I have noticed that the preludes to my activities I do with my little ones have gotten a bit lengthy. I recognize that. I know that many of you lovely readers are just popping over from Pinterest, Facebook, or elsewhere because this idea caught your eye. I love that. I do love having so many people from all over the world joining me here to get ideas for their little ones. Ideas to help support these little people in our lives, ideas to help them grow and learn in meaningful ways. It’s quite astounding when I really stop to think of it.
But I also know that there are a few of you who join me here each and every time I post an activity. Some of you who follow along with this journey of ours, comment, join our facebook community, and have become more then readers. Online friends really. And that, to me, is even more remarkable. That you have found this space, thought to yourself that this Mama (me) is rather a lot like I am, or that those little wild ones (mine) are really quite a bit like my own. And that is very special. Branches of the same tree, so to speak – though often miles and countries apart.
And so, I choose to continue to make this growing space personal. After all, this is the journey of my family learning and growing. So for those popping by, thank you, and perhaps you may decide to come back again? You could join us on Facebook (and meet our chickens). And for those who are here regularly, for those who know our chickens, and even watched them hatch, thank you. Thank you for joining me here, for allowing me to connect with like-minded people. And for giving me an outlet to share all of these teacher/Mama ideas I long to share. Thank you.
Now, on to something completely unrelated. Clothespins. With my laundry hanging days coming to an end and the chilly, chilly Fall weather coming to a start we brought our clothespins inside. And wouldn’t you know that on that very day I saw a post from And Next Comes L using clothespins in a way I had never thought of before – as a Tally Mark Math Busy Bag. Now that is a neat idea.
I knew that idea could be taken in so many different directions. And since we are working on letter sounds with Sam right now, I opted to take it in that direction.
Last month, we created this tactile alphabet board to introduce Sam to letter sounds in a tactile way. It has been working very well. We are learning them slowly, as opportunities come up and his interest is peaked.
Recently, he has had an interest in learning the names of members in our family. This is a logical spot to start, as it is how I introduced Sammy to the alphabet in the first place.
So learning letter sounds in the same way really makes a lot of sense. It’s almost as though I should have thought of it myself…
With Sam itching to learn to read the names of our extended family, I thought this clothespin activity would be a lovely fit. And it was!
I wrote down the names of various family members on popsicle sticks: Mommy, Daddy, Madeline, Sammy, Ben, Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, and Gigi. Then, I wrote each letter for each name on a clothespin.
I opted to keep everything uppercase. I talked about this a lot in our sensory alphabet letters post, so I won’t re-write it all here. But I am waiting to introduce lowercase letters to Sam as it was quite confusing for his. This activity was just about letter sounds for him.
Sam would choose a popsicle stick and try to read the name. If he couldn’t read it, for example Grandma, we would break the word a part focusing on each letter. He would find the first letter, ‘G’, and say that sound as he clipped on the clothespin letter to the popsicle stick. Next, he would find the ‘R’ and say that letter sound. I would help Sam blend the 2 letters together once he successfully had them both attached.
After we had a few letters clipped on Sam would start guessing which name he thought it may be. Once we had GRAND on the popsicle stick Sam guessed the name might be GRANDPA. I said the word very slowly and asked him, if the word was GRANDPA what sound would come next?
We stretched it out slowly and read the G-R-A-N-D part again. Then Sam said the PA part nice and slow. He repeated the ‘P’ sound and recognized that sound as a P.
He then looked on the popsicle stick to see that it was in fact an ‘M’. After questioning my spelling ability, and informing me that I misspelled Grandpa, I was able to encourage him to finish the word as it was written. Once he attached the M and the A we stretched the word out to read Grandma. His faith in my spelling ability was restored, though he felt I had tricked him. Oh Sammy.
We keep all the popsicle sticks and the clothespins in a cloth bag for Sam to use whenever he wishes. This makes a great activity for him during his quiet time.
I love that my Sam will learn to read in this way. Nice and slow and in a meaningful way. There is no rush of course, all in his own time.
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