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Before The Sandpaper Letters
It is no secret that in the world of Montessori there is a sequence of materials. In the area of language, it’s important to know that many things come before learning the sounds of the alphabet. Lessons in letter sounds are often given with the Sandpaper Letters. These activities for oral and auditory development build the foundation towards learning sounds. Many of the work listed below can begin at birth or toddler age, providing readiness and skills for later language development. These activities require almost no materials and no preparation, just a little special time with your child or class. Some of these have saved the day road trips with my girls.
- Ask your child to mimic a simple clapping or tapping pattern.
- Guess who? Clap or tap the syllables in a name. Two claps for Je-ssie.
- Identify sounds in your environment (a car driving by, a bird singing, a fan blowing).
- Listen to music.
- Listening to parent’s voices. Very early, start talking to baby. They will hear and understand the words are for communication.
- Play rhyming games. What rhymes with hat? Cat, fat, sat, etc. Poems in iambic pentameter are wonderful for teaching the idea of rhyming.
Reading to Your Child
I’m sure everyone is aware of the importance of reading to children. As a form of preparing for later reading, nothing communicates to a child that letters = sounds more than reading aloud. Reading together sets an example and a message that reading is fun! Be sure to allow the child plenty of time to look at books alone, too.
The Silence Game isn’t really a game, but a practice in experiencing quiet. It gives a chance to really here the sounds in our environment, and to appreciate the variety. To do this, invite the child to be comfortable. Laying down, or sitting up. Ask the child to stillness, as done in yoga relaxation. We love the book When I Make Silence.
I spy something that starts with /t/…is it tape? Yes! I spy something that starts with the sound /b/….is it ball? Yes! I spy with my little eye, something that starts with /s/….spoon? Yes! It’s always entertaining with people, too. I’m thinking of someone in the room whose name begins with /w/…..is it Will? Yes! Sometimes isolating two or three objects or ideas will help narrow down the search, especially at first.
Please feel free to comment on any of the topics you’d like to hear more about, I can elaborate more on another post here!