I want to do everything I can to encourage Otis to write. However, I know it will come - when he is ready. So I'm not being pushy, but occasionally providing gentle prompts. Encouraging him when I can to write recipes (his favourite), shoppings lists, cards, and letters. I remember a tip I read in Montessori Read and Write that I also used with Caspar (much earlier in his learning) and that was to use multi media. Montessori Read and Write has lots of suggestions using materials from around the home. The Write Start is also an excellent resource for including literacy in play. We've loved and used;
- Alphabet cookie cutters
- Alphabet playdough stamps
- Alphabet (ink and paint) stamps
- Letters cut out of magazines and advertising material
- Alphabet Stickers
- Alphabet Stencils
- Clay, playdough, wire (to make letters)
It's almost as if the child has so much fun with the materials they forget they are learning essential literacy skills. All while using movement, concentration, and fine motor skills.
Using multi media also trains the child's eye to identify the written language in different forms, in different sizes, different fonts, shapes, and colours.
Otis has good literacy skills (by my own assessment) however lacks confidence. Being one of the youngest in his class doesn't help. So my aim is to encourage the development of these skills through play and fun activities only.
Stickers and stamps are always popular in our home! Here Otis is using the Melissa and Doug Alphabet Stamps. I love that they come in upper and lower case, they are great quality and print really clearly. After Otis has finished he just gives them a quick wipe clean. I love Melissa and Doug trays too, in this tray we've left the stamps and included lots of alphabet stickers. We've put them into a larger (A4) tray with the ink pad, paper and mini coloured pens.
This modest little tray has led to lots of writing, lots of stories and lots of letters! I actually really like the look of letters and cards using lots of different media, types, and fonts.
If you are in the US you can find the Melissa and Doug Alphabet Stamps here.