Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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Play-based Letter Learning: DIY Letter Labels

You can put these letter labels on tracks, trains, or any other popular toy to make play-based letter learning easier!

About once a month I like to take a big 13-gallon bag full of toys, clothes, knick-knacks, and other items to donate at a thrift store.  While we're there, I let my kids each choose one item to take home.  My son's recent choice was this fantastic car wash and parking garage combination from Fisher Price.  

My son has also been developing a fascination with letters and their sounds, so I have been integrating letter identification activities into our routines and play.  If you haven't already read my post about preschooler brain development, click here! These DIY Letter Labels are the perfect combination of no-stress, no-pressure, letter-learning, and play!

To pop them on your favorite plastic parking garage, just grab a small paintbrush and some acrylic paint.  I chose acrylic because it dries like plastic and usually scrapes right off any toys when you decide you're done with the letters.  Paint the letter on and let it dry!

My son was intrigued and thrilled!  He quickly found the first letter in his name, and then showed his sister his favorite new parking spots.  He could not point out the "r-parking spot" without breaking into song about the letters in his name!  And it only took him a few moments to point out the places where I still needed to add a letter--would you believe I missed lots of spots?!

Now when we play, we race to the "c," park on the "i," slide down to the "e," and so much more!  The letters have become part of the toy, and so they're part of the play too.  

Right now there are 10 letters on the toy.  When he easily recognizes those, I will scrapet off about half of them and replace them with five that he doesn't know.  

Do you have a favorite play-based letter learning activity?

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