Saturday, August 20, 2011

Learning Letters With Homemade Play-Dough Mats

With school getting ready to start (and some of my Daycare Kids getting ready to start Preschool), I wanted to spend some extra time today working with their names.  Unfortunately, there's too many of them for me to sit down with each one and help them form each letter, so I came up with these "mats" to serve as models for each child.

Here's what I did:
1.  For each child, I wrote out their name in marker on a plain sheet of paper.  Actually, I used the backs of articles my husband printed out for seminary work - "waste not, want not".  For those who weren't ready to work with their whole name, I wrote the first letter of their name.  Then on a separate page, I traced cookie cutters in various shapes.

2.  I put both pages (the name and shape pages) back to back inside clear sheet protectors and gave each child a can of Play-Dough.

3.  The kids rolled out "snakes" with their Play-Dough and then used them to form the letters on their pages.  The little kids used their Play-Dough to fill in the different shapes.  *I'm sure you could print out letter and number pages online, but I find it's usually faster for me to draw exactly what I want each child to have.

The kids had a great time and my oldest got some extra practice with his "J".  He sometimes makes it backwards :)  Plus, I know have all the sheets ready to go for tomorrow, when I break out the Expo markers and use them for some tracing practice.  (Note:  If you're going to use sheet protectors with Expo markers, be sure to get the clear ones instead of the opaque so they will erase better.)

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