More Alphabet Practice

Next week the Smarten Up blog will move on to a discussion of early reading skills.  But, before we do, we wanted to share a few more ideas and activities for meaningful, engaging, and creative alphabet learning. ...

(Mostly!) Living Letters


This great activity from Totally Tots turns each letter of the alphabet into a visual cue so that children can have even more support as they learn to link letters to sounds.  A schema is a web of reference for any given bit of knowledge; schemas allow us to understand and remember new content by linking it with prior learning.  Really, it's like having a well organized closet - when you want to go look for something (try to remember learned information), you have a good idea of where to access it.  By linking each letter to familiar words and visual cues, this activity will help your child build a strong and meaningful alphabet schema!  

And just for fun, and all you parents/teachers lucky enough to have free time on your hands, check out these free super cool printable 3D letter templates from Paperoom  ...


Alphabet Cookies

Sweets + kids = winning combination.  So why not buy a set of alphabet cookie cutters and spend some quality time in the kitchen with your children?!  You can challenge your child to pick out the correct letter from the tin, or pick the letter that sounds like "ssssnake," or name the letter that you cut out ... the options are endless.  And the fun doesn't stop there, because as the adult and "cookie holder" you will also have a really delicious supply of learning motivators at your disposal until it's time for the next round of baking!

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Letter Crayons


These amazingly cute letter crayons can be used in much the same way (and they are a great way to recycle all those old bits of crayons) ... visit One Charming Party for the directions.



Last, but not least, Starfall is a great free website for phonics learning.  It is super kid-friendly and easy to navigate, and your kids will get lost in the cute animations, and simple games.   They also offer read-aloud stories, nursery rhyme videos, and more

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Next week we will begin to look at how to teach children to begin to put all those letters together to begin reading words!