I really liked the Betty Lukens Fun with Felt – learn your ABCs set which I read about from 1+1+1=1 and decided to make my own for Gareth’s Busy Box. Being the self-confessed lazy mother that I am, I wasn’t prepared to cut out felt shapes which I know will look dreadful once I’m done with them. In the end, this was what I came up with – easy, affordable and extendable…
Instead of using felt, I went with a portable magnetic white board which I found in Borders for RM27. Using Google Images, I made my own charts on powerpoint.
The idea is to match the magnetic letters with pictures beginning with the same letter (it is the reverse of the Betty Lukens ABC chart where you stick the pictures onto their matching letters). In the center chart above, J is for jigsaw, K is for kangaroo, L is for leaf, etc. I left our magnetic alphabets with my parents so I can’t show you a working example.
I also made one with numbers because Gareth loves numbers.
The idea is to match the quantity with the correct number. Okay, I should have jumbled up the quantities a bit, but I think you get the point.
It’s probably not really that different to some of the Montessori apps he plays on the iPad, but it is an activity without a screen that requires real manipulation with the fingers and will hopefully keep him away from a screen.
I’m sure you can already see how this activity is extendable. All you have to do is make more activity charts that require the use of the magnetic letters and numbers and you have an activity that your child can practice over and over until he gets sick of it. You can vary the activity to include missing letters for spelling, equations, and whatever else you can think of. You can also make activities for your older child and tailor the difficulty and subject to your child’s interests. For Gavin, I’m planning a dinosaur ABC chart which will require him to recognise the dinosaurs that start with specific letters of the alphabet.
And there you have it – an easy to make, affordable, and extendable activity that doesn’t require a screen, electricity or batteries.