We had two special activities outside today . Fireman have to exercise to keep in shape. The kids used an obstacle course to practice strength , coordination and agility.
Another fun activity we had outside today was a literacy activity. You can bring literacy outdoors and turn it into fun ! I wrote letter F’s all over our sidewalk and my tiny fireman used a spray bottle to ” put the fire out !”
Learning the names of alphabet letters – like all early learning – is best done in the context of what is meaningful to young children.
Many children first learn the initial of their own name, which has a great deal of meaning and importance to them. For the child who loves Jello the letter J might be important . While a child who’s daddy works at Walmart might always look for the letter W.
Some children learn to read without knowing the names of the letters or the sounds associated with them. But research shows that for most children , associating name and sounds with the alphabet comes before conventional reading.
However this does not mean that we should DRILL the names and sounds of letters into our children. There are far more affective and enjoyable ways for children to learn about letters. For instance, children enjoy labeling things that they choose. Sound out the object that they choose and decide with initial letter to use then write them or cut them out of a magazine and tape them to the object.
When you are at home or out point out letters and words that are likely to be of special interest to your child. Try simple activities like ” reading ” the logos of your favorite foods and stores, identifying street signs , writing grocery lists together and playing with the magnetic letters on the fridge while singing the ABC song . Remember children learn through play .
Speaking of magnetic letters on the fridge – do you have some ? Here is a game related to firemen that you can play at home while you are cooking or preparing meals. Tape a ” ladder ” to the floor or move a small carpet near the fridge and tell your child it is the ” firemans ladder ” The child gets at one end of the ladder and you call ” Emergency Emergency , There is a fire ! The letter G ( or any letter ) needs rescued !” The child crawls up the ladder to the fridge and find the letter that needs rescuing and brings it to you. Once he gets it to you can you tell him how brave he was, what the letter sounds like and do it again !