Preschool and Toddler Age

Putting fun into letters and mark making! 


Teddy is now getting to be a big 3 and fast approaching 4!

At 3 1/2 he surprised me as he showed an interest in letters in a nursery session. He was then given the first set of phonics to try and practice at home. I was quite surprised that he had been given them this early, but they explained they’re only given out if children request an interest. We feel this is a really good way to do it, so the children who aren’t interested aren’t being pushed to produce their name before September. We looked at the letters a couple of times at home when he wanted to and then his interests drifted so we let it go for now.
He is currently recognising ‘T’ everywhere we go and that’s as far as we have got. This is fine as we don’t want him to be sat down parrot fashion learning letters at such a young age.
I remember with my eldest when he was at nursery lots of parents would stress a little for the need for 3 and 4 year olds to be showing an interest in letter formation to write their own names and other words in preparation for school. My big two have both been able to recognise and write their name by the September they enter school, and this is not something we have stressed over them achieving. We have just encouraged them so they can find their coat pegs, write on art work etc. Daisy did start to read a little before Reception as her preschool had encouraged it in the last term, and she is a winter born so one of the older ones in her year.
As a family we feel that nursery should be all about learning through play and doing things like mark making for the early stages of letter formation and learning. Reception after all is still the foundation stage and so is totally the right time to be introducing phonics and writing formation ready for year one at school.
We are encouraging Teddy with his fine motor skills as he’s always struggled to do fiddly things with his fingers, and so his independence in dressing himself is perhaps a little slower than others. We have found a few activities here and there such as using scissors or lacing when we have time and he’s wanting to. As he’s such a keen spotter of his letter ‘T’ we have found ways to make it fun!
Here is our mark making as we’re at home and out and about, we hope it inspires you and your little one to give it a go, as little and often can make a big impact over time.

Motherhood The Real Deal

20 thoughts on “Putting fun into letters and mark making! ”

  1. oh my goodness what lovely ideas, and you know it’s Literacy Day today too right?
    I found that bath crayons were great for my two – the freedom to know that they could be scrubbed out if they wrote it ‘wrong’ – such a fear for kids – love your soup btw!

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  2. I too think that learning should be fun and not pushed onto the really little ones but like you I gently encouraged a bit of letter learning in the preschool year mostly messing around with some lettered stacking blocks and foam bath letters.

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  3. I have found my three children all so different when it comes to reading and writing. My daughter, my eldest,could read and write really well even before she started reception. Aged 3, she suddenly started working out letters and words by herself and it wasn’t long before she could read. My middle child is almost 6 and loves having stories but doesn’t like reading at all so we try to do it in fun ways that appeal to his kinesthetic way of learning. My third child is just starting to recognise a couple of letters so we are encouraging that in fun ways but not going to push it.

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  4. My daughter is obsessed with the alphabet. She showed an interest in it at nursery too last year and now she knows every letter and can write a few of them down. I think its so much better to encourage them when they want to know. If you tried to get her to do maths she would probably run away. Numbers are not for her! 🙂 I love your idea of using letters in the bath and using a magnetic tray. That’s brilliant! 😀 x

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