When I teach little ones the alphabet or awareness of the sounds for each letter of the alphabet, I like to incorporate visuals that can represent the letter – like stuffed animals, puppets, or dolls. Each week that I focused on a different letter I had a stuffed animal or puppet as a mascot for the letter all week. I would use the puppet to speak for me: “______ do you see anything that starts with the /_/ sound?” or the puppet would “help me” introduce the letter by telling the little ones how to make the letter, how to make the letter sound, how to match the uppercase letter to the lower, and how to find things that started with the letter-sound by using the puppet as a clue.
When using a puppet/stuffed animal as a tool, it is easy to grab the attention of a child….even if you feel silly at first. It also pays off in the long run because it really helps your little one to recall information about the letter and letter-sound based on the memory of the puppet you used to teach about it. You can write a letter on a small blank card and attach it to the stuffed animal or not. It can be simple or a little more detail-oriented, but just use your resources and take it one letter at a time.
Initiate the stuffed animal letter awareness by stating something simple like: did you know that your doll’s name starts with the letter “s” and it stands for the sound /s/ like silly, spots, stripes, and soda? What other things in our house start with the same sound as Samantha? Maybe Samantha can help us find some other things that start with “s.”
I used a sock puppet snake with some stripes and spots glued to the top as my “s” puppet, because I was given a set of puppets based off of the awesome oldschool books:
They have stories full of alliteration made up about each puppet and DIY puppet making tutorials as well. “Alphabet Stories” is printables. “Alphabet puppets” is for all you crafty people who like to sew.
But, you know you….just do what you can do 🙂