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.
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.
Last year one of L’s teacher’s leant her a set of alphabet stamps and an ink pad. She had a great time with it, stamping out her name, and the names of everyone in our family, her spelling words, and the alphabet just for fun. So, she was given her very own alphabet stamping set for Christmas. L uses this set regularly to practice her spelling words. She likes to use all four ink colours in each word if she can.
We like to use plastic beads to make play jewelry, but the beads can be used in a number of different ways too. This week we used them for making L’s spelling words. It was a great fine motor skill activity too, as she had to pick up the individual beads in her fingers and place them carefully to make each letter.
L also did some sorting of the beads, using one colour for a whole letter. The ‘e’ in course is also done in a pattern of white and blue beads. Using these beads for sorting and pattern making will be a fun maths activity for A some time soon.
Preparing the sandpit.
We cleaned out the sandpit on the weekend. It had various sand toys scattered through it, and there was some grass growing along one edge that needed removing. I think we’ll have to get some more sand for it soon, A has been gradually removing the sand, one shoeful at a time 🙂 Once it was cleared out, L raked it over ready to write her spelling words in the sand. She was going to use a stick as a pencil, but in the end she decided to just use her finger. The words didn’t last long, L dug them up pretty quickly and just played in the sand.
Sidewalk or jumbo chalk is such great fun all year round. The kids took it out to the driveway this afternoon in the late winter sunshine. L wrote her spelling words in various colours and A drew a lot of ‘X’ marks the spot…. I have no idea what lies beneath those x’s, and I don’t fancy digging up the driveway to find out!
L doing her spelling.
They also drew self portraits. The really tiny green bit on A’s is her neck, the long lines are her legs standing on grass.
A’s self portrait.
L’s self portrait.