Guest post by In Lieu of Preschool.
Letter of the day hands stamps are a simple and fun way to get your child interacting with the alphabet!
After our letter lessons are finished for the day, I’ve begun stamping my two preschool-aged children’s hands with the letter we’ve just completed. They think it’s exciting to get their hands stamped, and I’ve found it’s a great way to continue letter practice throughout the day!
All you need to start having fun with letter of the day hand stamps are a washable ink pad and an alphabet stamp set.
One thing to remember when stamping your child’s hands is to be sure the letters are right side up as viewed by the child!
Why It Works
Here are a few reasons why letter hand stamps are beneficial:
- The child sees the letter in print every time they look at their hands all day long. The more exposures a child has to new information, the more likely they are to retain it, so this definitely helps!
- The letter hand stamps go with the child everywhere they go!
- Throughout the day, you can ask the kids what the letter of the day is. They can easily look down at their hands, and say the letter’s name independently or with help. This helps them match up the oral letter name with the letter’s printed form.
- In our case, Dad also asks the kids what they have stamped on their hands when he comes home from work. More practice. Not to mention, other random people will sometimes ask what’s stamped on the kids’ hands. Even more practice. Plus it shows them that people-other-than-Mom are interested in their letter learning!
In addition to using the hand stamps for letter name practice, here are some other skills we practice:
- Letter Formation — Sometimes I ask the kids to use their writing hand to trace the letter on their other hand. (My right-handed children use their right pointer finger to trace the letter stamped on their left hand.)
- Colors — I usually stamp the letter on each hand in a different color. Then I can ask my youngest to hold up her blue “I” or hold up her green “I” so she can practice her colors. I do it with my oldest, too, as a color review.
- Left/Right — Sometimes I’ll ask the kids to hold up the “I” on their right hand or on their left.
- Matching — If we’re in an area with lots of print on the walls, or have some books or magazines around, sometimes I ask the kids to find a letter in print to match the one on their hands.
- Uppercase/Lowercase Matching – Right now our letter of the day lessons are focusing on all uppercase letters, so I stamp the children’s hands with uppercase letters. However, depending on what you’re working on with your child, you could stamp one hand with an uppercase letter and one hand with the matching lowercase letter so they start to understand that even though the letters might look different, they have the same name.
The letter of the day hand stamps have been making a big impact in our house in terms of fun and learning. I absolutely love it that an activity that takes me 30 seconds to do can provide educational benefits for the kids all day long!
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the blog In Lieu of Preschool, you are in for a treat. Genny is a National Board Certified Literacy Specialist and a veteran elementary school teacher who blogs about the entertaining, hands-on preschool projects she plays with her two young children. Her posts include unique craft ideas like salad spinner art and a round up of simple ways to occupy a preschooler. Genny’s ideas are easy to implement and effective. I find myself thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?!” a lot when I’m looking through her site and this latest tip is one of my all time favorites!