Communication skills ranging from basics like learning letters and words to expanding their ability to engage in conversations are fundamentally important for supporting both academic and eventual career success . Activities that encourage kids to physically create letters help promote reading and writing skills, and parent-child conversation during shared activities can lead to vocabulary growth. The alphabet is a big part of the educational curriculum, and sometimes it can be difficult to make the concept of writing fun and engaging. This activity does away with tricky writing utensils and the permanency of marks on paper by allowing kids to practice their ABCs with a more freeform, hands-on approach using Play-Doh compound. During the activity, talking can help develop a young child’s vocabulary and stimulate conversational skills like turn-taking and sharing ideas.
What you'll need
What to do
Provide the visual to your child and decide together which letter to explore
Encourage them to recreate the lines in the letter using their favorite Play-Doh color
Try building familiar words or making their name. Make sure to talk through the activity as they go; see below for some conversation starters
Talk a lot and use “adult” words to help your child expand their understanding of new words. Encourage conversational skills by talking through the different colors, textures, and shapes that make up the letters. Engage kids by providing positive commentary and asking questions to prompt further thinking, such as:
- Does the letter have curvy or straight lines?
- Which letters have holes and which ones do not?
- "Look! There's red, blue, yellow, and white!"
- "Wow! You made a circle!"
- "Hey! That looks like a snake!"
Try making meaningful connections by personalizing your child's exploration of letters. Link your activity to their names, favorite things to do, or family members.
Potential Benefits of This Activity
- With your participation and incorporating the “Fun Tips,” this activity can give kids opportunities to explore a variety of concepts and work on valuable skills, including:
Essential Communication Skills
- Holding an engaged conversation with a parent during a joint activity
- Listening to child-directed talk by a parent can build understanding of new words
- Practicing using new words discovered by listening to a parent
- Recognizing letters of the alphabet
- Identifying the letters in their own names and in sight words
- Forming and imitating familiar letters