Last year I wrote a series on low energy play – ideas for mums who don’t have a lot of energy but still want to set up fun and educational play for their children. I still have trouble keeping my two entertained, although with Miss H being in school the pressure is off a little, but there are times when I know I need to be doing more. Little J is not one for sitting still much so colouring, writing and the like are pretty much out the window. I have been looking a lot for ideas on how to retain his interest but also teach him letters, particularly his name.
Today I tried an idea I’d found on Pinterest, and then adapted it to involved his cars, so I thought I’d share it on the blog. All you need is some blank paper or paper plates, a marker pen, some pom poms, a straw and some car or similar.
First I wrote the letters of his name on the paper and set them up on the stairs. You do need to be around for this game as there is a risk of them tumbling, especially as they lean over to see where the pom pom landed.
Once they were set up, J sent a pom pom down the stairs to see where it went. He started off by blowing them using the straws, which he thought was great fun, and then decided to try throwing them, before blowing them down without the straws.
We began by going through his name each letter at a time. As a pom pom laded on a letter I would ask him what it was, to try and encourage him to recognise the letters in his name. Most of the time he would reply with ‘I can’t remembre’ (I love the little mispronunciations!) so I would remind him which one it was. After a few times in order I shouted the letters randomly to see if he could get them.
He absolutely loved this and we did it a couple of times, and gradually he started to remember ‘kicking K’ and ‘curly C’ in his name.
We then went into the kitchen and did the same thing but this time with his cars. This was a bit more difficult to judge as the cars would go faster than anticipated. He does love anything on wheels though so it was good fun to roll them across the floor.
Finally I made it a jumping game, so he had to leap from one letter to the next. After leaping in order, he then leapt backwards and then from ‘J’ to ‘curly C’ and so on, in a more random order. By the end of it all he knew which letter I meant as I shouted it.
Having a child who doesn’t learn in the traditional sit down way often makes you question their intelligence. Whilst being clever isn’t everything and I certainly value happiness over results, I am reluctant to write off my boy. He has demonstrated today that just because a child learns in a different way doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent, they just need to be stimulated in a way that appeals to them.