After going through three experiential rounds of learning through play, I am even more convinced of the power of play at this age for little humans. C has picked up many new words and skills through the learning activities for Letter M, Letter C and Letter D. Seeing that C is occupied meaningfully, engaging in independent play, and is learning through these activities, it’s really a win-win for us. Hence for the rest of the year, we shall be using the english alphabets as a scaffold for our learning activities at home. We will work on each letter for about 2 weeks (or more, depending on how C takes to the activities) before we move on to the next. Learning activities would include a mini collection of items that begin with the particular alphabet presented in various ways (discovery basket, sensory bin etc), and I will also try to work on some math, shapes, psychomotor skills, craft work, and hopefully tasting the alphabet! We may not cover all of these for every alphabet but I will try to mix and match for some novelty.
Next up, is Letter P. How do I decide which alphabet to work on next? Go with the flow! Sometimes it’s based on something that C is enjoying or requested whilst other times it could be a book or an activity that inspires our next alphabet. Letter P because we went for a picnic earlier on. Check out the Penne Packed in Purple and Pink tupperware :p
So for Letter P, we have:
- a sensory bin as it has been some time since we had one
- a small dough kit that includes Paris: A Book of Shapes, Letter P cutter and doughs in 2 shades of purple
- puzzles of animals starting with P: polar bear, penguin, pig
- a paper late number wheel wheel for math
- a doodling kit with pencil and other shades of pink and purple
- books about penguin, pancakes, pear and Paris!
- making pancakes!
Amongst these activities that I had planned, all except the sensory bin can be kept in a folder. We did just that and brought activity out when we for see that C might need to be occupied meaningfully.
The sensory bin uses pink and purple pom-poms as the base (I found them while packing my stash of craft supplies. How apt right?), with some items I gathered from around the house: pail, pig, penguin, panda, pineapple, peach and a peony. I had intended to dye some pink and purple pasta for this bin, but it’s too much work for now.
I set up the sensory bin as an invitation to play, together with the animal puzzles. The sensory bin provided us with lots of open-ended play – read on to find out what I mean! We did the usual search and identify the items. I added a pink and purple bowl to the bin, and we practised colour and size sorting with the respective containers. A large vs small container, a pink vs a purple. C takes to size sorting a little better.
C also found some other scoop and cup, and we threw them into the bin too – adding new elements into the sensory bin. Besides C’s favourite activity of scooping and transfer, we also took the opportunity to practise picking up the pompom using a pincer.
C scooped and transferred and pretended to cook.
It was also quite a pleasant to find C playing independently while I was settling J one evening after we came home. All self-directed!
Because it was fun, there had to have some mess. I must admit I reacted to it, but I have also forgotten to observe what comes next. Take it as a teachable moment to remind and teach your child to clear up, to play within a boundary.