I’m always on the look out for more fun (and even better, easy to make) letter recognition games. Just visit Tired, Need Sleep (don’t we all?) and print off her lowercase letter templates. Then cut out the pieces from foam and away you go! This also works on spatial reasoning, as it’s just like a puzzle and fine motor skills, as those pieces of foam are pretty small. Once your child is ready to move on to something harder, print, cut and paste more letter templates to spell out their name or sight words.
If you want to make this a fun car or airplane game, make the templates and foam magnetic with a bit of refrigerator magnet tape and use them on a cookie sheet.
I’ve posted about sight words in the past but check out another fun game to try from The Activity Mom. I love stuff like this that is simple, requires only a handful of supplies and is fun!!
Chasing Cheerios has a cool idea for creating sight words out of cheap beaded necklaces. This got me thinking about other stuff laying around the house that you could also use:
- play dough rolled into snakes
- sticks in the yard
- noodles or dried pasta
The list goes on and on because you could use practically anything in your house. Challenge your child to come up with something and get spelling. Tons of fun and great practice too! If your child isn’t quite ready for spelling words, have them make letters and/or numbers!
What kid doesn’t love play dough? Not only is it fun you can also use it for all sorts of fun learning activities.
- Make snakes out of the dough to make letters, sight words and family names.
- Create characters out of the dough and then tell a story.
- Mix different colors.
- Roll it out and use cookie cutters to cut fun shapes. Then count, add and subtract these shapes.
- Describe how it feels to build vocabulary.
- Use it for play/pretend. It’s amazing what kids can do with their imagination!
Check out Kate’s how to for play dough made from natural colors at Mini-Eco.
How on earth do cookie sheets and alphabet magnets have anything to do with each other? Well, they are the perfect combo for a car trip, whether it’s running errands around town or a long trip out of town. Here’s a few ideas but of course let your child be creative too. Have a few extra sets of magnets available too if you’re child wants to work on spelling.
Depending on your child, you can start out with simpler ideas focusing on just the letters and progress to more difficult ideas like writing sight words or environmental print. This idea is sorting letters that use only straight lines and letters that use a curved line.
Straight letters vs. letters with curves
When your child has a good grasp of letter identification, have them sort consonants and vowels.
Consonants vs. vowels
You can also have them sort out the letters in their name or anyone else’s for that matter.
Letters not in your name vs. letters in your name
When your child is ready for a challenge, have them sort out the letters that make more than one sound.
Letters that make one sound vs. letters that make two or more sounds
Kids also love to copy environmental print.
Copy environmental print
For a fun game to practice sight words, write one word per notecard.
Sight words written one per notecard
Also make three or four notecards that say “wordless.”
Then place all notecards in a brown bag or pillowcase. Take turns drawing one card out of the bag and saying the word.
Take turns drawing one card from the bag
If someone gets wordless, then they must put all of their cards back in the bag.
When the cards run out, shuffle them and play again! You could also adapt this for letter and number recognition. I guess it’d then be letterless or numberless though.
Okay, what kid wouldn’t have blast mixing up their own bathtub paint? Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to talk about what primary colors make secondary colors. Here’s the recipe from Science Mommy. Of course I’ve got some ideas for how to use them!
- Practice spelling their name
- Write sight words
- Draw and doodle and then tell a story about what they’ve painted
- Math story problems- draw objects and then “add” to them using tub paint to draw more or “subtract” by erasing with water
- Practice writing numbers