Well, not quite, but we are certainly working on it. Last week we made these cutout letters. I want to laminate them so they will last longer, but we’ll see if I ever get around to it.
I drew the letters on sheets of cardstock (two on each sheet) and had the kids cut them out. In hindsight I realize I probably should have done the lowercase letters, since when you read, you read lowercase letters more often than uppercase letters – and I would like them to be able to point out the letters in our picture books. Knowing the capital letters isn’t going to hurt them, but I wish I had started with lower case. Maybe we’ll work on that next month.
Before I cut out the letters, I let the kids color them up. They weren’t really interested in coloring the letters, so I helped. Then we cut them out.
As we were cutting them out, Baby and E started stepping in some cheapo plastic planters I had bought for my poinsettias. I didn’t want them to break the planters, so I suggested that we sort the letters. We had three planters, so I tried to think of ways letters have three “types” – the best I could come up with was “curvy letters,” “pointy letters,” and “letters with holes.” After I showed E what I meant, he excitedly sorted all the letters. Baby still doesn’t get sorting, and just wanted to move the things around in the buckets. We’re working on it, though.
So far, E can recognize R, G (it has a “table” inside) and a few other letters, although R is the one we did first, since our (real) last name starts with R. Baby recognizes that things are letters and numbers, and will point them out to us, but all of them are “I!!” E also knows that “R is for Rainbow and (our last name).” At first he was saying “R starts with Rainbow” but thankfully we were able to correct that pretty fast.
My goal is for E to be able to recognize all the letters of the alphabet (upper and lower case) by the summer so that we can start learning sounds. I’m not as interested in him learning sounds right now, but I do think it is important for him to start being able to recognize the letters, and hopefully to be able to write his name soon.
What things are you doing to prepare your child for reading? What age do you think children should start learning sounds? Should recognizing letters and words come before learning sounds? Or should sounds come first? Or should we just expose our kids to both and let them figure things out as they go?