After we had a lot of pre-literacy fun with our Preschool Poetry last week, I thought we'd try again, but this time building words.
I cut out a bunch of letters from magazines - this is a good way to reinforce the idea that letters come in different sizes, colours, fonts etc but that they all say the same thing (don't underestimate the importance of this to a preschooler who is trying to make his crazy world seem more logical!)
This activity also begins to show that these magical things they know as words are made up of letters, and that those same letters and sounds they have been learning can be used in different words. It's also a fun way to be playful with literacy as kids love the nonsense words they come up with - they might ask you to 'read' their words aloud (do your best, it will make them giggle!) or they might want to ascribe meaning to their creations - this is good, don't correct them! The discovery that words and letters are tools at their disposal to communicate is such an important one - the feeling of power to control and influence such a 'grown-up' and serious thing as words is an amazing emotion, nurture and encourage it!
At first your kids will probably treat this like a regular collage activity and want to stick their letters all over the place, upside-down and on top of each other - let them find the letters on their own. With Vin I made lines along the paper with a gluestick (a strip of double-sided tape would work too) - another important learning curve is that writing starts at the left and moves across to the right and that text moves from top to bottom down the page. Vin is still too young for me to 'teach' this idea to him, but older kids will have began to pick up this idea from their storybooks and other things they have read!
The letter pieces have their own section in our collage kit ready for more exploration next time the kiddos are interested. Hope this inspires you to play with your words guys!