Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It Looked Like Such a Fun, Simple Learning Tool

(First off I want to begin with a huge Thank You to all who have prayed for James and Isaac and commented offering your best wishes.  I know that James appreciates all the prayers that are being offered up on their behalf!  Thank you!!)


Until now, I haven’t tried too hard to teach Hannah how to recognize or print her numbers or letters.  As our fall schedule is coming together I’ve decided to try and focus on a letter or number each week to begin teaching her how to recognize them and also write them in possible.  I won’t stress over it but I feel she’s ready to at least begin trying and we’ll see what happens.  I think it’s going to be just fine as tonight on the way home I asked her what letter we were talking about yesterday and she excitedly shouted out ‘A’ and she was right!

With these things in mind I’ve been doing some searching on Pinterest and found a number of great ideas of activities Hannah and I can do together to learn her letters and numbers.  (If you haven’t found Pinterest it’s AMAZING and a wonderful resource for more great ideas then you can begin to imagine!  If you’d like an invitation please leave your email address in the comments area and let me know that you’d like an invitation. 

One of the fun ideas I pinned recently from another website was a little concoction of hair gel, food colouring and glitter in a gallon Ziploc bag that can be used to practice drawing letters, numbers and other pictures.  Hannah and I had fun buying the things we needed yesterday and then making the activity bag in the evening.IMG_2327

We used a 1 gallon bag, added a bottle of hair gel (from the $ store), a few drops of food colouring and sparkles found at Michael’s.  Less then $3 in total and lots of fun to be had.

The idea for the bag is to lay it on the table and let Hannah practice drawing letters and numbers.  The website showed a cute little 2yo doing that; drawing letters and lines, so contentedly.  Heh!

When I first put it on her tray she did show off her skills of drawing a ‘long stick, long stick, short stick’ (otherwise known to the common world as the letter ‘H’) but then after that she was all Hannah!


Oh yes, this will be a supervised activity and hopefully she won’t try opening the bag anytime soon!  That being said, when supper was finished tonight she asked for her sparkle bag to draw a letter ‘A’!  Way to go Shaoey!!


  1. Ooof! We've done a lot of "in theory" activities that haven't worked out so well either. Oh well! At least we try and the kids have fun!

  2. Hi Catherine,
    Can you send me an invitation to Pinterest. I love the idea of the gel pack--I think we'll give this a try this weekend. This will definitely have to be a supervised activity with Mommy, as I know Charlotte will immediately try to open the bag.

    Charlotte would love another play date with Hannah. We're fairly busy on weekends until we close the cottage late in October, but perhaps we could plan a date for sometime late in the fall.

  3. Love it! We did a gel pack to make an ocean and we filled it with sea shells and other things we might find in the ocean....then the bag got opened. LOL! The ocean spilled all over!

    I am trying SO hard to stay away from Pinterest but I keep seeing things that say I should sign up. :o

  4. Using a keyboard helped my kids with their letters. I would put them on plain old Microsoft Word & they would ask me how to spell things. Searching for the letters on the keyboard helped them with recognition.

  5. What she is showing you in the video is that she is not ready for this activity. Letters by themselves at this age do not connect with anything. There are many picture books with the alphabet that connect objects beginning with, for example, A, and the sound the A makes. You can also sit with her with magazines and look at pictures and cut them out and make a book.

  6. I think it looks fun! I'm going to try it just because it's pretty. Who cares whether she's not ready or not connecting letters to anything? It's fun!

  7. Funny!! I like the "in theory" projects. You'd never find the awesome ones if you didn't test them all, right? Hee, that's what I say when I see pictures of the shaving cream incident at our house. Remember that one? Oh my.

  8. for Ben it was the foam bath letters that did it. fast. loved making "words" on the wall by sticking the letters up there and really loved finding his friends in the bubble filled water...find D for Danny! Find M for Molly!

  9. Looks like fun. Will have to check it out for Meigan, although like most things we do I'm sure it will end up in a mess. :)

    I got fridge letter phonics (although we're always missing most of them) which Meigan really loves.
    Also have a Melissa and Doug alphabet puzzle which she also loves. Each letter has a corresponding pic so when Meigan sees the letter W (for example) she yells out Watermelon!


  10. Suggestion:

    Add a container for each letter, as you focus on it, e.g. bag/box, can, mitten(sew/knit a big one), pail, sock. In a few years, when Hannah is ready for sounds, you can repeat the letters by finding small objects to put in the container(s)- e.g. Bb = ball, bell, banana, bird, bean . . .

    After just 2 letters, you will have a sorting game. She can put the small objects in the correct containers. Use a big drawstring bag, or whatever, to make it into a portable activity.

    Good luck, Catherine. You clearly have the ability, intention, and means to provide Hannah with a great education!

  11. She is growing up so fast! I love how creative you are!


  12. LOVE this video... watching Hannah is a joy, but hearing YOUR enjoyment of watching her is even better!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  13. She will be writing out the alphabet before you know it!

  14. Hi Catherine.

    So cute! I would love to find out more about Pinterest. Would you please send me an invite?

    Dee Dee


  15. Yep... In theory is my parenting slogan :)
    Our eldest loved the foam bath letters and bathtub crayons (I loved the quick cleanup!)
    Would you send me an invite to Pinterest? Anatmartinezatgmaildotcom
    Thanks sooo much!

  16. Good to see it worked....the in theory stuff can sometimes give me gray hairs or surprise me or a bit of both. I have this on my to-do list. DEFINITELY going to tape the top shut with clear packing tape.

    Keep smilin!

  17. We used to make ziploc bags of toothpaste so the kids could make an ocean with fish stickers on the outside. We used strapping tape to tape along the top. It has the little "ribs" in it. This glitter project looks really cool! And I saw Hannah's letters in the most recent post! She's GOOD!

  18. Hi Catherine, I read your blog all the time, we have a almost 5 year old from Yunnan Province. I thought Hannah did a wonderful job, I always get so excited and shocked at the amazing things my daughter can do. Would you be able to send me an invite to Pinterest, I've seen this site mentioned all the time lately and I really want to check it out now. I love your blog, and I love to see how much you really appreciate Hannah.

  19. Hi Carmen,

    I'd be happy to send you an invitation. Can you please email your email addy to me?



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