Big M and I have been reading Charlotte’s Web at bedtime these last few weeks. Due largely to the story, Big M has become increasingly interested in word formation, and we have made several projects this week featuring Charlotte’s web words. Today, taking a little inspiration from Parenting Chaos’ Dinosaur Fossils, which has been one of the girls’ favorite activities all Spring, we shifted our word formation medium from paper to playdough!
Word Formation with Playdough
The last few weeks, I’ve been watching the gears turning in Big M’s little head. It’s like suddenly the light switch flipped, and she realized all these letters she knows go together to form words. She is constantly asking me, “Mama, what does this say?” She used to point to words and name all the letters, but now she will say the word (if she’s memorized it). She lines up her magnet letters on her easel and tells me she’s writing.
Since we started reading Charlotte’s Web last month, the interest in word formation has more than doubled. She still struggles a bit with actually writing her letters, though we continue to work on it. But, when I saw these alphabet stamps in the Target $3 Dollar Spot yesterday, I knew they would be perfect to continue our studies in word formation without the added pressure or frustration of letter formation. I decided to test drive them this afternoon in playdough. If you don’t find them at your local Target, Melissa and Doug makes a great set with upper and lowercase letters that you can find on Amazon.
You can find our favorite, quick and easy homemade playdough recipe here. When I brought out the playdough, Lil’ M immediately requested “the ‘sauruses”. I told them today we were going to try something different. We always play with playdough on baking mats for easy clean-up! I gave them each a set of letters to go with their playdough. I asked Big M what she wanted to write… “Some Pig!” I showed her how to press the letters into the playdough with the S-O-M-E and then she took over.
Of course next up was “Terrific!” She asked me how to spell it one letter at a time, but searched for and placed the letters all herself. After that, I left her to her own devices. When she was wrapping up, she told me she was writing a letter to Grandma.
While Big M is working on word formation, Lil’ M at 21 months is just learning her letters. She had plenty of fun with the stamps in the playdough too!
This will definitely be a repeat activity! What are some of your favorite activities for early literacy, word formation? For more Preschool and Book-Related Activity posts, be sure to follow our Preschool board on Pinterest, as well as my collaborative board hosted by multiple kid bloggers, Books with Activities.