Video

Letters Make Words

LettersMakeWords

My 4 year old doesn’t turn until 5 until January so we have one more school year before Kindergarten. At daycare, she has been moved to a Pre-K class but even before this move, her teachers have been doing a great job of getting her interested in writing and reading more and more.

It still impresses me when she points to a word and can tell me what it is. Wasn’t she just learned how to walk yesterday?! I have been trying to work in ways to encourage her to practice identifying words at home.

When we were practicing recognizing letters I came up with this fishing game. I revisited the idea with words she knows. When she catches one, she has to say what it says, maybe find a matching fish, etc. I plan to make more of these using sight words to reinforce those as well.

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Words used: hat, bee, mop, pop, map, dog, top, fun, bat, log, tap, sun (Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop provided some inspiration on word choices.)

I was fortunate to get to review these Bath Toy Organizer with 36 Alphabet Letters and Numbers from Brilliant Babyz. Almost immediately, my 4 year old started trying to make words with the letters she was wading through and it has continued to be a popular activity.

In the video below, you can see what we talk through swapping letters out and sounding words out to get to a new word. My almost 2 year old participates in playing with the letters by putting them on and off the wall and I name the letters and numbers as she picks them up.

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The foam letters, once wet, stick right on to the shower wall and side of the tub without any damage to the wall grout, etc. The best part is the organizer it came with sticks right on to the wall so all the letters can dry out between uses. My girls can also put them away by themselves.

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You can see I am all about the bath toy storage. My Pinterest-y solution was putting a shower curtain rod across the back of the shower and attaching a couple of dollar store bins to it. They slide across, I can add more if I need it, and it only cost a couple bucks.

With summer, incorporating word practice into water activities has been an easy way to make it interesting. I’m going to have to work on some other ways as we head into the cooler months.

How do you encourage kids to practice letter recognition, letter sounds, and sight words?

*I received a product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Monster Faces Activity

Halloween is around the corner and this year my almost 4 year old is into monsters. I love that the library near us has book bundles, a handful of books banded together on various topics that are on display. It makes it easy to grab a few books without trying to keep track of two girls heading in different directions while reading book spines. The latest batch that Kelsey picked out is a Monster themed set.

One of the favorites has been Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer. It’s about a monster who is like every other monster except she has some hobbies the other monsters just don’t get.

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In my usual fashion, I had some materials laying around, in this case sheets of felt, and had a quick idea. In the end, we have a fun new “busy bag” idea that my preschooler enjoyed and even my 1 year old had fun checking out. To create your own Monster Faces Felt Activity, just get a little creative with some scissors and felt and cut out shapes that could be eyes, mouth, etc. I just used basic shapes like triangles, circles, and squares in various sizes and some zig zag pieces that could maybe be hair, or teeth, or eyebrows.

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That’s pretty much it! It took a few minutes to get started and I just kept making more pieces from the scraps after cutting out bigger shapes. The girls played with these for a while until, well, the 1 year old started acting like a 1 year old and trying to grab all the pieces. You can only do so much.

Don’t mind the bedhead. We were still in pajamas at almost lunch time – who doesn’t love a lazy weekend morning. I hope your little monsters enjoy the activity, too!

 

Lessontrek: Online Homeschool Lesson Planning Tool

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I was given the opportunity to have a family member try out this homeschool lesson plan website. Lessontrek.com features include a lesson tracker, grade recording, printable options, secure information service, and copy/paste options between weeks. As a new service, there are still many features in development such as a gradebook, sharing subjects across students and attendance tracking.

Lessontrek.com has a responsive costumer support system but you do need to be somewhat tech savvy to take full advantage of the features in this lesson plan template system.

My sister-in-law homeschools five children from high school to kindergarten. Lessontrek.com also proved to be a little tricky when trying to see all the grades and activities for one day at the same time. It may be best for families developing homeschool lesson plans for children close in age or 1-2 children. For another review of how to use the lesson plans features click here.

Are you interested in trying it for yourself?

Lessontrek would like to offer ALL of my readers 50% off a 1 year subscriptions. This will make their program very affordable for even tight budgets. Families can get a full year access to Lessontrek for just $30. You just need to click the $60 yearly and enter the code 2IOL50 in the Payment Info section. Your credit card will be charged $30 for a full year and then renew for $60 each year thereafter.

 

*I was compensated for this review. All opinions are my own and that of my contributors.