LEARNING LETTERS WITHOUT A PENCIL


Can you think of activities I missed?  E mail me and I will enter you in a drawing for a copy of my book Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters. E Mail: lyn@lynaot.com

Using common household items for play and learning is not only fun but practical!  It also takes the pressure off your child to “hold the pencil correctly” and learn letter formations at the same time.  Here are some ideas to get you started thinking……

  1. Use uncooked letter noodles. 
  2. Use letter stamps, alphabet stickers. 
  3. Use the index finger in shaving cream (for sensitive skin), finger-paint, sand, salt, flour, cornmeal, dry or prepared instant pudding or Jell-O crystals spread on a tray or cookie sheet. Safety: Do not get any of these ingredients in eyes. Do not eat the ingredients unless the label says they are safe for eating. 
  4. Use tiles from games such as Up Words, Scrabble or letter dice from Boggle to make names or simple words. 
  5. Letter flashcards or letter Go Fish cards: Play Go Fish with alphabet cards, matching upper and lower case.  Play Battle making the person closest to Z the winner of the cards. Alphabet Decks from www.lynaot.com are great for this!
  6. Magna doodles or Etch A Sketch. 
  7. Write letters in the air using a dowel with colorful streamers attached. 
  8. Glue different media on the paper such as beans, rice, noodles or cotton balls to make letters. 
  9. Use a finger or dowel to write in clay spread on a tray or cookie sheet.
  10.  Sidewalk chalk.
  11. Use masking tape or rope to make letters on the floor.  Have the child trace or walk on the letter. Use a small car to roll on the letters.  Use a paint free paint roller to roll on the letter.
  12.  Paint a letter on the side of the house using water and a large paint brush.  The sun will magically make it disappear.
  13.  Use a punch pin to trace a letter written on cardboard or a letter on construction paper placed on cardboard or foam board.Safety:  Make sure the punch pin is used safely and with adult supervision.
  14.  Rubbings of letters: Place a foam letter under a piece of paper.  The child lays a crayon flat on the paper and rubs the impression of the letter until you can see the letter on the paper. If your school has a memory walk of engraved names, do rubbings of each letter in your child’s name.
  15.   Fish for letters using a homemade fishing pole with a magnet on it.  Pick up letters made on index cards with magnetic strip or paper clip on them.
  16.   Hide letters in different media such as rice/ beans and have your child identify them by feel.
  17.   Mystery writing:  Have your child write a letter on another child’s back using his fingers.  Have the child guess the letter from what he felt on his back.
  18.   Find letters in magazines and cereal boxes to glue to paper.
  19.   Use sticky wicks purchased at a teacher’s supply to make letters on a vertical surface such as a wall or refrigerator.
  20.   Write a letter on a clothespin, making a set of the alphabet.  You will need extra letters especially vowels for spelling words.  Clip the clothespins on a rope or the bottom of an easel or chalkboard to spell out words or your child’s name.
  21.   Place hair gel in a Ziploc bag and seal it tightly with duck tape.  Lay the bag flat on a surface and draw letters on the sealed bag, moving the gel with your finger. Safety:  Do not get the hair gel in eyes or mouth. Adult supervision is a must.
  22.   Draw a letter on a very stiff piece of cardboard. Place a paper clip or metal nut on the letter. Holding and moving a magnet under the cardboard, make the clip move, tracing the letter.
  23.  Turn off the lights (unless your child is afraid of the dark) and make letters with a flashlight.
  24.   Use a stick to draw shapes and letters in the dirt outside.SAFETY:  Always supervise your child with these activities.  Make sure that pencils, scissors and tools are not sharp. 

Exert from Alphabet Soup: Stirring You Child’s Interest in Letters

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R


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