Multisensory Activities for Learning Letters

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - Play dough letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Multisensory Activities for Learning Letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pebble’s goal for the year is to learn to write and she’s been really keen to practice her letters. We’ve been practising lots of sounds and learning how to write them. One day I set up a bunch of different letter writing stations for her to practice the letter of the day. Now we set them up whenever she’s in the mood to practice. You can set them up easily at home too.

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice

Pipe cleaner letters

Make letters using pipe cleaners. Children might use one pipe cleaner to make each letter, or join pipe cleaners together.

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - pipe cleaner letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Play dough letters

Make letters by shaping and rolling dough. This helps to strengthen little fingers and hands, as well as learning the letter shape.

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - Play dough letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Salt letters

Write letters using fingers in salt. We used a small plastic container with a piece of coloured paper sticky taped to the bottom. This helped the letter to stand out clearly when it was traced in the salt. If you don’t have a salt tray try getting outside and tracing letters in the dirt or sand pit.

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - Salt Tray Letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Rainbow letters

Children use different coloured markers to trace over the letter repeatedly, until they have made a rainbow.  You could also paint rainbow letters with water colours.

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - Rainbow Letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Giant air letters

  1. Practice tracing letter shapes as large as you can in the air using one hand.
  2. Swap hands and trace letter shapes in the air as large as you can in the air again.
  3. Clasp both hands together and trace more giant letter shapes in the air.

Whiteboard letters

Write letters on a mini whiteboard or blackboard using chalk or whiteboard markers. We have this fancy light up board that Pebble got for her birthday. It’s called a Multi Flash Lights Writing Pad and Australian readers can buy one for just $8 at Kmart (not sponsored).

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - Mini Whiteboards {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pebble letters

Pebble letters for Pebble! Children shape the letter out of pebbles or dried beans. For children who are struggling to form the shape you could draw it underneath first so that they may trace it.

Multisensory Letter Writing Practice - Pebble letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

All of these activities are also great for older children who are practising their spelling words.

Tips:

  • make sure children have correct pencil grip when writing using pencils, markers or other writing tools. Here’s a great video for teaching children pencil grip:

  • model the correct letter formation again and again, and provide lots of templates for tracing and practising.
  • make it into a game and have fun!

Do your children love practising their letters? Or is it like pulling teeth?

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and Vicky

Being a teacher and a mama I just can’t help but collect rubbish. I have little collections of recycling in the pantry, the entry, the children’s rooms. It’s free craft – I’d be mad not to! I’ve been collecting bottle tops for ages. I have a zip lock bag in the pantry where I throw them as soon as they’re washed and dried and when the bag gets full I add them to the large collection amongst our craft supplies. Recently the collection was bulging and Pebble was looking for some fun, so we took them outside for some play in the water tray and our old baby bath tub.

I didn’t give any instructions or directions for this play, I just stood back and watched her explore and play and do her own thing, chatting with her about it as she went. Pebble is a particular little girl, she likes to line things up and put things in order. The first thing she did was pick out all the white bottle tops and line the bottom of the water tray with them.

The bottle tops had different purposes as she played. At first they were objects to be arranged and counted. Then they became a snake. After a long time focussing on this careful arrangement she was ready to get stuck in with the water and coloured bottle tops. There was lots of active swishing, some singing, some floating and talk about boats.

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and Vicky

This play gave lots of opportunities for sorting, counting, arrangingimagining, singing and experimenting – all with a few bottle tops and some water.

Bottle tops can be used for play and creating in SO many ways. Here are twelve more fun ideas for playing and learning with bottle tops and bottle caps. Have fun!

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyHeart Sponge Painting – Boy Mama Teacher Mama

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyMaking Lid Soup – Teach Preschool
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Top Painting – Preschool Playbook
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickySticky Window Art – A Little Learning for Two13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Top Stamps – A Little Learning for Two
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyRainbow Rice and Bottle Tops – Learning 4 Kids13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyThe Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Tub – The Imagination Tree

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickySpelling with Bottle Tops – Crayon Freckles
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyThe Very Hungry Caterpillar – Learn with Play at Home 13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Cap Math – Boy Mama Teacher Mama
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Cap Letters – Brick by Brick

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickySorting Colours – Learning 4 Kids

Do you collect ‘rubbish’ for play? Have you played with bottle tops lately? 

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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Create a Reading Nook in Five Minutes

Thanks to The Little Book Adventure I have finally gotten around to making Pebble a reading nook. While I fell in love with some gorgeous and inspiring ideas, we settled on something that was quick, easy and completely adaptable. It literally took five minutes to put together!

I had planned a shopping trip to Ikea to get a few little bits and pieces, but while out and about was suddenly overtaken by a very upset belly. I abandoned the shopping so that I could be near….well.. facilities –  if you get my drift. Facilities that I did not have to share  with others. I left the purchasing to the husband and he did a stellar job choosing some gorgeous cushions! The leaf canopy is also from Ikea and the rest of the ‘nook’ is just our lounge room.

How to Create a Reading Nook in Five Minutes

1. Find a Nook! Ours happened to be a natural space between the couch and a full length window that we never use (don’t worry, it’s safety glass!). We then boxed in  a third side using Pebble’s craft drawers (otherwise known as ‘Doodle Drawers’. Mister Maker fans will understand). One day when our garden is looking  a little less weedy, and there isn’t a home gym and a gas heater right outside that window, we’ll open up the blinds and perhaps pop in a few cute planter boxes with some potted colour. Lovely! For now, the Holland blind completes the Book Nook Look.

2. Throw in some cushions. Thanks to Paul for picking out this cute selection.

3. Add in some finishing touches. We used the leaf canopy to create a cosy cubby. It is simply wedged not-so-delicately between the drawers and the couch.

4. Add some favourite books. Pebble and I chose some books that she knows and loves dearly, that she can ‘read’ by herself. Rotate the books regularly with a fresh batch from your collection (or the library).

Pebble is also a big fan of dragging some blankets and soft toys into the reading nook, as well as doing some drawing or pretend play. It’s her space to do with what she will :)

 

Looking for more reading nook inspiration?

Reading Nook Inspiration

Special thanks to Jackie at My Little Bookcase and her Little Book Adventure.

My Little Bookcase

 
Where do you like to read? Do you have your own little ‘book nook’?

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Reading Nook Inspiration

I have always wanted to create a reading nook for Pebble, but we are a little short of space in our home. However! I now am finding myself motivated by the Little Book Adventure challenge. The idea is to find new places to read. This doesn’t mean that you need to create a permanent book nook – but I’d like to give a temporary one a try.

I’m trying to be a little bit creative with space, and also with money. Of course I need to do my research! So I have hunted down some gorgeous ideas from the interweb…. Pebble’s reading nook is highly unlikely to turn out like any of these delicious examples, but I can dream, right? I hope they give you a little reading nook inspiration too.

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Here’s the easy peasy reading nook that we ended up making for Pebble (click on the image to read about it):
Create a Reading Nook in Five Minutes

Does your home have a ‘reading nook’?

What are some of the different spaces and places that you have stopped to share or enjoy a book?


Read, Play, Make: The City and The Country

I’ve been meaning to play along with the Scissors Paper Rock Bookworms ever since it started, and I’m FINALLY  joining in for October. The theme is ‘Country vs City’ and the idea is that you read books related to the theme, then make/do/sing/play anyway you like in relation to the theme.

We took a low key approach to the Bookclub. I find that the more I plan an experience, the less likely Pebble is to be interested. I let her lead the way and we both end up having more fun. It was so interesting to find out what Pebble’s idea of ‘city’ and ‘country’ is. Before reading we chatted and I asked, “What’s in a city?”.
“Dinosaurs!” she answered. Um. Ok!
“Is there really?!” I asked.
“Yes, we saw their bones when we went to the city” she replied.
Aha, now I knew where her thinking was at. We have been to ‘the city’ a couple of times, and on one most recent trip we visited the museum, and we did indeed see dinosaur bones. I asked Pebble what else we saw in the city.
“Birds!” she replied, “I chased them around and around!” Yes, she had chased some pigeons around the park outside the museum. Hmm what else did she remember?
“Toys!”
“Where were the toys?” I prompted.
“In the nappy change room, we played toys in there” she remembered. Yes, we did. One change room had a toy kitchen and she begged me to play with it.
These are the things most important to a toddler!

Pebble hadn’t really heard the word ‘country’ in the context of city vs country before. In the past we have had lots of talk about different ‘countries’ that people live in, and Pebble loves using her blow up globe to find Australia, then England, where we have family. She finds the North Pole, “where Santa lives”, and she tries very hard to find Kenya, where her Aunty was born, but that’s a bit tricky. So the word ‘country’ was a bit confusing for her.

We started by having a poke through our home library, and finding one of our picture books with lots of different objects. Pebble pointed out things that we might find in the city. My teacher brain started to work over time, and the complexities of what ‘city’ and ‘country’ mean started to blow my mind… but I brought it down a notch for my little 2 year and 9 month old.

We read After Dark by Louis Baum, which is about a little girl who is in bed at home while her mum goes out to do the grocery shopping. The book goes back and forth between mum on her journey to and from the shops, and the little girl slowly getting closer and closer to the front door, until they meet on the front step for a hug. The mother walks past the pub, the cinema, rows of houses and into the busy supermarket.

We read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and talked about all the things that the family had to get through to find the bear (and again to get home!). This is a favourite of Pebble’s (and most children’s, of course) and we had a very enthusiastic reading. Twice in fact! I said that the people in the book lived in the country, far away from the city where all the big buildings and busy road are. They live in the country, where there is lots of grass and mud and trees. Again, my brain was going over time, thinking that we do have those things in the city too… but anyway…

We also read another of Pebble’s favourite books, Let’s go to the Farm, a Fisher-Price lift the flap book. We looked at all the animals, fruits and vegetables, and I said that most farms were a long way away from the city, they were in the country.

I asked Pebble if she would like to play city and country. She agreed very happily. I asked how we should play and she said “we need to get the special tape and make the roads”. So we got out some tape (I couldn’t find the masking tape, so we used duct tape), made the roads and then did some planning. Pebble chose where to put her city, and used her building blocks to build it. She directed me to use another set of blocks to build more city on the other side of the road.

“What about the country”, I asked. Where will that be? Pebble pointed to the other end of our duct tape highway. “What goes in the country?” I asked. “We need a farm!” she said. We used the farm duplo set and put the farm in the country. Then we were ready to play.

We played quite happily for the rest of the day, going back and forth between our city and country play and other things. It was lots of fun! Pebble definitely still has a lot to understand about the city and the country yet, and I am planning our next family excursion to farm gates for some spring harvesting. Strawberry picking, anyone?

Pop over to Scissors Paper Rock Bookworms to see how others had fun with this theme.
ScissorsPaperRockBlog

Do you live in the country? Or the city? Or somewhere in between?