Monday, December 31, 2012
Magnetic Letter Word Cards
Here's a quick activity we threw together today, using our wooden magnetic letters from Melissa and Doug. We stuck to uppercase, only.
Patrick's a month shy of his fourth birthday, and Peggy's a few months into being two. They're both starting to become interested in word building, so we've been looking for some interesting letter activities.
Working with an entire alphabet's worth of letters is overwhelming and distracting to them, so we cut our alphabet down to about 10 letters and drew up some quick word cards on cardstock.
On one side of the cardstock, I traced some basic 3-letter words. I kept to nouns, so they would be easily illustratable. Mimicking the magnet size exactly makes it easier for the child to find and match each letter, and has the added benefit of being a self-correcting challenge. Peggy confused the "C" and "G" a few times, but after placing them on the card and realizing that the lines didn't match up, she was able to fix her mistake without assistance.
Because bubble-letters look significantly different from written letters, I wrote each word in tiny print at the top of each card, and "read" the written word to them before talking about each bubble letter that made up that word.
On the back of each card, I made a simple illustration of the word, and placed the cards picture-side up across the floor, for the kids to chose from.
I asked them to pick out a picture, then we talked about what that word might look like, based on the sounds we make when we say it. Then we'd flip the card over, look at our written words, and see if we were right!
Next, Patrick and Pegg looked through their small set of letters to see if they could find the right ones to build each word.
I made a total of six cards, which took about 30 minutes to trace, cut, and sketch. The activity entertained the kids for about 20 minutes, and I plan to use this set on a few more occasions.
On a side note, I usually give the kids a cookie sheet to stick their magnetic letters to, rather than working up to the fridge door. They can sit with the cookie sheet right on their laps, or set it on the floor between them. Smaller cookie sheets can make this activity a decent travel game.
Today I couldn't find a suitable cookie sheet for this purpose, so I tried something different; an upside-down meatloaf pan! It was super heavy-duty so the magnets stuck to it very well, and it was the perfect size for making 3 letter words.