Due to the lack of fine motor skills, the 2 and 3 Year Old Curriculum do not include plans for a child to write their letters and numbers on handwriting worksheets. One tactile way to learn the correct formation of the letters and numbers is to use tactile flashcards. Although they can be purchased, these can be made at home with a little bit of time. In the 4 Year Old Curriculum, tracing handwriting worksheets are introduced. The 5 Year Curriculum takes handwriting to the next level in writing words. To aid in learning the correct way to write numbers and letters, rhymes and Letter Formation Chants are included in the curriculum.
• When doing activities with numbers and letters - do only a few at a time. Doing all 26 letters or 21 numbers requires too much attention span.
• Check out Letter of the Week Activities for specific letter ideas
• Be careful not to add an "uh" sound at the end of letters. For example, the letter "s" should sound like a snake hissing -/sss/ not /suh/.
• Teach the hard sounds of letters /c/ and /g/. For example, /c/ as in the word "cat" and /g/ as in the word "goat"
• Make sure that /r/ does not sound like "ER" but like the /r/ at the end of the word "bar". It is a single sound.
• X sounds like the sound at the end of the word "box"
• Vowels should sound like the beginning sounds of the words "apple, elephant, iguana, octopus, and umbrella"
• Tactile Letters - say the name of the letter and phonetic sound as you trace it with your index finger
• Write on each fish in the Let's Go Fishing game a letter of the alphabet. As the child the name or phonetic sound of the letter when a fish is "caught."
Place a few different items on table (sight words, letters, numbers, colors, shapes, whatever you're working on) then give the kids a *clean* fly swatter , call out an item and they get to hit it! I tried playing with both my boys together but it was better doing it individually at their age. Keep those over zealous swatters in line with rules like "swatters UP!" when they found their target and then only let them hit it one time and hold it there for a second. Idea from Jen.
• Write the letter/number on an erase board, have the child trace and erase it off
• Draw with Fingerpaint or shaving cream - over a written letter or number. Read more...
• Trace over a large letter or number with a marker or crayon
• Draw a letter or number on the child’s back or have the child draw it on your back (this is a more advanced activity)
• Using play dough or cookie dough, make letter or number cut outs with ABC/123 cookie cutters - A-B-C and 1-2-3 Cutter Set
• When the weather is warm use Sidewalk Chalk to write big letters or numbers on the pavement. Walk the letters or numbers in the correct formation.
• Play alphabet or number Memory. Write each letter on an index card twice. Cut the index cards in half for perfect Memory cards.
• LiteBrite Letters
Write the letter or number on a piece of construction paper the size of the LiteBrite screen. Have the child form the letter in the correct formation pattern. Turn on the light when finished for a wonderful surprise. Thank you Abby for this image.
• Light Letters
You can do the same concept as a LiteBright by having the child poke holes in the paper and then holding it up to a window. Kelley suggested using a giant push pin and the back of an old mouse pad or a cork board under the paper. Thank you Kelley for this image.
• Tactile Letters & Numbers - trace correctly
• Using flashcards laid on a table, have the child point to various letters or numbers called out - Brainy Baby ABC Flashcards
• Play Go Fish with flashcards - "Do you have a letter that says ___?", "Do you have the number ____?" - Print ABC Cards - Option #1, Option #2
• Write letters or numbers on large pieces of paper placed on the floor, throw a bean bag to a paper. Say the letter or number that the bean bag lands on.
• Play the Fishing Game - use homemade "fish" or magnetic letters and numbers
• Make crayon rubbings - using the sandpaper letters and numbers, place a piece of paper over the sandpaper and have the child color. The child will have the surprise of a letter or number when they finish.
• Put magnetic refrigerator letters - Magnetic Wooden Letters - or numbers into a small bag or basket. Have the child draw a letter or number out and tell you the name. For a bigger challenge, blindfold the child and let them figure out the letter or number by feeling it.
• Lay numbers or letters on the floor and have the child hop on the numbers or letters in sequential order
• Write ¾ of a letter or number and have the child finish it
• Write on an Aqua Doodle or Magna Doodle for something different
• Form letters and numbers with fingers, food by biting off certain parts, body by holding your arms or feet in different ways, pipe cleaners, etc.
• Juice lids or milk caps with letters or numbers written on them make great game pieces
• On a sheet of dark blue construction paper, have the child arrange a length of heavy gift cord or string to resemble a letter.
Then, place it in a sunny indoor spot for several hours. Late in the day, lift the string to reveal a sun-print letter. (Idea from Preschool Education)
• In a dark room, use a flashlight to write the letter or number on the ceiling. For another twist, post a large letter or number on the wall or ceiling and trace it with a flashlight. (Idea from Preschool Education)
• Shine a flashlight on something that begins with the letter "___" or sound "___"
• Talk about other words that begin with the same sound - "Let's think of some words that have a /m/ sound in them, like milk, mommy, moon."
• Buy a box of Alphabet Cereal and learn as you eat!
• Play I Spy - "I spy something that starts with the /t/ sound."
• Using a laundry basket or box, create your own sound box as is done in the My First Steps to Reading books by Jane Moncure.
• Create a written list of words that begin with the same sounds. For example, write the letter "a" at the top of a piece of paper. Together think of as many words as you can that begin with the /a/ sound and write them down.
• Put magnetic refrigerator letters or numbers into a small bag or basket. Have you child draw a letter out and tell you the name of the letter and the sound it creates. You can even have the child give you a word that starts with that sound.
• Print one uppercase letter of the alphabet on one clothes pin. Continue to create 26 clothes pins. Have the child clip the letters onto a string or cardboard piece in order. Can also be done with lowercase letters. (Idea from Wow! I'm Reading!)
• Computer Time - Increase the font to a large size and allow the child to type different letter or numbers
Letter Factory - Many of our friends have suggested the Letter Factory DVD's to teach letters.
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