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My 3 year old knows a l m o s t all her letters and numbers 1-15. She sometimes mixes up M and W, but I’m pretty darn proud of her progress. Her eagerness to learn far surpasses my expectations; she’s even begun trying to write her own name!
If you read my about me, you already know that I’m a former educator, but I don’t really push teaching on my littles. No formal lessons, no preschool curriculum yet. My 3 year old loves to read (me too!), and she knows that letters on the page make up the words that tell the story. She wants to be able to read those words! So I told her it all begins with A, B, C…
Spending time at home with my little ones often involves keeping them busy while I get housework done. Enter pre-writing skills. I draw a line on a piece of paper; she covers it with stickers. I draw a dotted line; she traces it.
Now she knows what TRACE means.
The possibilities are endless.
Here are 8 ways that we’ve slowly introduced letter and number recognition as well as a pre-writing skill set:
Chalk “Paint”: I draw letters and numbers with sidewalk chalk, and little one “paints” over them with water.
Water “Paint”: Little one uses a paint brush and JUST WATER to draw letter and numbers on our concrete patio.
Color Wonder: I use the marker to write letters or numbers or fun doodles on the special paper; Little one traces over it with an ink pen or different color marker.
Sticker Lines & ABC’s: I draw letters/number/lines on paper, and little one covers the lines with those little reward/school stickers. It also develops those fine motor skills with pinching and placing those tiny stickers!
Sand Letters: Once a week, we go to the sand volleyball courts near our house and play in the sand. While we’re playing, we get a stick (or shovel) and draw letters in the sand! (You could easily do this in the dirt, too.)
Rock Numbers: Our flower beds have rock landscape, we find and collect all the beautiful rocks we see, then turn them into numbers/letters!
Cotton Swab Letter Painting: I draw letters and numbers on construction paper, and little one uses a cotton swab and watercolors to trace them.
Letter Hunt: I gather all of our bathtub foam letters/numbers, then hide them! Inside on a rainy day, outside in our yard & flower beds.
There are so many ways to introduce the alphabet and numbers. You could even draw a letter, then have your child practice glueing tissue paper to it as well! None of these ideas are hard-core curriculum or involve lesson planning, but they’re simple ways to incorporate school readiness into your everyday routine. If you’re sneaky enough, your kids won’t even know they’re learning!
With spirit & sass,