Sandpaper Letter Tracing

by Kim

This was taught to me by a developmental therapist and I used this technique with one of my foster sons that had sensory issues. I never thought to do it for help with recognition for shapes, letters, and numbers. Duh! But I finally made the connection last month when I had the daunting task of coming up with activities for my children during a 6 hour car ride. You will see what I am talking about in a second.

The only things you will need for this activity are sandpaper, crayons (I used oil pastels since they are softer), and yarn. Yep, that’s it.

Draw any shape, letter, number, pretty much anything onto a piece of sandpaper.

This is especially helpful for me because our school system uses D’nealian handwriting techniques and you cannot find that as easily as traditional font activities.

Now give your child a piece of yarn (about 12 inches) and let them “trace” the shape or letter with the yarn.

*Please be careful, long strands of yarn can be dangerous for small children. This activity can easily use two pieces of yarn for a shape if needed. Only you know what your child is ready for.

Even though my son is past letter recognition, he had to join in because my daughter was having too much fun.

A neat benefit to this activity is that the sandpaper grips the yarn. So the yarn will stay in place as your child manipulates it along the paper. This is what makes it so awesome for travel, too. The yarn will stay where you put it. Now if your child waves the paper wildly declaring, “I did it!” the yarn will move a bit. As you can see. ;)

Are you going to use shapes, letters, numbers, or do you have another idea? Please share.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It

Pumpkin Patch Letter Match

It may not technically be fall yet… but fall themed learning has taken over at our house. This Pumpkin Patch Letter Match is such a fun way to dive into a new season of learning and playing with letters. It can me easily adapted to shapes or numbers too. This is a fun circle time activity for a group of children too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need craft paper ( or the underside of wrapping paper),painter’s tape,  a green marker, a permenant marker, an orange pool noodle , a bread knife and cutting board. I also used a canvas bag to put the pumkins in.
  2. Cut your pool noodle into 26 “pumpkins”
  3. Add the lower case letters to the pool noodle pumpkins using a permenant marker. I found all other markers ran too much.
  4. Put your craft paper on a table or floor and secure it with tape.  Draw your pumpkin patch. I made vines, leaves… don’t forget to add your uppercase letters too! Mix them around for a challenge or put them in order. * I obviously did this first, I had to wait for someone to wrangle my little one before I could go downstairs to cut the noodle.
  5. Time to play.
  6. Match the lowercase letters on the pumpkin with the uppercase letters on the patch.

Letter Dominoes

by Kim

 

This letter craft  is an activity that you will have to make for your children to play with. Don’t worry, it is very easy.

You will need a piece of foam board (I got mine from the dollar store), marker, scissors, and a pencil.

Draw lines for your domino pieces. I made mine with four rows going long ways and six columns going short ways. I used a piece of scrap I had for the missing two letters. I didn’t measure them out exactly, but this is where type A’s could really have fun.

Use your scissors, craft knife, or steak knife and cut out your pieces.

This is where I drew a line across the middle as a divider. I drew mine in pencil because I always mess up.

Write upper and lower case letters on each side. I drew mine in the same direction to make it easier for my children to look at the dominoes and decide which ones matched up. I didn’t want any upside down.

This is a very good time to pay attention to which letters you write next to each other on the same piece. You want your children to be able to match the letters throughout the alphabet. I just did them in order starting with an upper case Z on top and a lower case a on the bottom of the first. The second domino had an upper case A with a lower case b. And so on.

Now throw the dominoes on the floor and start playing an matching up!

You can alter these with site words and pictures, dots and numbers, or anything you would like some hands on learning and matching. The possibilities really are endless. What are you going to write on yours?

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Preschool Letter Activities

Guest Post by Jenae – I Can Teach My Child

Young children need plenty of opportunities recognizing and forming letters before they can become proficient at writing them.  Since the fine motor dexterity to form letters on paper sometimes doesn’t come until late in the preschool years, creativity is key!  When an activity blends multiple domains of early childhood development, this helps to engage your child even more. Here are just a few ideas for teaching letter recognition and letter formation in a fun and engaging way!

Window Streamer Letters
All you need for this activity is several small suction cup hooks and crepe paper streamers.
Place the suctions in the shape of the specific letter you are working on.  Then tear off small pieces of the crepe paper streamer and let your child place them on the suction cup hooks to form the letter.  The wonderful thing about this activity is that it blends language development (learning to recognize the letter) with fine motor development (the small muscles in the hands used to attach the streamer to the suction cup hooks).
Magic Wand Writing in the Air

Attach several pieces of ribbon or yarn to one end of a

dowel rod.  Let your little one create the letters in the air using the “magic wand.”
Playdough Snake Letters
Write a large letter on a piece of paper.  Show your child how to roll the playdough in order to create a “snake.”  Then have him (or her) trace the shape of the letter using the playdough snake!

What fun ways do you and your child practice forming letters?

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Jenae is a wife, mother of two boys’ ages 3 and 1, and former first-grade teacher. She loves spending time with her family and sharing fun and educational activities for young children on her blog I Can Teach My Child!