Whether you are home-schooling or teaching in the early learning classroom, alphabet stones can be a starting point for you as you teach letter and phonological awareness to your children. Below are thoughts for supporting your learner in a play-based, hands-on way!
First, line the stones up in ABC order. This will take some time for preschoolers, so allow time for them to work through the alphabet. Once they have aligned their stones, have them pick a stone and practice writing the beginning letter that is associated with the stone. I have purposefully not lettered the stones so children can look at them and possibly identify different letters: ie–Eggs for the Letter E could also be a nest for the Letter N.
If your child is just beginning to show an interest in learning letters, give them an opportunity to experience the letter shapes before asking them to learn to write them. Remember–you are always working on large muscles first, before moving to small muscles. Examples of letter activities to strengthen hand and finger muscles might include rolling logs with playdough to piece together into letter shapes. Perhaps you have a set of tabletop blocks that they can build letters out of blocks. You can even give them a tray of colored sand or shaving cream (or whipped cream!) and let them use their fingers to write the letter in medium you have chosen.
After you have taken a break, you can go back later in the day and extend the letter learning once more by taking your child on a letter scavenger hunt. Look through your house for items that begin with the letter you have selected for study.
If you buy a set of Alphabet Stones and wish to receive letter cards for matching the stones to the letters, let me known and I will email you a set you can print out.
Last but not least, as you work on a letter, begin a “dictionary” by writing down the words that your child can think up that begin with the letter. For example, on the letter A, you might on your scavenger hunt find an Apple, or applesauce, or a picture of an airplane. You get the idea. Every time your child thinks of a new word, it goes onto his/her list so you can read it together as you go.
Hope you have fun on the scavenger hunt and if you take a nature walk as you go on your letter hunt, all the better!