Following the interests of our children and creating fun activities that play upon those interests goes beyond imaginative play. We are firm believers that children learn IN THEIR OWN TIME based on developmental progress rather than chronological age. So when we see our children are ready to learn something, we help them expand on that desire.
My son tends to show very intermittent INTEREST IN LETTERS. So when he shows me he is interested, I make an attempt to embrace that interest with him in fun ways. Over the past month or so he has consistently talked about rhyming words and beginning sounds – sometimes getting the two confused – or mistakenly labeling words that have the same beginning sound as “rhyming”. Here is what I know. I know my son can identify pretty much all of his letters, and I know he knows some of their sounds. I’m not one to skip pre-requisite skills, but exploring beginning sounds this way actually helps him learn letter sounds as well.
I created letter jars using our TRANSLUCENT LETTERS and mason jars (the letters are stuck on using sticky tack). This is similar to, and you can see more options, on our SKILLS POST. I collected small objects with the corresponding beginning sounds. He was in the playroom and completely intrigued as I set up the activity on the LIGHT PANEL. He kept trying to guess how to “play the game”. Once I was done I told him it was ready and asked him if he would like to play. ”No.”
LOL!!! Alrighty then!
(That’s the beauty of an invitation. It can be visited or not and there is no wrong way to play with it.)
So, I followed his lead and we played in some KINETIC SAND together.
A few minutes later he said “Mommy, I want to play that game now. How do you play it?” So I modeled how to play and he quickly took over – finding the object, identifying the beginning sounds, and dropping them into the corresponding jar. We played several times with different letters – and boy is it hard finding small objects that start with letters V and X!!!
A COLLECTION OF OBJECTS
READY TO PLAY
ROUND 2 OF MANY ROUNDS
The game was fun. He enjoyed it. It was a great way to connect through play and expand on his interests. But I have to say, in my heart of hearts, I don’t think he is ready to learn beginning sounds. HE showed me that today, and I listen. The activity is still out, the objects are still available for him to play the game again.
When he is ready.