This is the first week of Wash & Learn: Turning Bath Time into Learning Time, a collaboration between Growing a Jeweled Rose and In Lieu of Preschool where we will each be sharing fun and educational bath times for preschoolers focused on a particular subject or skill.
This week our focus is on the letters of the alphabet, so we each have ALPHA-BATHS to share with you! Read all about my alphabet bath activity here and then hop over to Growing a Jeweled Rose to read all about hers!
To set up our alpha-bath, I used foam craft sticks and foam craft sheets I found at Michael’s craft store to create a letter-building bath activity for Luke and Lilah.
The only thing I had to do ahead of time was to cut the 6″ x 9″ foam craft sheets into fourths and write all the uppercase letters that use only straight lines on them with a permanent marker — A, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, T, V, W, X, Y, and Z.
Before bath time – or shower time in this particular case – I stuck the written letters onto the shower walls. Under each written letter, I used the craft sticks to actually build the letter. Foam sticks to things when wet–tile, glass, other foam, etc. and you can set up your activity in either a bath or shower setting!
After having played with our Halloween Shower Art for several days, the kids were super excited when I told them I had a new shower play setup for them.
They went in with shrieks and giggles, and immediately began taking letters apart and rebuilding them. The written letters acted as a guide to show L&L how to build the letters using the craft sticks on their own.
Lilah, age 3, was especially into the hands-on activity and built a lot of the letters over and over. She would let me show her how to do letters she was having trouble with and she’d try them again.
She was so excited to show me each one she built! I’d try to always say the letter aloud when she showed me to reinforce the connection between the letter’s name and how it looks in print.
Luke, age 4-1/2, who pretty much already knows how to write all his letters decided he’d just go ahead and build his name.
Despite the letter “u” needing some curves, it actually turned out pretty well, and I was glad that the materials lent themselves to his creativity!
After our letter fun, both L&L went on to build things like stars, windows, and towers using not only the craft sticks, but the letter rectangles as well! Luke even threw in a little “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to go along with his star creation!
It’s always fun to invite kids to play with materials and see them use them in ways you didn’t expect!
This Letter-Building Alpha-Bath is an activity that can be reused many, many times. I suggest for the first bath time that the kids be allowed to play with the materials a bit on their own. Once they’ve had a chance to fully explore the materials, it will be easier to introduce games and additional learning activities you’d like them to try during future bath times.
MORE Ideas for Using the Letter Building Alpha-Bath Materials:
*Call out a letter for your child to find and/or build.
*Build a letter yourself and have your child name it.
*If the original activity includes too many pieces or is too overwhelming for your child, focus on only a few letters at a time.
*Ask your child to build the letter using a certain color of craft sticks.
*If your child is a beginning reader, build some simple phonics words and have them read them — HAM, LET, FAN, HAT, MAT, FAT, MAN, MET, NET, KIT, HIT, LIT, FIX, YAM… Alternatively, call out words for him/her to build.
*If your child is a more advanced beginning reader, build some phonics words that have a silent “e” and have them practice reading them or call out words for him/her to build — LIFE, KITE, MATE, FATE, HATE, MANE, MAKE, MALE, TAKE, WAKE… Alternatively, call out words for him/her to build
*Use all the foam materials just for building.
Want to know where the curves are? This post was all about how to make straight line letters. Stay tuned for a future post where I will show you another fun and educational bath time letter-building activity where you can make ALL the letters of the alphabet!
L&L, ages 3 and 4, have been taking showers since they were infants and are as comfortable in the shower as they are in the bath. Would this shower play idea work in the bath instead? Absolutely!
Concerned about water conservation? Here’s a way to determine whether a bath or shower is “better” in your particular situation: Shower vs. Bath. This activity will easily work in both, so it’s really up to you!
Please Note: Anytime your child is in the bath or shower, close adult supervision is necessary. Foam pieces are not recommended for children who are still putting things in their mouth, as it is possible to bite chunks out of the foam. Also, beware giving your child pieces of foam that are small as they could be a choking hazard.
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