This year, in the lead-up to Easter, I've been using a simple set of plastic eggs as a reading and spelling tool with my almost five-year-old. We call them "alphabet eggs" and they're a great, hands-on resource for engaging your child with that all-important repetitive practice that is so essential to learning.
What You'll Need
- Plastic Easter eggs
- A permanent marker
- A basket
- 1-3 egg cartons
What to Do
Step 1: Use the marker to write a letter on each egg. Make one egg per letter of the alphabet. If you have extras, you can create a few extra alphabet eggs for the really common letters, such as A, E, T, etc. Then, place your eggs in a basket.
Step 2: Next, cut the lid off an egg carton (or two if you have), to create a base for your letter-sorting and word-building.
Step 3: There are lots of different ways to play with these eggs, depending on the age and stage of your child. Here's a few suggestions...
For older toddlers or preschoolers: Start by offering one alphabet egg with each letter of your child's name on it. Invite her to place the eggs into the egg carton in the order they appear in her name. Once she is confident creating his own name with the alphabet eggs, offer him a slightly bigger collection of eggs to pick out the letters of his name.
For preschoolers and kindergarteners: Place a few egg cartons side-by-side and invite your child to sort out a complete set of alphabet eggs from A to Z, saying the letter name and/or sound of each letter as he does so.
For beginning readers: Invite your child to spell out simple three- or four-letter words he is already familiar with.
For early readers: Have your child use the eggs to spell out those often tricky sight words that are so important to the process of learning to read. Alternatively, you make the word and invite your child to read it.
When my daughter saw me making these alphabet eggs, she was absolutely itching to play with them! The alphabet sorting activity proved a great challenge for her, but one well worth it. She also had a fabulous time using the eggs to make simple three letter words and reading back the three and four letter words that I made for her. In fact, I’ve kept the eggs sitting invitingly in their basket on the dining room table as an invitation to keep playing and learning. She takes them out at least once each day to have another turn — and that’s the revision that I know is so important to the process of learning to read and spell.
Photo Credit: Christie Burnett