Letter of the week(s)

After months of me trying to force him into caring, Dexter has recently started showing interest in letters of the alphabet. As a former elementary school teacher, I find myself constantly searching Pinterest for educational activities for Dexter to do at home. A few months ago I stumbled upon the amazing world of sensory bins, and we constantly have one of those going for him. In case you don’t know what sensory bins are, a sensory bin is a plastic tub or a large container filled with materials and objects chosen to stimulate the senses. Some of Dexter’s favorite materials for his sensory bin are dry rice, dry beans, small plastic animals and plenty of cups and spoons for scooping.

Dexter playing with a sensory bin.

So anywayyyy…once Dexter started showing interest in letters I decided to start doing a letter of the week for us to focus on. When I say week, it actually means multiple weeks because I have yet to switch the letter on a weekly basis. Life with a toddler and a 6 month old that has just started to crawl means things frequently get pushed back.

I don’t make our letter of the week too complicated because I know I won’t be able to keep up with complicated.

The letter ‘S’ sensory bin has: rainbow rice (super easy to make), a stegosaurus, plastic snakes, blocks with the letter ‘S’ on them, plastic sharks, seashells, and two foam bath tub letters. (Not pictured are the cups and measuring spoons for scooping and playing)

We always do these things:
a sensory bin filled with lots of things focused on our letter
rent books from the library that star our letter
talk a lot about the letter and what it sounds like
point the letter out to him when I see it (in a book, magazine, on a sign, in a menu, on a shirt, etc.)

Dexter filling the letter ‘D’ with play-doh

If I’m feeling super motivated, I add in one or two of these too:
making letters out of play-doh
writing letters in shaving cream
writing letters on the chalkboard
practicing with letter magnets

That’s it! That’s how easy it is! He has already made progress on identifying letters and isolating/identifying the beginning sounds of words. He’s only three years old, so I don’t expect him to be able to identify every letter of the alphabet or spell his name right now. Right now I am presenting the letters of the alphabet in a fun and comfortable way. If he learns some of the letters, that’s awesome! If he doesn’t remember the letter we’re working on, that’s okay too. My purpose for doing letter of the week(s) is to simply expose him to letters and teach him about their sounds and what they look like. I am not expecting him to be some kind of letter genius and remember every single letter and their sound.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m not saying that I’m an expert on what I write about on this blog. This is just what’s worked for us and our family so far, and I like to share. Have you done any of these activities with your kids? Do you have any letter activities or advice about toddler alphabet activities that you would like to share? Drop them in the comments to share with everyone!

YAY for letters!

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