Now that I’m done teaching for the summer, I’m making it my goal to have J recognizing all his letters and colors by the time he enters three-year preschool in the fall. As I’ve discussed before, J learns differently than A, so I’ve had to re-think how I help him with his learning.
J loves the sky, so we spent a morning talking about things in the sky (the sun, clouds, and moon specifically), the colors of things in the sky (blues, pinks, purples, grays, and white), and the letters that matched with things in the sky (s, c, and m).
1. Learning Activity 1: Walking and Talking. We started out by taking a long walk and talking about the things we saw and the colors they were (one of J’s favorite activities), and the letters they started with.
2. Learning Activity 2: Chalk play. After our walk we drew huge clouds, the sun, and the moon with chalk. I labeled each thing and had J stand on the letters and we called them out together.
3. Learning Activity 3: Simple crafts. Following a guide from the book Playful (you can see the blog and book here), I printed two different clouds and J thumb printed one and then added cotton balls to the other, as seen here. He was super proud of each of these and couldn’t wait to show them to B and A when they got home.
4. Learning Activity 4: Reading. We read Little Cloud by Eric Carle, and It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. These are great books for J’s age because he can “help” read by calling out the picture shapes on each page.
5. Learning Activity 5: Between the Lions episode “Moon Rope“. We watched it together on our iPad while J ate his snack. I can’t say enough about how great this show is. J called out the letters and words along with the show, and loved the reading of Moon Rope the most.
6. Learning Activity 6: Scatter letters. One of J’s current favorite activities is to scatter all the letters from the boys Melissa and Doug magnetic letter set and then pick out ones and call them out (or have me help him recognize what they are).
7. Learning Activity 7: Sesame Street Letter C. After J was struggling to consistently recognize the letter C, I pulled out some back pocket episodes of Sesame Street (it’s amazing what you can Google!). I Googled Sesame Street Letter C and found a great podcast highlighting the letter C. After watching those, J went back and triumphantly picked all the letter C’s from the letter set.
Each of these activities takes between 5-30 minutes depending on the interest of your child and the amount of time you want to spend on them. We did all of these over a period of a four hour morning, in between matching socks, switching laundry, and picking up from the weekend. After lunch we read two of J’s current favorite stories; If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and If You Give a Moose a Muffin (both of which start with the letters we were working on). The best part was when he jumped up the next morning (literally, J jumps out of bed in the morning) and went to the fridge holding his lambs and his billy goat and gleefully grabbed the letter C and said “I found C again, Mommy!” One letter down 25 to go.