A few weeks ago I attended a training on early childhood reading. One of the topics discussed was that kids have different ways of learning, but too often we only use one format of teaching the ABCs in preschool. Most of us preschool teachers hold up a card with, for example, the letter “A” on it, and then tell our preschoolers “This is the letter A”. We talk about things that start with the letter A, like apple and ant. We read books filled with words starting with the letter. We even make wonderful A inspired crafts with our kiddos. The problem is we are teaching in a way that is only beneficial to visual learners, or kids who learn through pictures and images. Flashcards do nothing for a tactile learner, a child who needs to manipulate and touch objects to learn.
During the training, one of the speakers suggested making flashcards out of sandpaper to help tactile learners learn the alphabet. I love this idea, but decided to take it one step further for my class of 2 year olds. I decided to make 3-D letters, with two types of surfaces on each side.
Tactile Learner Alphabet Set
Here’s how I made my letters:
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How to Make Letters to Help Tactile Learners
Step 1: Paint the letter in all black chalkboard paint.
Step 2: Trace the letter on a piece of sandpaper.
Step 3: Cut out the letter from the sandpaper.
Step 4: Glue the cutout letter onto the painted wooden letter.
Step 5: Once the sandpaper is dry, trip the sandpaper using an XACTO-knife.
I made the first 4 letters of the alphabet for my little class, and brought them to school.
When we were learning the letter “A”, my lead teacher and I brought out the “A” I had made. During circle time, we passed around the letter so each of our toddlers could have a turn flipping the letter around in their hand, and touching the sandpaper. I could really tell which ones were tactile learners! They anxiously waited for their turn, and spent a little more time with the letter than their peers. Each time we brought out the letter, the tactile learners reached out to hold it. I love that we’ve found a way to help our little tactile learners! I know their experience in preschool will help build a love of learning!
Free Toy Car Preschool Math Activity!
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