By Guest Blogger Meaghan Figg (CLICK HERE FOR HER BIO (super sweet mom!))
Teaching a child anything new can seem a little scary sometimes. I found myself asking, where do I start? How do I get them to understand something completely new, like from another planet new?
Counting to 10 was effortless for Grayson, it seemed like he got the hang of it with a few silly songs and simple repetition. The alphabet, on the other hand, has been a battle. Come to think of it, the alphabet has been a challenge for most of the toddlers and preschoolers I’ve had experience with. There’s just so much to learn!
I put together an Alphabet Fishing game to help learn letter recognition and I’ve included a free printable of the letter puddles!
The object of the game is to use a magnetic “fishing pole” (instructions and alternatives included) to pick up a magnetic letter. Child takes a good look at the letter and finds the matching letter on one of the puddles. Talk about the letter, what sound it makes, words that start with it, talk about the appearance of the letter. Does it have a kickstand like R? A hat like the letter T?
Not only did my son play this game for over an hour, by the end of it I sat back on the couch and he played mostly by himself! Grayson just kept going back to getting a letter and finding the corresponding puddle. He looked to me for confirmation he had the right one and that was it! He was back at it again!
You will need:
- plastic/wooden stick or dowel
- glue gun
- plastic tab (optional)
- light blue printing paper
- laminator (optional)
- alphabet refrigerator magnets (you can find at Walmart or Amazon)
For the Fishing Pole
I took a long plastic tube and cut it down to a comfortable size for my 3 year old (about 11 inches). You can use a tube, a stick or even a pencil. Using about 15 inches of twine (or string) tie one end to your pole and hot glue it to keep it in place. You don’t know this about me yet but I’m a little obsessed with two things: hot glue and my laminator.
Now for the magnet. This was the trickier part, so after my directions I will include some alternative options. Using a very sharp knife that I probably shouldn’t have been trusted with, I cut the magnet off of one of my zebra print fridge magnets. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made. Or you can buy a pack of magnets, but where’s the fun in that?
I took a scrap piece of plastic, no clue what it came off of. Milk and pouch caps are good alternatives. Or, just glue the magnet right onto the string, your kid(s) really won’t care. Adhere the magnet to your cap or plastic thingy.
Lastly, add the other end of the twine to your magnet piece you have a fishing pole!
About half way through my son realized that it would be easier to hold the magnetic piece and directly place it on the letter’s magnets. I didn’t even fight it, he was still matching the letters and using his fine motor skills. So, whatevs.
Alternative: Magnet Wands or even just a magnet on string.
For the Puddles
There are a couple options for the puddles.
Option 1: Using blue paper write each letter of the alphabet on a cut out puddle. Make some puddles with multiple letters.
Option 2: I’ve created this free printable with puddles ready to go, all you have to do is cut them out! I also laminated them for extra durability but that part is optional. CLICK HERE FOR FREE ALPHABET PUDDLE PRINTABLE!
And there you have it! Easy to make, inexpensive and hours of fun.
See more posts from Meaghan at her blog naturallytoddlerapproved.com
Email Meaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or find her on Twitter and Instagram – @totapproved
Thank you Meaghan for this amazing post! If any of you are interested in being a guest blogger like Meaghan on hmmhotmessmama.com we would love to hear from you! Send Susan an email at email@example.com. I know you have awesome stuff to share that we can all laugh about and learn from!