the English language in this witty and engaging book from the Horrible Histories series.
Horrible Histories makes learning history lots of fun, and Wicked Words is no exception. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and learnt quite a number of things along the way! It includes history of the development of English as a language, from when Romans ruled Britain through to modern times. It also explains various facets of the language. There is information about words borrowed from other languages, and about the idiosyncrasies that litter the English language. You can learn about onomatopoeia, euphemisms, riddles, slang, spelling, grammar and important people in the world of words, among many other things that make English the language it is today. There are plenty of jokes as well as some word games that could be fun to play. My kids thought the ‘knock, knock’ jokes were terrible, but they still laughed!
Wicked Words is illustrated throughout with comic-like black and white drawings. These help to explain the text, while breaking it up and making it more light-hearted and fun to read. Some of these illustrations are very clever and funny.
Full of facts and insights into the development of the English language, Wicked Words is a fascinating read for middle primary school students and up. I really enjoyed reading this book and felt that I learnt plenty about words in the process!
Finger painting last week was so much fun, A asked if we could practice her sight words with finger paint. This time we used ordinary poster paint (Baby T was sleeping), and we squirted some into one of our play tubs. The tub was yellow, so we used green paint as it gave us a good contrast.
Squirts of paint.
Smoothing the paint around the tray.
A had a great time spreading the paint around the bottom of the tray, squishing and sliding in it. When she was ready, she smoothed the paint across the bottom of the tray, and then proceeded to use the tip of her index finger to write her words. When she had filled the tray with words, she smoothed the paint over, and wrote some more words.
Writing a word.
Writing more words.
A has just started kindergarten. To help her with her reading we have been learning sight words. To help her learn and retain these words, we like to do activities with the words, the same way we learn our spelling words.
This week we tried making rainbow words with the sight words. First I wrote each word in large letters on some paper, and then A traced over the letters with different coloured gel pens and pencils. She particularly liked using her sparkly gel pens! Markers, crayons and chalk also work well. A continued tracing over and over the word with different colours to form rainbow letters.
This is a great activity for practicing the letter shapes, learning the words and learning the spelling. It is fun too!
Shaving cream in a tray.
A very easy activity for kids is letting them play with shaving foam. It’s easy to clean up with water and is lots of fun. It’s not good to eat though, so I prefer not to let Baby T near it, but L and A love squishing their hands into it.
Squishing and squashing.
We used a couple of plastic trays on top of a muck mat, in an attempt to contain the shaving foam. It’s nice to do this outside if the weather permits, where we can just hose the area down. L and A each had a tray with shaving cream in it. They used various utensils to mix and scoop it, but mostly they just liked to feel it, squish it and squeeze in through their fingers.
Mixing and spreading.
L pretended the shaving cream was part of her cafe and she made me a smoothie. A whipped her shaving cream up with a whisk, and somehow managed to get shaving cream all the way up her arms and on her face.
We have previously used shaving cream to practice writing spelling words in too. We just smooth a layer of shaving cream in the bottom of a tray, and then write the words using a finger to form the letters.
Cutting the pipe cleaners.
Another week, another spelling list! L made her words out of pipe cleaners this week. She cut the pipe cleaners to a suitable length and shaped them into each letter. I got her some paper to stick the pipe cleaner letters to, but she didn’t like getting the glue on her fingers. She asked me to do the gluing so she could stay clean…. I quite like using glue, so it suited me. L made all the letters, and then told me the order in which I needed to glue them down. This meant she practiced the spelling of each word several times during this activity.
Gluing the pipe cleaners down.
It was a bit hard to stick these sheets into her spelling journal, so she took them to school to show her teacher. He was very impressed, and hung them up on the wall. This made L very happy.
This is a simple painting activity that can be done with just one colour. First the kids spread some paint across a white piece of paper. The paint needs to be thick enough to make marks in, but not so thick that the paper will take days to dry! Once the paint is spread across the paper with a fat brush, the kids then used the end of a thin brush to draw a picture in the paint. The end of the paint brush scrapes away the paint, leaving a lighter section behind it.
Spreading the paint.
L scratching out her picture.
On A’s second painting, she used a fatter paintbrush to draw her picture (well swirls and squiggles anyway).
Done with a thicker paintbrush.
L also used this activity to practice her spelling words. It took a while for the paint to dry as L put it on a bit thick, but once it was dry, we stuck the page in her spelling journal so she could show her teacher.
Scratching out her spelling words.
A rainy day resulted in lots of craft and art today, so since we had the paints out I dug out our packet of stencils. They are A4 sized plastic stencils, perfect for the kids to use. I put out several sponge applicators, but A decided to use a paintbrush on most of hers.
One of the stencils has the alphabet on it in both upper and lower case, as well as numbers and some punctuation. L used this to paint out her spelling words this week. It was a bit tricky, as the stencil had to be held up off the previous letters so as not to smudge the paint. There was still some smudging, which might have been reduced if we’d wiped down the stencil in between doing each letter. She used one of the sponge applicators to apply the paint, and had some help from Big L with holding the stencil.
We try to do lots of different spelling activities with L to keep it interesting and fun. Here are four quick and easy activities that we have done this weekend.
1) Sticker words. Grab some alphabet stickers and get spelling. We have lots of different sets of stickers so each letter can be different. Some alphabet stickers only have one of each letter though, so I needed to look for sticker pages with extras of each of the common letters, such as ‘e’ and ‘t’. It would be great to find a sticker sheet with just lots of vowels. L likes this activity and it is very quick and easy.
2) Highlighter words. Never underestimate how much kids like to write with highlighters. L used a pack of six different coloured highlighters to make her words bright and colourful.
3) Paint Pens. L found these drip-free paint pens by Crayola in Officeworks. The paint is contained in the barrel of the pen, and is applied by the brush tip, just like writing with a pencil. No mess, and easy to use.
4) Glitter Glue. This was the messiest activity, mostly because the glitter glue takes ages to dry, and the kids kept touching it to see if it was still wet. L liked using the glitter glue tubes, writing her words much as she would with a pen. She put the glue on pretty thickly, and being a cool day, it took a very long time to dry. If I owned a hair dryer I think I would have tried using it to speed up the drying time.