Motivating a munchkin to practice letters is no trick when the medium is so yummy. Mix up a batch of chocolate pudding, put a couple of spoonfuls onto a big plastic plate or container lid and write away. Licks are allowed.
While you are mixing it up, you can take advantage of having close attention and work on letter sounds: “Pudding starts with the sound ‘puh’. If I say pudding and pineapple, do those words start the same? How about pudding and milk? Do pudding and pink start the same or different?” The skill of dividing words into their sound bites (pardon the Pun) is called phonological awareness and is critical for learning to read. Not all children learn to do this on their own and such word games help them develop this crucial concept. The pudding is probably all prepared to pop onto a plate and practice. YUM!
Another of my favorite books to share with kids is the I Spy Alphabet book. I must confess that I am not very good at finding the hidden pictures but I love to spend a few minutes searching. I feel so clever when I do locate a few. And kids enjoy the books, too. This is a good book to take in the car because kids can use the book independently. They also like to share this with a friend and play I Spy together. Appeals to all ages. What letter is part of the face? The letter I (eye).
Wait…before you throw out or recycle all those flyers and unwanted mail, mine them for all those learning treasures.
Empty cereal boxes and other packages are great resources, too. Put a few on a safe surface and let your little ones cut out any letters they want.
They can choose favorite letters, random ones or do them in order. More fridge art and learning fun. Great for different levels of alphabet knowledge and length of attention span. Plus, materials are free!
P. S. What letter is an insect? B(ee)
One morning this week we woke up to a bright, colorful kite draped across the trees down the hill. The kite wings had an extensive span and the face smiled at us from the treetops. This photo requires lots of imagination, especially because the wind was quite strong and whole hillside seemed to be quivering. It … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – A is for Angel in a Tree
Motivating a young child to practice printing letters of the alphabet can be quite tricky. Printing is not an easy activity for kids–the necessary muscles and coordination for such fine motor control are still growing. We can spark their interest and help them practice and develop control with activities that have a little challenge and a big … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Rainbow Letters
Put on a jacket. We’re going for a walk around the alphabet. For children to really learn a new concept, it is helpful to input the information in all manner of ways. To learn the alphabet children need to hear it, say it, sing it, feel it, manipulate it, roll it, and more and do … Continue reading Kindergarten Activities – Walk Around the Alphabet
Not all children are interested in school-type work. Learning the letters of the alphabet does not appeal to all kids. But there are ways to engage reluctant children in learning activities. Hands-on materials capture attention and motivate. Voices practiced letters of the alphabet, yesterday. Today, fingers get a turn. Play-dough or plasticine are just right. Did … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – A B C Dough
When children arrive in kindergarten and throughout the year, they will be doing all kinds of alphabet activities with their teachers. Children who have some familiarity with letters and sounds even before starting school are much more capable to tackle these tasks. Some programs assess children’s alphabet knowledge as part of evaluating readiness for school. For … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Sing to Learn the ABC’s
Motivating children to want to learn about all those squiggles on a page and what they mean can be done by cooking together. Here’s a fun recipe to make mud that good enough to eat! Measure into the blender 1 cup of milk, 1/2 banana, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 2 or 3 ice … Continue reading Yummy Mud
Writing experiences can start before children are independently reading. A fundamental concept for learning to read is the understanding that print is a kind of talking written down. The squiggles on the page carry meaning. The earlier mud activities, walking in the rain to see puddles, talking about them, playing with muddy-colored play-dough, listening to … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Once Upon a Mud Puddle