Today E found her literacy mojo! The words just kept on coming! After having a fairly horrific morning in terms of tantrums, she surprised me coming up with a game where she sounded out words and I had to guess what it was. These were all 3-syllable words, that started simply enough, but she started coming out with gems like tuh-ax-ee: taxi! The final one was the best sss-oh-fff-ah:sofa. All by her little self!
I was then yahooing a friend about what we should do with the day, and she came up with going on a scavenger hunt round the city centre which you could download from the web. E then decided she needed to make ‘planet’ pictures, where she uses a chalky finger to colour inside a round biscuit cutter to make planets. She decided she wanted to write to my friend on yahoo to tell her we couldn’t go to her house yet as she wanted to do her pictures first. I had to wait agonisingly while she typed her message, with me spelling the words, while E found the right letters on the keyboard. This is quite a challenging game as of course all the letters on the keyboard are in capitals, and E thinks in little letters! She did amazingly well, but this then led to questions such as ‘why do I need to keep putting spaces in?’ so we talked about why we have spaces between words etc.
We never made it to doing the scavenger hunt, but have put this in the ‘things to do one day when we’re lost for ideas’ box!! We joined up with friends and they played the afternoon away! E did random dressing up, with the 3 big ones coming down in their outfits, then coming back down with all the outfits swapped over between them, and they spent a happy time digging up parts of our friends’ garden – sorry! They made allsorts of archaelogical discoveries including a milk bottle top and a tree root (treasure and a pipe, respectively!!). They also managed to fit in some numeracy by playing hide and seek, and at one point E and her friend were counting to 50 before going to ‘seek’! H and her friend played various doll games, then with their fab dolls house, and I read a dinosaur book and a selection of story books with them.
In the evening with B back from work, I was recapping the day, and was telling him about E’s 3-syllable-word-sounding-out game, so she jumped up and demonstrated her new skills! We had a couple of trial goes, then she turned into quiz-master, and we had to see which one of us could guess the word first! She came out with some corkers including com-pu-ter, puh-ic-cha:picture, cr-ah-bee:crabby (her favourite cuddly toy) etc etc. It was fab watching her looking round the room for inspiration, saying the word to herself, then coming out with the constituent parts! What was funny was that I had read about this game as one to play as a precursor to reading, and had meant to introduce it at some point…one more thing to tick off the list 😉
After we’d done this to exhaustion, I suggested playing hangman, which is a game E picked up at school, and we’ve played a few times at home as she really enjoys it. I asked B to be on her ‘team’ so that he could help her as she has a tendency to draw 10 letter spaces, so it just turns into a writing letters exercise rather than guess the word game. This time was a mega improvement. She chose the word herself ‘giraffe’ (which I wasn’t meant to know, but she sounded it out so many times to herself it was hard not to!!!), and B helped her do the right number of spaces. She did fantastically working out whether my guesses fitted in her word, particularly as B abandoned her to sort out tea halfway through the game! I had to write out ‘f’ and ‘g’ for her to copy as she couldn’t remember how to draw them, but interestingly I wrote ‘g’ and she wrote ‘G’. I then had a go, and had to give her a few clues with the letters to stop her getting bored, but she got there, and when we wrote the last letter in, she sounded it out and worked out what word it was!
What a starlet!