Early Litearcy Aside--Explain: Today our early literacy tip is on letter knowledge. You may think of letter knowledge as being able to write letters. Actually there is a lot to know related to letter knowledge long before children can write the letters. One aspect is recognizing shapes. Today I'll be pointing out some fun ways we can help them recognize and talk about shapes.
Craft: Give a piece of paper and crayon or marker to each child and adult. Each person can draw an oval for the body of the mouse. For the ears make an M or m. Let's practice making an M in the air with our hand and arm.Early Literacy Aside--Example: Don't worry about if your child does this exactly right or not. Enjoy making the mouse and help him squeak and talk. You can also talk about the shapes your child is drawing. Seeing and making shapes helps your children recognize letters as well.
Read the book Mouse Shapes by Ellen Walsh.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: As I read the book, you'll notice how we can combine talking about shapes as we also talk about what is happening in the story. Helping children see shapes is the beginning of letter knowledge.
Craft: Have various shapes cut out, the same ones used in the book. Each PERSON gets a blank sheet of paper. Using shapes, they make a picture. Encourage the adults to talk about all the shapes and also about what they are making with the shapes, both their own picture and their child's. The adult or child can write the child's name on their the paper and find some of the shapes in the letters.
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Playing with shapes is one way to help your child see shapes in letters and to later identify the letters. For example, this is an N the first letter in your name. See how there is a triangle shape between the lines? You will notice many opportunities during your day to talk with your children about shapes.