When I watch my youngest son (age 8 months) gnaw everything he can get his hands on, I am reminded that our brains learn best when we use several senses at once. In his case, he sees a toy (sense #1), touches the toy (sense #2) and tastes the toy (sense #3).
While eating supplies was a no-no in my kindergarten class, I did try to help my early readers use a variety of senses to help their brains remember the differences between letters so that they could begin recognizing them quickly. In this game, children reach into a cup and pull out a letter. Then, they put that letter in one of three categories: curvy, straight or both. Being able to look at the letter (sense #1) and then feel the shape of the letter’s sides (sense #2) is a helpful and entertaining way for children to learn about the alphabet.
To play this game with your child, you’ll need:
- A printout of the “Letter Sort” (right).
- A pile of lowercase letters. I used magnetic ones but foam or wooden letters work well too. I like to introduce lowercase letters first because they are the most common letters used in books children read.
- A cup. My boys are prone to dropping things so I grabbed a plastic one.
- A sock.
Fill a cup with a pile of lowercase letters.
Then place the cup inside the sock.
This is what our cup looked like when I pulled the sock completely over it.
Invite your child to reach into the sock and pull out a letter. (This is C’s favorite part!)
Then have your child sort it into the correct category: curvy, straight, or both. If your child is learning the name of the letters, say the name for him. If he already knows the letter names, ask him to name each letter as he goes along.
Join the Conversation
What other ways do you help your child learn about letters? Share in the comments below.