Step ONE – alphabet :
Teaching your child to read
Every parent and teacher knows that the beginning of reading is learning the alphabet. Without knowledge of the alphabet, a child can not learn to read or write. There are many ways we can teach our children the alphabet. A lot of things that parents and teachers already do helps their children with this skill and we don’t even think about it.
Singing the alphabet song is a good foundation. Using alphabet toys and watching videos about the alphabet are others activities in which we engage our children in order to help them learn their ABC’s. For the most children, these activities are sufficient. However, there are reluctant learners that need more innovative activities. The following games and activities can be fun to use with any kind of learner.
Tactile Food Art
Tactile Food Art is a great way to get a child to make the connection of each letter name to its symbol and they will think you’re super cool for letting them play with their food. You can use pudding, colored sand, or even powdered drink mix or gelatin mix. Freezer paper is an item you can use for the canvas of your artwork. It is something most people usually have on hand so it eliminates the need to go shopping for special art paper.
Just put the pudding, powdered mix or anything else you can think of on the freezer paper. If it is pudding no need to add water, but if it is a powdered mix of some kind have a cup of water that your child can dip his or her fingers into. Have an example of the letter you wish to work on in front of your child. Use your hand over his or her hand and help him or her trace the letter in the food you are using. Let your child practice the letter as long as he or she wants to play in this type of art forum. Pretty soon you will have an alphabetic proficient artist.
This activity is very easy and costs no money at all. The only supplies you need are your fingers and your child’s fingers and copies of the letters you are helping your child work on. You can hand write these letters or they can be cut out of magazines or newspapers.
Have a copy of the letter in front of your child as you work these finger plays. Use your fingers to show your child how to make the letter by bending your fingers to match the symbol of the letter. Then, help your child do the same with his or her own fingers. Make sure you keep repeating the name of the letter and encourage him or her to do the same as you are creating the letter with your fingers.
To prepare for this game you need 26 index cards cut in half. Write the alphabet on the cards placing just one letter on each card. Use half of the cards to make capital letters and the other half to make lowercase letters. You can laminate these if you wish for durability. Once your cards have been made you are ready to play the game.
The rules of the game are as follows:
-Each player takes turns turning over two cards.
-The object is to find the matching capital and lowercase letters.
-If the player finds a match he or she must say the name of the letter.
-If the player is correct about the name he or she gets to keep the pair.
-If the player does not find a match or gets the name of the letter wrong, the cards are turned back over and it is the next players turn.
-The player with the most matches when all the cards are gone wins.
Cut It Out Race
For this game you will need magazines or newspapers that you no longer want. Each participant needs a pair of scissors and a tray or cookie sheet. If you are going to time the activity, you need some way to keep track of time, too.
This activity can be done two different ways. If you have two or more children you are teaching the alphabet to they can race against each other. If you only have one child, he or she can be timed and repeat the activity to try and beat their first attempt.
Each child sits with hands in lap until they are told to start. When they are told to start they begin going through the magazine or newspaper trying to locate the letters of the alphabet. It does not matter what order they cut them out, but they must place them in correct order on their cookie sheet once the letters are cut out. The first one to get the whole alphabet on their tray wins. Or, if you are working with one child, keep track of how long it takes him or her and let him or her do the game again, trying to beat their time.
When the race is finished you can have your child or children paste their alphabets on paper to make their own artwork. It is a picture they can display proudly on the refrigerator or in their rooms to show off their accomplishment.
Household Object Sculptures
Any type of household items can be used for this. Nails, screws, Popsicle sticks, cotton balls, bread ties, aluminum foil, buttons, paper clips, hair pins are just some of the examples. The idea is to be creative as possible. It’s a good idea to let your child help you decide what kinds of things to use. This will help your child become excited and motivated about the activity.
The idea is to form three-dimensional sculptures from your collected items. This is an activity that can last days. You will want to have a complete set of alphabet sculptures in order to get the most from this type of activity. If you need to use hot glue and a hot glue gun to fasten things together, make sure your child does not use this without your supervision. Other things that can be used to keep your sculptures together are duct tape or florist wire.
The whole point is to be creative as possible and let your child be creative as possible. Make sure you keep a constant dialogue going with your child about which letter the two of you are working on making a sculpture of as you build it. The verbal always reinforces the action of the activity.
No matter how you decide to teach your child the alphabet, if you make it fun and keep yourself as involved as you want your child to be, he or she will have success. Use these ideas as they are or create your own ideas from them. Expand on them or just let them prime your own creative juices when it comes to teaching your child.