When I posted about my handmade Moveable Alphabet I got a great response from Anna challenging me to make myself some Sandpaper Letters (which hasn't quite happened yet ;) & also talking about creating a salt tray. Now, ages ago I had a polenta tray but it didn't ever take off but I was totally inspired again & had this set up within 2 minutes of reading her comment!
A white ceramic baking dish lined with a piece of A4 coloured paper (to create a contrast with the dish) trimmed to fit. Next came a mass of salt. Voila!
I wanted to determine which letters Hug actually recognised in the lower case. I started alphabetically & slowly went through the first 3 letters: trace letter myself, ask Hug if he knows this letter (we're talking about phonetics here), ask him to trace the letter himself, re-present letter if he didn't draw it correctly (he has an inclination to draw them from the bottom instead of the top). Anyway, after the 3rd letter he had had enough.
Hmmm, what to do?! I gave him 5 minutes & then asked him to come back & just do another 3 letters. This time I stuck more closely to my objective: discovering which lower case letters he recognises. So, no, it wasn't the time to correct (note to self: no correcting!) or even get him to trace each letter. We managed to make it through all of the letters & the only one he got stuck on was the 'q' (he did also mix up the 'b' in the first session calling it 'd') so I was very impressed. When I gave him the sound for 'q' (kwe) he sparked & drew me a capital Q so it was good to see that connection too. While I originally planned to do some matching of the lowercase and capitals I've decided not to as I'm trying to downplay the capitals for now.
After my work with Hug I let Lovely (who was watching) have a play in the tray & then showed him how to draw a 'l' before we packed up. He's lucky to have such an easy letter to start with!
Here's his straightest one :)
Later that night we practised drawing 'l's on a piece of paper together (yup, a bunch of stripes!) & repeating the 'luh' sound each time we did one. The next day I also set up a sound tray with a glitter letter 'l' on card (so not a long-term solution as the glitter comes of so easily when they go over it) and a bowl of 'l' items (a photo of him, a toy leopard, a light, a lid and a ladybug). His first real language lesson! I have no plans to rush him onto more. I really plan to sit with Practical Life and Sensorial this year but I'm also open to what he wants to do so we'll see!