Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Letters at a Time

Whether you are working with an 18-month-old, a 2-year-old, or a child like "Alleluia" who has passed her third birthday, helping the child to connect the sounds letters make with their "picture" (the letter itself) is a process that takes constant awareness and one that is fun!

The Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree is just cut from leftover foam.  We glued magnets to the back.

We've been taking our own sweet time around here with the alphabet and not going in any particular order, either.  Our fridge is already full of artwork and emergency numbers, so I've turned the dishwasher panel into a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree that gets to display what 2 letters we're working on.  The letters are just those cheap plastic ones with magnets inside, and we store them alphabetically on a dollar store cookie sheet.

The letters came in a pack from Toys R Us.  They aren't the standard issued Montessori style--they are multicolored--but I like that the "a" and "g" shapes match the shapes we already have on our Sandpaper Letters.

Once you've got your "letters of the day" or "letters of the week" picked out, try to find them everywhere!  This week we took advantage of a break in the weather to walk around a local botanical garden.  I purposely stopped and took photos of signs we saw all around us, whether the words were in all caps or not.

Can you read these words in the path?  They say, "GOOD THINGS STAND LIKE STONE.  KINDNESS IN ANOTHER'S TROUBLE.  COURAGE IN YOUR OWN."

On the hunt for more words....

Many of the bushes and trees have these nifty signs at her eye level.

There's an awesome treehouse with playthings inside.  We found words here, too!

Apparently even birds need signs.

Oops--there are words on litter.

You can feel the words with your fingers on plaques like this one.

It's tricky recognizing letters when they're all squished sideways.

"Hmm...I wonder why some of the letters are sideways and some aren't?"

If you look REALLY closely you can see some letters inside this sundial (but they don't spell words).

Sometimes the pictures that go with words help you figure out what the sign means.

We almost missed this one!
When children are small, learning language is a process of discovery, not drudgery.  It should involve the senses, exploration and imagination.  More on Language Work to come!


  1. I love the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree magnet! What a great idea!!!

  2. I'm not sure where I first saw that idea (on Pinterest or a blog?), but it's out there. I originally asked my kids to help make it so we could act out the story on a cookie sheet, but there wasn't nearly enough room. They really like the Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 also!