As we continue our time at home, I'm grateful that in the midst of quarantine, we're still able to head outside and enjoy our beautiful Montana landscape. While you're traveling around the mountains or your neighborhood, take time to gather rocks. Once you are home, first enjoy examining the rocks. Use language to talk about the rocks and describe their features. Next, you can sit down with your child and write the letter sounds on each rock. You could paint like this picture or use sharpie to write the letter sounds. I would use lower case letters. The children are used to seeing lower case letters in our classroom. In addition, in our classrooms we identify the letters using their sounds rather than their names. Once this project is complete, there are a multitude of ideas for using the rocks.
1. You could go back outside and spread them throughout the neighborhood for other friends to find. When you place a rock down, identify the sound (either you or your child, depending on their fluency level).
2. If your child is a word builder/reader you can take time to build words using these rocks. Once they build the words, they could write the words to build their hand strength.
3. You and your child could make up a memory game with the rocks. (If it's true memory, you'll need two of each letter. If you have a five year old, they might be able to play with all the sounds; however, if your child is younger, you will most likely need to reduce the number of rocks to make the game more enjoyable. Possibly 5 sounds per game.) Turn them all over, take turns turning over a rock, say the sound, find the match and then give your partner a turn.
4. Older friends can practice putting the letters in ABC order. If you have an example of the alphabet in your home, this will give the child a control to refer to as they are ordering the letters.
5. Find objects throughout the house that have the same sound. Collect an object for each sound. Remember to return the objects to their home. This would be a great activity for 5-7 letters at a time.
6. Have fun playing with letter sounds! Enjoy.