Here is a fun game to play that will help expose your child to the letter shapes, learn the letter names and hear the letter sounds. Remember that she will need to recognize the letters individually and out of order to be able to eventually see them embedded in words.
- small magnetic letters
- pipe cleaner or piece of rope about your child’s arm length
- large paper clip
- 2 sheets of blue paper
Step 1: Place the “hook” (a large paper clip) on the end of a pipe cleaner or on the end of a piece of rope about the length of your child’s arm to make the fishing line. Place one sheet of blue paper in the bin and add the magnetic letters (the “fish”). Place the other sheet of blue paper on the refrigerator door as a pretend lake or pool of water.
Step 2: If your child has seen someone fishing or has gone fishing herself, remind her of the experience. If not, explain how some people go fishing and how you are going to pretend to fish today.
Step 3: Encourage her to hold the fishing line so that the paper clip hooks onto one of the letters in the bin. Have her slowly pull the “fish” out of the bin and show you what she caught. Talk about the letter name, sound and the shape of the letter “fish” she caught.
Look, you caught a letter! That’s the letter T. Let’s look at the letter. It has one straight line going down and one straight line across the top. The letter T makes the /t/ /t/ sound. Can you say that with me? /t/ t/ T. Now take your letter T and put it in the “lake” on the refrigerator.
Step 4: Continue fishing for letters until all have been caught or she gets tired of the game.
Choose only the letters of your child’s name. Once all the letters are in the refrigerator “lake,” arrange them so that they spell her name.
As she pulls out a letter, have her tell you what the letter name is and what sound it makes. Once all the letters are in the refrigerator “lake,” have her sort them by color, uppercase and lowercase, or by sticks and curves.