Your little one tuned into sound, and you entertained her endlessly with your “La-la-la-la-la’s.” Hey, she was impressed when you wagged your tongue and made that cool noise. But she’s a preschooler now -- time to move on. She’s already on board with the "L" sound, so you’ll have a captive audience when you teach her the letter "L" through games, songs and hands-on activities. She’ll never suspect you’re prepping her for to be a future reading star.
1. Strike Up the Music
Your preschooler will be tapping her toes in no time with this activity. Sing popular songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” that contain lots of "Ls." Feeling creative? Change the lyrics of a familiar tune to words with "Ls". Instead of “Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man,” substitute the “lemon man” or the “lollipop man.” You’ll kick the fun up a notch if you ask her to shake a maraca or beat a drum every time she hears the "L" sound.
2. Design a Batch of "Ls"
Prepare for giggles and some unexpected masterpieces when your child crafts an array of "Ls". Place a cutout of the letter "L" where your little artist can easily see it. Gather up items such as play dough, shoelaces, yarn, pipe cleaners and pieces of licorice. Now he’s ready to use the materials to create a batch of "Ls." Throw flour or squirt shaving cream on a table and he can draw "Ls" with his finger. If he has a friend visiting, they’ll enjoy using their arms or their bodies to form the letter "L." This tiny Einstein may not know it, but he’s also learning about 90-degree angles!
3. Sort, Count and Talk
Your child can help you gather items such as leaves that begin with the letter "L." Be sure to include different sizes and colors. Ask her to sort the leaves into three piles: red, green and yellow. Tell her to pick out five little leaves and three large leaves. Keep the conversation flowing, “Look, Annie, four of the leaves are red.” “Does lion start with the same sound as leaf?” “Do you think this is a little leaf or a large leaf?”
4. Involve the Senses
Preschoolers love sensory experiences. Cut a large "L" from a piece of poster board. Your little one can help you cover it with a furry material. Let him trace the letter with his fingers as you both say the sound it makes. Hang it on the wall where he can easily reach it. Play a game. Tell him to run up and trace the "L" with his finger every time you say a word that starts with the "L" sound. “Does cat start with L?” “Does lion start with L?”
5. Make a Collage
Your child can help you find pictures in magazines that begin with "L," such as lion, lips, legs, lemons and lobster. Draw an upper-case and a lower-case "L" on a large sheet of poster paper. Glue the pictures that you cut from the magazine all over the poster. Hang it in her room where she can see it frequently and associate the sound and the letter. When you are out and about, talk about the letter "L." “Hey, Maria, let’s buy some lemons. They look like the ones on the "L" poster in your bedroom.”
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