One of the ingenious tools that I discovered from Montessori is the moveable alphabet. Here's how a DIY-version became a fun leave-behind activity for Ladybug Girl to do while I'm at work.
First here's a photo of my little 3-year old at work on the movable alphabet in her school. It's the start of forming words by knowing how the letters sound:
|Word-making is literally hands-on (spelling doesn't matter yet). In the second photo, I love that they followed her interest in bones and asked her to make words from them.|
For my laughable version, I used magnetic letters and arranged them in drawer organizers:
|Alphabet from Melissa and Doug (Php 550@), Organizer from Make Room (Php 600 @). I know I could have gone a lot simpler but first I wanted them magnetic, and second, I ran out of patience to scout for cheaper organizers.|
|Labeled letter slots|
Using this and a cookie tray, we would sometimes do word-making games as part of our floor time together for more than six months last year. She had developed reading skills early, and I wanted to keep working on that "strength zone" (oops, corporate-lingo bingo).
|This one was a facebook post when Awesome Guy was away.|
It was a trial-and-error game. When I assumed her skill was greater than it was, the fun would stop. Most times at the start, I would just bring it out for her to make "silly words" and ask me to sound them out for a laugh : fgbg would be "fuga-buga!". Sometimes I would draw a picture and she would choose the starting letter sound.
|I would put down "ET" and she would choose the first letters when we flip through the book.|
Frankly, I began thinking of adapting it as a leave-behind activity to get more ROI out of the cost I had put in. So I left the cookie sheet tray with a message for her to fill in. We've been doing this since November, and the pictures say it all:
|Our first one. Ladybug Girl loves ______ : her answer kept me going, haha.|
|This one said "this snack"|
|This one stayed long on shelf without being answered. So I put "ACK" and she added the "J" the next day.|
|This one was done nearly immediately.|
|Our shelf set-up today.|
We did have a few duds like "favorite color" (I guess purple is intimidating to start with). So like everything, this is trial-and-error. Her yaya does tell me that she pulls down the alphabet trays all by herself now, which means she's eager to play this game with me. I think it lets her express herself in a way, and hopefully have a connection with me even if I'm not there.
As far as our leave-behind trays go, this one is one of my favorites.