Playing with Letters

No time for flash cards had recently a few great tips on training the letters, which reminded me of the letter cards mum made for me when I was a kid. Big cards for capital letters, smaller cards for wpid-20140315_122548.jpgsmall letters and numbers 0-9. The letters are cut out of sand paper, so that tactile learners can trace the shapes. As my daughter has been recently (again) very interested in letters and writing, I decided to use the cards adopting a game No time for flash cards initiated: we spread the capital letter cards all over the floor, put on some Arne music and danced. When the music stopped, we took the next card from the pile containing the numbers and the small letters, and then my almost 4 yo had to find the equivalent capital letter. Soon her 2, 5 yo little brother wanted to join the fun, and did also well running to the right card following her sister. He also surprised me by actually knowing/learning some of the letters. When we pulled a number from the pile, we all had to jump as many time as the number told us.

Before little brother went to nap, he showed interest in tracing the letters with his finger, and enjoyed organising them to show his name. Nap time came, and big sis continued to play with the cards. First we organised the capital letters according to the alphabet. We got a lot of help by various alphabet songs, listened to the sounds, and compared the different pronunciation of the letters in the three languages in our daily life. After that she worked on her own matching the small and capital letters again. I found that this was a very good way for her to learn, which letters are the same but also to realise, how similar d, b, p and q are. She even held up h and n happily explaining how she found a difference in them.

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Btw, did you know dyslexic people often have a hard time getting the alphabet right? If you or your child have dyslexia, or you suspect it, you should be in contact with Hero, short for Helsingin erilaiset oppijat (“the different learners of Helsinki”), by the metro in Kaisaniemi. They have tests (starting from 25e), free advice, different learning aids to be tried, free lectures for everybody but also learning groups for e.g. languages, maths and computers designed for those who may need more time/ another way of teaching than the school offers (mostly 10-20e/term). They frequently have “open doors” were you can get to know what they offer, so if you are interested, check their website on http://www.lukihero.fi.

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20 comments

  1. […] the highly educational but super simple games I’ve introduced a few before like dancing with letters, learning numbers with the most simple DIY dice game and Mosaic, building with geometrical shapes. […]

  2. […] clothes and accessories for them etc. Letters have also been of interest again, so of course we’ve danced to letters again. But we’ve been doing other stuff too like cutting letters and pictures from magazines […]

  3. […] blogged about a couple of simple letter games combined with dancing before. Our more recent addition to it is to find the letter matching a sound, which I give, and of course […]

  4. I love this idea! So simple and fun, my toddler will love this!

    1. Mine have hadoads of fun, makes me happy if you’ll have fun too! 🙂

  5. Anonymous · · Reply

    This is amazing! I’m very excited to try this out, my little one is going to have a blast!

  6. […] one  that she also knows well due to a nursery rhyme I’ve sang from a very young age and games we’ve played. Now she struggles to understand the English system of letters and sounds, which is much more […]

  7. What a good idea to use sand paper!

    1. Mum has always been pretty creative in my opinion :).

  8. Sounds like a great game – educational and fun! Reading is just a beautiful, beautiful thing, as we have recently discovered. I have to say I read to the kids but never played games like this. If I could go back in time I might have encouraged them more actively!

    1. There’s still time for T, of course.

      1. Plenty of time for T – and in different things with P as well (but not everyone needs games, this was just fun for us at the moment, and I like this kind of stuff more than playing with barbies 😉 )!

        But I believe in Montessori, who said that kids have their sensitive phases where they learn something well, and that the duty of adults is to listen to when those phases are and then create/offer opportunities for them to explore/train whatever it is that they are interested in. I can think of a number of posts by you, where you’ve done exactly that (e.g. approaching P’s phobias, and turn them into a learning experience. Very creative!). Not everyone has to do letters, it was just fun for us at this time!

        1. It’s so much easier to teach them things when they want to learn it! I spend a lot of time bashing my head against the brick wall with some issues, I don’t like to let opportunities pass if I can help it 🙂 .

  9. I’d heard of games like these before, but using the sandpaper is new to me. It’s a really cool idea to add such a tactile experience. Thanks for sharing. (:

  10. What a great idea!

  11. That is cool how you made learning so much fun! I think your kids all got a lot out of it!

    1. You are so encouraging, hope so! 🙂

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