Monday morning used to be our Letter of the Week day but as you may have noticed it’s been missing lately. There is a great reason for that, my son is done , like DONE with these projects. He’s known all his letters for ages and as I preach I also practice following my child’s interests to support his learning. Now we are working on putting letters together, sounding out words as we read and rhyming. Playing with letters and words in addition to reading is a great way to make learning an experience. Lessons that are fun are more likely to be remembered , connections are stronger and learning is less frustrating. Sometimes the easiest way to make those fun connections is to use a character, game, book or in our case a WordWorld ebook as your inspiration. It’s also why most of our crafts are linked to books.
If you aren’t familiar with WordWorld it’s a TV show on PBS that really IS educational. It promotes literacy in a very real way, and for kids like my son who are just starting to make the leap from simple letter recognition to decoding (which is most easily explained as the process of “sounding out” the word using the letter sounds) it’s super fun to watch because so many of the animations on the show are shaped using their word, so be prepared to hear ” I just read sheep all by myself!”
Did I mention how important confidence is for reading? It’s big.
Ok so here is what we did. Inspired by this ebook we decided to make family word puppets which also uses my son’s absolute love of pretend play. Instead of using the process of decoding explained above we used encoding ( breaking down the sounds in a word verbally and putting them into print ) to make familiar words we use every day , perfect for his level of mastery.
- Gather your materials. You will need some family photos, construction paper or card stock, crayons, scissors, tape , sticky back foam letters and popsicle sticks ( tongue depressors would be even better).
- Start by deciding which family members you want to create, make sure the words won’t be too frustrating for your child. Cut those out.
- Now decorate the paper however you want with the crayons. We are using crayons and tape with this project so that we are free to play as soon as they are done, if waiting isn’t an issue paint and glue works great too.
- Add the letters and photo.I made sure we had all the letters we needed in the pile . Having the letters easy to find ( but not done for him) as soon as he connected the sound to a letter was important to keep his confidence up, fun going and frustration at bay. If your child is struggling, help by all means this isn’t a test.
- Tape on the sticks and pictures.
- Make your whole family!
- Time for a puppet show.
I had a blast watching my son’s puppet show, his impressions of our family interactions was eye opening but ultimately heartwarming.Disclosure: This post is sponsored by WordWorld, I also received a DVD free of charge. The craft concept, educational information, opinions and kids are my own. You can try WordWorld’s free eBooks and games, and find more information about their iPhone and iPad apps on their website.