J is still showing a keen interest in letters, sounds and the Autumnal world around him, so I thought I would combine them all and see if J would enjoy it! As well as lots of mark making, (scribbles and squiggles) J is also including real letters in his emergent writing. He is constantly ‘writing’ shopping lists for me and stories for G so I really want to help him (in a playful, fun way) to think about letter formation! Doing this with worksheets is just a no-no for me, so Messy Sensory Letters it would be!
For this activity I…
1. Washed and dried all the conkers, pine cones and acorns J has found recently and put them in a basket.
2. Collected some wooden beads, dry macaroni shells and wooden, colourful sticks.
3. Cut up strands of black and yellow wool.
4. Finally, I wrote out each letter from the alphabet in bubble writing with a lower-case and upper-case (capital) version at the top of each card.
J was so desperate to play with this activity and I have presented it on one of his low tables in order for it to stay there all week. This allows him to play with it whenever he feels the urge!
J surprised me by opting to use the wool first. He carefully lined the pieces of wool inside the ‘t’ shape and talked to me about words beginning with ‘t’.
J also talked about the properties/textures of the different materials. He used lovely language to describe the pine cone saying it was ‘prickly’ and compared it to a hedgehog.
I loved the way J used the conkers to form an ‘a’ and he didn’t leave out the little flick at the end either!
The nice thing about mixing the materials and using different shapes was how J decided to use the straight wooden sticks for the straight bit in the ‘e’ and used other materials for the curved lines. It shows he really took notice of the actual formation of the letters.
It goes without saying that J was also enjoying a fabulous fine motor workout using these small materials too!
J loved looking through the whole alphabet and showing off his knowledge or asking what sounds the letter made. J also pulled out ‘i’ and ‘j’ and said, ‘look Mummy, they’re similar!’
It wasn’t long before J got out one of his pads and pens and began rehearsing their formation using a pen. I would NEVER force this on J as I wouldn’t want to put him off writing! As it came from J though, I encouraged, ‘ooohed’ and ‘arrred’ all the the right places!
He also had a little rehearsal of writing his name!! Just look how neat that writing is… just goes to show all that fine motor play is doing it’s job!!
What did J learn?
- Recognition and rehearsal of sounds.
- Formation of letters
- Thinking of words with the initial sound he focussed on.
- Emergent writing
- Pencil grip
- Fine motor development