Once your child starts having print awareness try this fun game. It combines movement, creativity and concentration.
We generally use our names to play but other familiar words work just as well. With Kindergarten starting tomorrow for the big guy I felt it was appropriate to use the word “School”.
This form of pretend play is exciting as it encourages them to see ordinary objects in different ways. They get to appreciate the straight parts and curvy parts of letters when they try to reproduce them.
How to play
- Write out a familiar word on a piece of paper.
- Sound it out, look at the letters, let the child guess, allow your child to choose are all options if you wish to extend the activity.
- What’s the first letter? “S”
- Can you find me something from( around the house, this room, the kitchen, toy chest etc) that could make this letter? You may need to encourage them or even show this one yourself.
- Continue for all letters.
- Encourage your child to check the letter order and make sure it really does spell what you expected.
- Take a picture of the end result.
Ways to extend the game
- by making the letters lower or upper case.
- introducing a time limit for each letter. ( 10 mins or more)
- reducing the scavenger hunt to just the garden or two rooms.
- adding more words
- using the same material ( string, spaghetti, scarf, playdoh, etc) to make the entire word.
- limiting the word size to the common 2 letter or 3 letter words only.
Why we like it
- Expends a lot of energy running around the house getting in that gross motor movement trying to find the items.
- Great rainy day activity.
- increases alphabet awareness.
- encourages creativity by looking at one thing that can be used as another thing.
- Focus is on a letter at a time and skills of discrimination, ( That won’t work!) trial and error( maybe if I try this for the bendy bit- no! that’ doesn’t fit right)
- Fabulous for heavily pregnant mum who needs to sit down a little more than usual 🙂
- Another activity to try to add to the arsenal of tracing and copying letters
- The significance of the word usually means they are happier to do this than the rote book/worksheet.
- It’s fun to compare different photographs of the words.
- your children will start to see letters in things like clouds, notice them drawn on the pavement, patterns in the grass etc.
Some children are naturally creative and some can’t see beyond the concrete. This activity is great to encourage creative play in your child by giving them something familiar ( a letter) and getting them to reproduce it in a visual way that anyone will recognise. We don’t have to say is it right or really critisze you can just show them the original you wrote and ask them to compare it.
Does it look the same?
How can we change it?
Do you need some help? I
have an idea can I show you?
What would happen if you moved this part down?