Sunday, October 9, 2016

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt: A simple activity for pre-readers to practice their ABCs

Mom2MomEd Blog: Alphabet Scavenger Hunt~*~a simple way for kids to practice their ABCs
Hey there, friends and fellow parents! 
As you may know, I have two very inquisitive pre-readers (ages 3 and 5) in my home, and we're becoming a little bit obsessed with letters and spelling. This is great; however, I'm not always feeling super creative and at times I lack the motivation to think of yet another activity we can do together that will be age appropriate for BOTH of my kids. And, I must admit that my daughter is quickly catching up to my son and is far more interested in intentionally learning her letters and how to spell than my son is.

Lately we've been playing the ABC game outdoors. This is an easy activity and can literally be done your house, your backyard, while driving, on a get the picture! We go on a lot of family walks and bike rides and that's the perfect time for us to play this game. We have made up our own rules (there really aren't any formal ABC game rules anyhow!) and you can do that same! 

We start with the letter A and look for anything that in the shape of an A without actually being the letter. For example, we might find some branches that are scattered and make the shape of a letter, a building that has a pitched roof that looks like the letter, a pile of leaves that have fallen, flowers....seriously anything!

My kids end up treating the ABC game like a race to see who can find the letter first. We end up laughing and giggling at how much we have to hunt around to find letters. It's our own alphabet scavenger hunt! Sometimes we switch off letters and my son will do A and then my daughter will do B. Other times we race to see who can locate the letter first and others we skip around and take turns choosing the letter we are looking for.

There is no fancy science to this activity. It's just a fun way to practice reading skills and visual learning. Plus, since the letters are not printed in front of them they really do need to have a baseline for letter recognition.

You can read about how my son "gets tired" when we try to practice skills HERE. Because this isn't standard worksheets or workbooks, the ABC game is the perfect activity for my son! It's informal enough that he doesn't know that we're actually practicing an academic skill, yet it also engages my younger daughter.

Win, win, win.

Since life has been so crazy lately it's nice to have a quick and simple task go well. Here are some photos to illustrate how easy this game is! We literally do this in our own backyard! 

Notice how the chicken coop resembles an A?  

We found a V in the ends of the star on our porch!

 Oh, look! The wreath on our door is an O!

Do you have any fun and easy games that you play with your kids to practice skills? Can you share some ideas with other parents to help them as well? We'd love to see your pictures along with your ideas! 
    And, take it a step further and challenge your kids to work out messages for themselves with lunchbox notes from our Etsy shop! When kids have an incentive to figure out the meaning of something written, they are more likely to work at the skill and remember it. Pre-readers can benefit from lunchbox notes as it is likely to spark curiosity as they will want to know what the notes say. Don't just read the note to them. Instead, ask them what they think the note says and why they might think that. Help them to start sounding out letters and recognizing the words on the notes. Of course, it's perfectly fine to just read the notes to your pre-readers too!

    Check out our full selection of lunchbox notes HERE.
    Be sure to check out these other great ideas for encouraging reading in your family:

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