There is this wonderful children’s shop in my neighborhood called Once Upon A Time. The owner has a Montessori background. I was thrilled when I found various baskets of Safari Toob’s throughout her store. In other words, I didn’t have to buy the whole Arctic Toob if I just wanted a walrus. I quickly snagged up figurines that I could recall off the top of my head were included in a beautiful set of Animal Track ABC Cards I purchased recently from Etsy (thank you Pinterest for this one!). I didn’t worry about covering the whole alphabet, just grabbed enough for my 3 year old to get a good learning activity out of it.
I placed the figurines and the set of cards in a small basket on my boys’ play room shelves. I waited until the next morning for him to discover it. He did promptly as to be expected by most curious 3 year olds!
He immediately started perusing the cards and we talked about the letter sounds, the animal tracks and how they matched up. Then he grabbed the frog figurine and said, “F-F-F-R-O-G” sounding out the “F”, then he rummaged through the cards and found the “F” card representing the Frog tracks. He didn’t stop there. In fact he didn’t stop until he had matched up all 8 animals to their respective cards.
This activity is great because it is holistic, adding several layers to a child’s learning. First we have learning letters, then we add phonetics and on top of those lessons we have matching those sounds with letters and subsequently an animal and his tracks. Matching is great for developing basic reasoning skills. The best part is that the activity is fun for young children as they explore and discover the animals, they are learning sounds.
Thank you for reading!
Learning letters and phonetic sounds is so important for early readers. Here are some other fun pre-reading activities for kids: