My three and a half year old daughters have been interested in letters for awhile, but mostly to the extent that they know the letter that their name starts with and can point it out in a crowded sentence. They know a couple handfuls of letters and specifically that mommy starts with “M” and Daddy starts with “D” and “M” and “W” are sometimes confusing. They don’t know all of their letters or the sounds they all make and have only recently started to really try and write. There is a small part of me that gets caught up in wondering if this is normal, if they are ahead or behind the norm. I work hard to recognize that part and then listen to the larger part that has decided not to push the envelope. Or in this case, the pencil.
That said, I want to be sure and offer them fun ways to discover letters without making a drill out of it. So I was excited to find this great list of ideas from one of my favorite kid-inspired webpage, Learn With Play at Home.
I decided to start with Rice Play: Find the Magnetic Letters since it only required 6 items to begin. All of which were in my kitchen. I altered the instructions slightly, using:
(2) tuppeware tubs
(1) bag of rice
(1) set of plastic, magnetic letters
(2) plastic spoons
I poured the letters into one Tupperware tub and then covered them with rice. Then I handed each girl a plastic spoon and let them dig around the rice to find a letter. Once they pulled it out, they got to try and identify the letter before depositing it in the empty Tupperware tub. They loved it and have played 3 times since I unveiled it to them yesterday. A lot more interesting than me, pointing to letters in a book and saying, “what letter is this?” Even I think that’s boring!