Early Literacy,  Preschool

Erase the Alphabet!

Learning the alphabet is so much more than reciting the alphabet song. It is of course, super cute to hear your toddler recite the song (Z loves it), but memorising the song and knowing what the words mean, is two entirely different topics. So how to tackle this essential skill? Well, we tend to weave it in to our everyday – on this occasion via art. Read on to find out how….

You will need:

  • A blackboard, tuff spot tray or even the patio!
  • Chalk or paint sticks
  • Water pot and paintbrushes

Z (3.10) and I did the first part of this activity whilst E had his nap. I initially painted on the letters with a white paint stick, then Z went over the letters in colour. Each time, we talked about the letters chosen and even the sounds they make. She spelt out ‘zoo’ by herself after hearing the sounds (we had just visited the zoo over the weekend so I suspect she made the connection and remembered the signs)

We turned the activity in to a little game. She would choose a letter, then I would paint over it, then I would do the same. I often find that joining in myself makes it feel less like a task for Z.

Just a tip – Try writing the letters in one direction. I pretty quickly regretted writing the letters in the spiral shape as it made it difficult for Z. She had to move and turn her body frequently. Because she is just learning the alphabet in written form, this wasn’t ideal for her!

Once E woke up and joined in the fun, I introduced the water. Z and I erased all of the letters – again talking about each one in turn whilst E happily painted as he wished! It’s not particularly easy to do more learning based activities with children of two different stages of development, however this one was successful.

Benefits

  • Early literacy and language development: making connections to words/ sounds and what they look like in print
  • Pre-writing skills: by tracing over the shapes written by an adult
  • Fine motor skills: holding a paintbrush / paint stick
  • Making connections to the wider world: through discussion, connections can be made to recent experiences (like the zoo) or familiar words.
  • Recognising patterns and shapes: by taking the time to play with the letters and explore, connections can be made – e.g. the m and w or u and n.

Like it? Pin it

If you like this activity and want to try it, why not add it to your Pinterest early learning board? You can also follow me here, if you fancy it!

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British primary school teacher and mum of 2.

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