Back in April, I posted 5 hands-on ways to learn the alphabet. Well, we’re back with more ideas! I’ve been collecting ideas over the past couple months. Since it’s summer, school is “out,” but we have been doing a little each week to keep from forgetting too much! I love to be able to give Owen tactile and kinesthetic ways to learn the letters, and each of these ideas also address other skills as well – such as cutting, estimating length, writing, and gluing.
1. Letter “mosaics” with dry beans and glue. I drew letters with a pencil and had Owen cover them with glue and beans. He has a hard time remembering which way the curves go in the letter “S,” so we worked on that one first. He loved exploring the beans as well!
2. Make letters out of yarn and glue. This one is similar to the first idea, except that we made the letters with glue and pieces of yard. Owen surprised me with how detailed he was on this activity! He would not use a piece of yarn if he had not cut it exactly the right length. He just kept trying again and again until he had the perfect piece of yarn.
**If squeezing from the actual glue bottle ends up being too wasteful, another great way to do glue is to squirt some on a paper plate and have your child spread the glue with a Q-tip.
3. Tape Resist Letters. I used painter’s tape to make some letters for Owen. All he had to do was to color all over the paper! Peel off the tape, and you have a fun finished product.
4. “Magically” appearing letters. This one was probably the most fun! I wrote out the whole alphabet in random order in white crayon. Owen painted over the paper with watercolors to reveal the letters. I had him name the letters as he went. We’ve done resist painting with crayon before, but it never gets old!
5. Paint letters outside with homemade sidewalk paint. This was our first time to try sidewalk paint, and it was a big hit! Gresham and Owen painted all kinds of things after Owen worked on letters for a little while. I enjoyed the paint myself! We used equal parts cornstarch and water and a squirt of washable paint for the color. Well, washable paints are not the way to go because our paints did NOT wash off the driveway!
Here’s the recipe I would recommend: Equal parts water and cornstarch, and either gel or liquid food colors. Other bloggers have assured me that this recipe washes off easily!
I mixed up the paints in a cheap muffin tin from Walmart ($1.97). We use this muffin tin all the time – you can see it in the top photo with the beans!
For more preschool learning ideas, you can view the posts in our preschool category here.
If you’re thinking about doing preschool at home, I have a post with some tips on getting started with preschool. This post covers workbooks that we use and skills to cover in the preschool years. Preschool at home can be very simple and lots of fun!