Autumn is many people’s favourite season thanks to the colourful, crunching leaves and exciting events such as Bonfire Night, and you can draw inspiration from nature to help encourage your child with reading, writing and letter recognition. Home Education blog The Imagination Tree, has a big focus on learning through sensory play, for example this autumnal salt tray for practising letter writing, fine motor skills and pen control and the alphabet pumpkin to inspire letter matching and recognition games. There are several items found in nature that can be used as a medium for letter learning, for example fallen leaves can be written on for spelling out names and sight words and small conkers and pebbles can be used to form letters against coloured paper or flash cards. The advantage of using these items for letter practise is that adding a sensory element keeps younger children interested and allows children to learn letters even if they don’t yet have the fine motor skills for holding a pencil properly.
If you don’t get round to gathering leaves and other natural items for creating letter games, you can just cut out shapes such as pumpkins and acorns and write letters on them to spell out words or make a letter collage by cutting out photos from magazines and grouping them by the letter they begin with. As story telling is such an important part of learning, you could wrap up and head outside to play out a story, for example, if your children love ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, you could play in the ‘long wavy grass’ and find mud to stomp through (in suitable shoes, of course!), or gather the ingredients for the new broom at the end of ‘Room on the Broom’.
My Word Buddy can be used any time of the year so if it is too cold and rainy for your children to play outside they can still use it to practise new words whenever and wherever they want. As they get settled into their new classes in autumn, our app can help them to learn to read phonetically at their own pace and to stay motivated all year round.