This past week Immy’s interest in the alphabet has exploded. She is pointing to letters all over the place, naming the ones she knows and asking about those she doesn’t. For the first time she made reference to the fact that a capital and lower case version of the same letter were a ‘big A’ and a ‘little a.’ And she is including more and more letter type shapes in her drawing and painting, and labelling it as ‘writing.’
I talked last year about the importance of young children learning about letters through play (no flashcards required!) and I believe that nurturing a young child’s active interest in the alphabet is something that can be done easily and naturally without being forced.
For example, one of the things I have done to support Immy’s interest is refresh her little table that sits in my study. Often she will potter around with an activity while I am working so I set up a mini ‘writing’ centre with new marker pens, some different types of writing paper, envelopes, sticky post it notes, letter stickers and self adhesive foam letter shapes. I have also displayed some of her recent spontaneous alphabet related creations above the table – can you tell what her favourite letter is from the one on the left? LOL
Revisiting the activities from the Learning Letters Playfully post and reflecting on my observations of her current interest, I am planning to add the following over time if her interest is sustained;
- Add a set of lower case letters to her magnetic letter set as currently she only has capital letters
- Add a set of letter stamps and a stamp pad to her little writing space
- Find a nice alphabet chart to hang above her writing table (please leave a comment below if you can link me up to a great resource suggestion)
- Some blank cards and decorative stickers to make some cards to send to friends and family members
- Cut out some large letters from magazines and add with a glue stick
Do you have any other suggestions for playful ways to encourage a child’s interest in letters and writing?
If you are interested in reading a little more about writing centres, visit this previous Literacy Spot post.