Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Literacy Fun

This post is all due to my sister.  She and her husband give their kids homework or projects to work on each day during the summer.  For their oldest, this is relatively easy as she has summer packets from school.  Their next child is in preschool and wants to do her "work" too.  Today for her homework we worked on some of her letters.

One of the biggest skills for preschoolers is letter knowledge and formation.  Most kids can write their name by preschool, but what about the other letters?  Can they recognize all of their letters?  These skills are all important for early literacy and reading preparedness.

To make your own project like this, we used:
  • 3" sticky note letters (die cuts would also work)
  • glue
  • glitter glue
  • pom pons
  • Cheerios
The point of this project is for your child to follow the letter shapes with anything other than a traditional pencil or crayon.  We tried using glitter glue, but the kind sent along was too hard for her to squeeze.  Then we moved onto a normal bottle of glue (I like Elmer's Washable No-Run School Glue Gel) and added craft supplies to follow the shape.  Because we were dealing with a 4 year old, all of the pom poms ended up on the first three letters.  We needed an additional "craft" supply to add to our glue which is how we ended up with Cheerios.

There are two main benefits for this type of craft.  First, glue is hard for little kids to use.  They need to really use their hand muscles to make it work.  This exercise helps them to strengthen their hands so they will eventually be able to hold a pencil and write.  For those kids who can already write their letters, this type of exercise helps them to better be able to control their pencils so their letters will get clearer and smaller.  Second, we are working with letter shapes.  This is practice for letter recognition.  After all, how often do you see letters such as V, W, and Z?  They just aren't as popular as letters like X (which marks the spot for pirate treasure) or M (the giant golden arches at McDonalds).


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