Although the date for autumn is in September, October feels like fall. Since autumn starts with A, today’s play-of-the-day is some alphabet fun for kids. This book by Roger Will has both.
While many parents think that kids have to know their alphabet before starting school, what kids can use is some basic familiarity with letters. Having seen letters and played with them makes learning so much easier when kids do start school. Kids that have some play opportunities with letters greet them like old friends and are confident and comfortable. Kids that don’t have experiences with these strange looking squiggles are confused and unsure.
Reading books to children so they can see the letters on the page gets the brain used to the images of letters. Often, books will have places where we can point to a letter and say it. Singing the letters can be done to the traditional tune like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. It’s important to hear the letters as well as see them. Reading doesn’t just depend on eyes, but ears too that hear the tiny variations in sounds that make up words.
Not all refrigerators or dishwashers have doors for magnetic letters, but a metal cookie sheet will work. There are also foam letters for playing with on the floor. Alphabet puzzles can make a long train down the hall as kids match a letter with a picture.
Kids can roll letters out with playdough or draw them in sand. Did you know there are cookie cutters for making yummy letters to eat? Instead of the alphabet, it’s an alpha-batch. Careful, Cookie Monster might eat them all, especially the chocolate ones.
As children play with letters, they build crucial brain connections. When they see letters on street signs, stores, and buildings they understand that letters have a purpose. Figuring out that letters have meaning is a foundation for reading and writing. All this can happen in play, instead of flash cards. Have you some other ideas to share for alphabet fun for kids?