HOMEMADE TACTILE LETTERS

Recently my son discovered the most important letter in the alphabet…

To him, that letter is ‘A’ because that is the letter that his name starts with and frankly, he’s pretty darn excited about it. On top of that, all of a sudden, the world is populated by ‘A’s. He sees them where ever he goes, and that is pretty cool.

I’m trying to ride on the coat tails of this enthusiasm and see if he can learn the rest of the letters in his name. We’re working on the short form “Alex” for now. First of all, I showed him the letter “l” (lower case, because that is how it is when he writes his name.)  but it just wasn’t as exciting as the letter “A”.  So the other day, we did a craft project where we made some tactile letters of his name.

It’s pretty simple to do, just cut out as many pieces of coloured card as you need. Size isn’t too important, something around 5×7″ works. Then one at a time using some white glue and a paintbrush your job is to draw the letter in glue. Your child’s job is to pick a texture to put on the letter – raid the kitchen cupboards. We used, flour, salt, popcorn and rice. Sprinkle liberally on the card, shake off excess and wait for it to dry. Afterwards, I went back and applied another layer of glue on top, just to make sure that I wouldn’t be finding  those grains stuck in the carpet for the foreseeable future.

Once you have your letters, you can use them in a bunch of ways:

  • I usually start by mixing them up and getting him to try to put them in order.
  • We get out our “pencil fingers’ and draw the letters very carefully, I go first to show proper formation and I encourage him to try to do it exactly like me.
  • I say a letter sound and he has to point to the letter and trace around the shape with his finger.
  • For when he’s got the hang of it more. I’ll get him to close his eyes. Then I will switch two letters around and let him “make it right” again.
  • When we have finished playing with them, we put them on the window sill where he can reach them and play with them when ever he feels like it.

And that’s it. It doesn’t take us long to play with the letters, it’s supposed to be just a fun thing we can do together. Wow, can you imagine, if ‘A’ is exciting…how amazing will it be when he can read his whole name!

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