Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to school! ABC's

It's hard to believe that the start of school is just around the corner! Abby is a little bit nervous about going to first grade and peanut actually seems to be pretty relaxed about her second year of preschool. Over the past year, Sunshine's reading has grown tremendously (so exciting)! She has enjoyed practicing during our reading times together this summer and also participated in the library's summer reading program. Peanut is well prepared for another year of ABC's.

To review letters with her this summer, I posted a hand-made poster of the ABC's on the wall in our dining room. I had both capital and lowercase, so that she could learn both at the same time. She enjoyed having this visual on the wall and at times I would see her pointing to the letters as she sang her ABC's. Besides reading (everyday if possible), there are a variety of things that you can do with your preschooler or kindergartner to review letter and sound recognition. Below are a couple that have been successful in our family.

ABC puzzles: foam puzzles for the floor or bath.
Abby learned a lot of her letters and sounds from bath time letter puzzles that went on the wall. The letter was inside the animal that began with that letter.

Letter menu:
cut out foods from magazines and grocery flyers and paste on letter page. Example: A=apricots, apples B=bananas, beans C= carrots, cream cheese and so on. We would then play restaurant and order food from the colorful alphabet book!

Letter collage: similar to above, but you can cut out any pictures that begin with the letters in the alphabet. Have your preschooler write the letter next to the picture to practice writing the letters. Abby (age 6) did this activity with us, but she practiced spelling the words to match the photos that she cut out. Remember that at this age, spelling doesn't have to be perfect. It is more for them to practice sounding out the word and writing it the best that they can. (also known as invented spelling) Spelling is important, but they are just starting to learn how to write.

Letter walk
- find letters on signs and have your child identify the letter. Can also be done with colors, shapes, or a good old scavenger nature hunt!!

Starfalls.com- this website has a lot of great activities for ABCs and beginning reading. Great for preschoolers and early Elementary school!

Other resources:
Alphabet Lotto(Usborne Farmyard Tales Games), Leap Frog Bingo, Leap Frog Alphabet Pal, ABC Alphabet Building Blocks by Sarah Buell Dowling, book- ALPHABATICS by Suse MacDonald

Please share your great ABC ideas!!

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