The objective for this activity is to increase the opportunities for identification of letters. The secondary benefit will be increased opportunities for parallel/associative play. The DRDP Categories this will focus on are: Identification of letters, letter and word knowledge.
Material/Equipment: For this activity, I will be using foam, golf tees, small/lightweight plastic mallets and dot-art alphabet printouts.
Preparation:Attach the sheets to the foam pieces. Create a visual sample for parents to help guide the children through the activity. In addition, I will discuss monitoring with parents so that the materials used stay at the table. Also, I will discuss how to guide the children through the activity with specific words.
Procedure: Beginning: Guide child over to activity. Prompt child with mallet (i.e.: Sam’s turn. Look at this! “S” is for Sam.). If possible, use the letter of the child’s first name to engage them in activity. Plus, this will increase the child’s awareness of the first letter of their name. Assist child with hand over hand to hold mallet and tees if necessary. Start by turn taking if the child is unsure of what to do.
Middle: Continue hand-and- over-hand scaffolding with mallet and tees. If child is verbal, use prompt questions like: What next? Over here? Or say, “let’s tap it in”. If child is not yet verbal then we can use sign language for prompts like “help” etc.
End: After the child has taken at least three turns, we can ask if they want to “add more” or are they “all done”. When finished, if the child is still engaged, we can hold the foam up to display the letter outline. A prompt question to transition to next activity could be used like “what’s next?”
Review: The activity went fairly well. I hoped for it to be more interesting but it did not seem to maintain engagement. I had used this activity in the past without the letter shapes on top and it was better received. Perhaps the paper covering the foam changed the appearance of the activity. In the future, I could leave the paper off one side and let them start on the non-covered side first.