This post is an unashamed waffle about just how fabulous our daughter is…indulge me!
Annabelle has suddenly started showing an interest in letters, reading and writing, and the Foundation Stage teacher inside me (who I normally try and lock in the wardrobe with my school clothes!) is getting rather excited! For a while now, we have encouraged Annabelle to tell us what she is writing or drawing when she is mark-making and it is usually ‘Daddy’ or a ‘bouncy ball’ but suddenly she has started asking me to write words for her and she tries to form letters. Her mark making is getting more controlled and she can form straighter lines – we have even seen a few ‘A’ shapes, accompanied by the phrase “up, down, across”. What a clever girl!!
Obviously, I don’t want to push this, or show her in any way that writing, reading or counting is valued more than other activities like hunting snails, squidging paint or playing hide and seek – but it is very exciting to see our little baby starting out on such an exciting journey into the world of phonics, reading and writing. Where did that snuggly little 3lb 15oz bundle go?
These are just a few of our favourite activities that we have been enjoying to give Annabelle more experiences of her favourite letters and words –
- Writing with a variety of tools. I taped some large pieces of paper to Annabelle’s desk and let her explore with coloured pencils, wax crayons, gell pens, glitter crayons and ‘easy painters’ (similar to bingo dabbers). She enjoyed having a larger space to draw and write on, and was a nice opportunity to get some gross-motor skills involved by using ‘biiiig’ movements!
- Colouring and decorating favourite words. I came across this site whilst looking for a tractor picture to print out, but here you can type in a name or word, and it appears in an outline font that can be printed out and coloured or decorated. It would be pretty easy to make your own in WordArt or similar but these were quick and easy. We printed ‘Mummy’, ‘Daddy’, and ‘Annabelle’ and Annabelle can recognise which is which now.
- Alphabet jigsaws. We have a couple of these that involve matching the letter to an object with the same initial sound. Annabelle enjoys saying the letter sound, and lots of words with the same letter sound eg “D, Daddy, dog, dance”.
- Sensory play. We love making patterns and letter shapes in sand, sensory salt, flour etc.
- Spotting letters in books. This was a game Dave and Annabelle invented after reading a Charlie and Lola book, and Annabelle spotted lots of the word/letter ‘I’. She now always points out I’s in books, and is beginning to recognise A’s and L’s as well.
Ok, enough serious business now, lets get back to painting and whizzing down slides in the rain!