Thursday, 21 April 2011

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Homemade Disposable Letter Mat for Hopping


Age: From 2 years old

Activity Duration: 10 - 15 minutes

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Objectives:
1. To provide a fun way to teach phonics, making full use of the children's energy at this age.

Materials:
1. Disposable Letter Mats for 4-6 letters (here we start with c, m, a and t)
2. Scotch tape to tape down the mat to the floor
3. Some items to represent the letters, such as an apple, a monkey soft toy, a tiger soft toy and a cat soft toy or picture.

Directions:
1. Demonstrate by hopping on the first letter mat, stop and pronounce the sound of the letter, followed by a word that begins with the letter, namely hop, aaaaaahhhh, apple - for the letter "a", for example.

2. Go on to demonstrate the rest of the letter in this way and finish one round.

3. Encourage the child to try.

How to make?

1. Use a marker to write on A4 paper and taped it onto the floor.

Additional Information:
Letter Mat for hopping gets worn out very fast, because it is being stepped on all the time. Thus, I prefer to make disposable ones. Also, being a working mom, I have prioritize how much time I could spend in producing home-made materials. In this way, it is fast, easy and stress-free. Write, use and dispose. To save even more time, one could also make photocopies of them for future use.

Montessori believes that movement aids memory. So by jumping and hopping, it is believed to stimulate the brain to remember the alphabet, and at the same time, make it fun for the children. I got this idea from Nurturing Tender Years, but simplify it to suit toddlers. For older children, please refer to the reference link below on how you can expand this game.

J (2Y1M16D) tried this during our "Fun with English" Class for Toddlers today (we conducted the class today, since it is Easter holidays and we want to do the "hard work" first so that we can save the Saturday free for idling around). He could do it very well, but fell, and then that was the end of the game for him. He rolled and complained on the floor instead (as seen in the pictures)!

This evening in the privacy of bedtime without other students, he asked to try again and could pronounce the letters. He completed two cycles, and turned his attention to other things. At this age, aim for 5 minutes with the toddlers. Anything more would be a bonus. I am very happy with the progress thus far.

References:
http://nurturingthetenderyears.blogspot.com/2011/04/jump-to-spell-words-game-and-letter-and.html

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