Once children begin to learn the alphabet, they tend to become enthralled with all things having to do with letters.
Right now, that is definitely the case with my 3 year old.
He points out letters everywhere we go, wants me to read books to him constantly, and insists on engaging in lots of alphabet activities, such as Stick & Say Alphabet Game and Alphabet Rocks Nature Play.
His other favorite thing? Water exploration!
Today, we decided to combine the two, and came up with this simple way to explore the alphabet while simultaneously playing with water.
What we used:
- Pool noodles
- Serrated knife
- Plastic tub
- LEGO mini-figures
I started by cutting pool noodles into 1 inch pieces, using a serrated knife. Then, I used a marker to write a letter of the alphabet on each piece.
Next, I filled a large plastic tub with water, and placed all of the pool noodle pieces into the tub. We added a few LEGO mini-figures, because my son thought our boats needed some passengers.
That’s it! Time to play and learn.
I just let him explore on his own for awhile. He had a blast splashing around and coming up with fun scenarios for the LEGO mini-figures.
Through his play, Zahir (age 3) naturally began to practice letter identification. He’d pick up one of the boats, and say “Look, I found the X.”
This makes learning the alphabet much more meaningful and engaging than if I were to drill him on the letters.
After he played for awhile, I joined in. As we explored together, I made a point to name the letters that he seemed unsure of.
This activity could easily be adapted to work on various concepts, such as numbers or sight words. Such a simple, play-based way for kids to expand their knowledge.
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