Letter Learning with Bottle Caps

This Letter Learning game was something I made for Big Sister a couple of years ago.  We have played with the letter bottle caps so many times and in a ton of ways.

The cardboard has upper case letters and the bottle caps are used to match the letters. 
I used a sheet of label paper to make the lower case letters. Trace a bunch of circles in the correct size, cut out, write the letters, and stick ’em to the bottle caps.  Easy!
We’ve also played with the bottle caps in play dough, to spell names and words, to label objects with it’s starting letter, and learning which direction the “p”, “b”, and “d” should go. 
They are so great to manipulate and play with in a sensory bin filled with corn, too.
How else can we play with these bottle caps??

Pencil Control Worksheets (You can make at home)

These are some easy handwriting exercises that can be done at home.  Does your school-aged child have difficulty with line awareness, pencil control, or letter formation?  Is your preschooler just learning to control the pencil while making strait lines or shapes? 
It is easy to make fun worksheets that apply to your child’s needs/age-appropriate level/skills…and interests!

Pencil Control:

Use a highlighter to make strait, angled, and curvy lines…or add different twists and turns for your older child to trace along.  For a new hand writer, thick lines are appropriate, and the school-aged child can work on very thin lines.
Ask the child to keep the pencil lines inside of the yellow guide.  Fun stickers at the end of the lines always help 🙂

 Graded Pencil Control Activity

This handwriting activity can be “graded” (adjusted to start out very easy for the child and then changed just slightly to make it more and more challenging).  Grading an activity is helpful for the learner because it allows the child to feel success and gain confidence during a task, but also builds success with more difficult  levels.
((I love Little Guy’s knight costume sleeve in this picture.  He rocks the knight costume at lease once a day  haha!))
Draw shapes with the highlighter with progressively thinner lines.  This is a great pencil control exercise for shape formation and showing the child how to make sharp corners and curved lines.  This is excellent pencil control work.


Pencil Control with Line Awareness

Start with a shape like, our square.  Draw a square around it, taking turns with your child, making larger and larger shapes.  It’s a lot like doodling you did in your notebooks or while talking on the phone, right?
Taking turns with your little handwriting student helps them to see an accurate shape right next to the lines that they are drawing…with sharp edges and strait lines.

 


Copying and Spatial Awareness

Big Sister LOVED doing this one.  She filled out the whole sheet and had so much fun!  She would roll the dice, count the dots, and draw the dots (in the correct arrangement) in the squares on the page.
Counting, Copying, and Drawing with accurate spacing all work on her visual perceptual skills and spatial awareness.  These skills are essential for forming letters on lines, placing letters close enough to others in a word, and when copying lists of words.
Make early handwriting fun and your preschooler will have success…and love it!

Multi-age Letter Learning Bin

This was an easy little activity that worked for all of the ages. 
My Pre-K kiddo copied the words,
My Pre-Schooler liked telling me all of the things that started with “D” and exploring the bin,
and my Toddler loved checking out all of the fun things in the bin.
(Especially the ducks…Baby Girl looooooves ducks!)

I’ve seen the letter sensory bin idea over at Life With Moore Babies.  
She’s linked up at our Share It Saturday link up party and I knew my kids would love to do something like that!

We went on a scavenger hunt to search for toys that started with D and everyone had so much fun!
We found Dog puppets, ducks, a doll, and a Dad (ok, this was another doll and a small stretch to get a “D” word, but they got it :).   We also had dinosaurs, a D magnet, a few foam letter “D”‘s, a plastic “Diamond” bracelet, a plastic dime, and Dora.
I wrote all of the words on the writing sheet for Big Sister.  She’s so into copying words right now.  And learning lower case letters.  She loved pulling the object out of the box, asking me which word matched up, and then copying.

 My silly Baby Girl. I have 6 shots of this.  She was hil-arious.
 And she knew it!
Colleen

DIY Light Box

 

This DIY Light Box was something I’ve seen around Pinterest and have wanted to try for a while…Once we had our Christmas lights outside, I thought we would definitely be doing this project after we pulled all of the lights back in.  So, after we brought the Christmas lights in from the outside bushes, this was easy to put together for a cold evening’s play!

I put all of the (already bundled-up) strands of Christmas lights
…seriously, this does not get much easier :)…
 
into an under-the-bed storage bin,
connected the strands,
and plugged in!
 

Once you put the top on, it is perfect for tracing pictures!
 

 
This is so great for new (or seasoned) hand-writers.  They are working on pencil control, line awareness, hand-eye coordination…and end up with a super cool horse picture they can be proud of!
 
 
 Big Sister LOOOOVED doing this!  And, I have to say, that she was doing the tracing thing for so long, that we had to turn the lights off because the bin was getting warm. 
 
 
 
 
We went around the house looking for cool things to place on top of the bin.  Magnetic letters looked really neat with the light glowing through…Baby Girl had a lot of fun playing with this.
 
 
What a great learning tool…Shapes:
 
 
Letter Identification, spelling words:
 

 Color and sensory discrimination:
 
 
 
…All in a new and fun manner!  We had a lot of fun with this, but have since put our Christmas lights back up into the attic.  We will be sure to do this one again next year, once the lights come back out again 🙂
 

Colleen

Please: if you do make one of these light boxes, keep an adult eye on it, as the box did warm up…not to burning warmth, but I would worry about the lights becoming over heated.  This is NOT something that kids should play with unsupervised!

Textured Shaving Cream Sensory Play

 There is something about kids and a pile of shaving cream…They Looooove to play in it!
We added some old sprinkles from last Easter to give this Indoor Play Idea a different twist.  They loved feeling the texture of the sprinkles on their hands while they played.  It probably has a great exfoliating factor too 🙂
Get both hands involved for crossing midline and engaging both sides of the brain while using the large muscles of the arms and shoulder girdle…
Draw letters and stars in it…
See what happens when you draw with a plastic ball…
Take a break for a dance party…
 And draw a little more!
Such a fun time!!

Definitely try adding textures to shaving cream for fun sensory play.

Colleen