Thursday, May 22, 2008

Alphabet Hunt!

Kindergarteners, love hands-on games with mom and dad. And this one fits the bill. But underneath all the pirate booty and the thrill of the hunt, they’ll get solid practice in learning to recognize letters and sounds, using manipulatives: teacher code for objects they can touch. Pirates ahoy! Thar be learning in this here treasure hunt!
  1. Get a set of 26 bags (brown paper lunch sacks work fine). Ask your child to label each bag with one letter of the alphabet.
  2. Tell your would-be pirate that you’re about to embark on a treasure hunt. Together, you’ll find items to fill each of the treasure bags. But here’s the catch: you must look for objects whose names begin with the letter on each bag. (For example, A=apple, B=ball, C=car, etc.)
  3. Help your child sort through her toys, search the kitchen, troll the living room. Urge her along with questions like, “What is this?” or “What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word when you say its name?” When she tells you the sound, for example “bah” for ball, ask her what letter makes that sound, then ask her to put it in the appropriate bag. If your house is short on certain letters, take your quest to the street! Walk around the neighborhood looking for plants or other objects to fill the empty letter bags.
  4. All right pirates, review! Once each bag has at least one object, ask your child to reach a hand in, hold up the treasures, and say their names. You can keep the bags and review one letter each day, or better yet, ask your child to make up a story using all the items in a letter bag. Write down what he says and you’ll have an instant book, ready for homemade illustrations, and sure to be treasured on the road to reading.

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