Wednesday, 30 April 2014

10+ ideas for learning about Letter D

My daughter (4yrs) has started her journey on learning how to read. This year so far, she has learnt about Letter A, Letter B and Letter C. Last year, she also explored Letter O, Letter L and Letter P. When putting together letter learning activities for her, I try to focus them on what she likes and how she learns best. So, here are the activities she has done over the past few weeks.
Because my daughter LOVES stories, I started with books. As we read stories together, I usually ask questions as I go such as what do you think might happen next? When reading to my children, I am modelling fluency as I point to words, re-read when I make a mistake (yep, that happens to me) and use expression in my voice, just to name a few. 

For Letter D, I went through our book collection to find books that had a big letter D on the front cover and where it was repeated a number of times through the book. When we were reading these books, I would point to the Letter D on the page and talk about the name of that letter and the sound of that letter. As we were reading, I would ask for her to find the Letter D on the page we were on. 

The Pocket Dogs and The Pocket Dogs Go on Holiday by Margaret Wild and Steven Michael King, My Daddy by Curtis Jobling, My Dad! by Charles Fuge and Just Like My Dad [Board book] by David Melling (Affiliated Links).

I also like to encourage independent reading with simple books like Reading Eggs Alphabet books, My "d" Book by Jane Belk Moncure and Daredevil Declan (Little Mates) by Susannah McFarlane (affiliated link)
We followed our reading with listening to the Jolly Phonics Song for Letter D on YouTube. What I love about Jolly Phonics is that they have a little short song and an action that is associated with each letter/sound of the alphabet. This is perfect for my song loving little girl.

A sensory box is always fun. My daughter helped me find lots of little things that started with the "D" sound like dinosaur, duck, donkey, donuts and dragon. We also found different stencils, wooden puzzle pieces and foam letters stuck on bottle tops that showed us what the Letter D looked like. With nothing more then a short discussion on the items, my daughter spent sometime each day, playing with these items in her world of imagination.
I have been looking for different ways how to incorporate letters and play. Here, we used plain coloured play dough to and Alphabet Stamps (affiliate link) to make prints in the play dough.
Another way my daughter played with the Letter D was by using this Alphabet Letter Pattern template from Preschool Express and added Puppy and Dinosaur stamps to it (we also used the lower case "d" template too).
Magnets are another favourite learning tool. My daughter asked me for these magnets one morning at breakfast so we got out the letters she knew and added the new letter D. We also used this Magnetic Learning Kit (Picture Word Fun) to match and sort the letters and to show how basic sentences are built (by words joined together). 
Sometimes my daughter also likes stamping the letters using our Do-a-Dot Art stampers (Affiliated link). I love the printable Romping and Roaring D Pack from Cassie over at 3Dinosaurs. This is all about getting familiar with the letter shape and using a fun, hands-on way  to engage in the learning. 
My daughter loves play dough and as I discovered, she also loves glitter! I printed off these Letter Collage Worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler and I asked her how she wanted to decorate them...with glitter of course! Once these sheets were laminated, she used play dough to form the letters.
We had a go at building the letter D using these shape blocks from our Spielgaben set and these Alphabet Pattern Block Printables from Confession of a Homeschooler. My daughter built the capital letter D but was not really interested after that.

We had another go at building the Letter D using blocks and these printable Alphabet Lego Cards from Wildflower Ramblings.
Once again, I made a threading activity from using old cardboard and a hole puncher, some wool and pipe cleaners for the "needle" or threader. Originally I had only made the capital letter but my daughter requested the lower case one too.
Now that my daughter was recognising the Letter D and associating it with the sound, I brought out the Initial "d" Sound Cards, that I had made, for her to learn with. You can read more about how we used these cards and print these printable cards from here.
My daughter had a go at writing the Letter D on the ipad app called Eggy Alphabet. She doesn't always like this app as it can be hard to get the dots joined just right.She also had success in writing the letter D in a tray of pink rice (her favourite!).
If you would like to see more alphabet learning ideas, you can visit my Early Learning - Alphabet pinterest board. 

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  1. Hi Suzie. Thank you for sharing! I will definitely be using these ideas for my youngest.

  2. Hi Jae, Thanks you for your lovely comment and thanks for dropping by!

  3. There are some great ideas there - I particularly like the book one as that has never occurred to me to do that.I am featuring you on this weeks kids coop

    1. Thank you for your comment and for featuring my post on the kids coop!