Today, Benjamin and I had one of our lovely “home” days. And, being that we don’t get to spend much one-on-one time together, along with the fact that he’s still working on alphabet recognition, I had devised a special game that I’d been waiting to play with him. After Ryan took Jake to school, I settled on the kitchen floor with Benjamin, some playdough, and a book about the alphabet.
At first, Ben protested. He would’ve much rather played Super Mario Bros. OR, he would’ve rather taken a bath. OR.. just about anything else. He insisted he did not know how to build well. He did not know how to make letters. He wasn’t going to be able to win. He didn’t want to play my game. But, I mandated that he at least try.
I placed the book in front of him. I pointed to the first letter in the book, (the letter “A”, as you might have guessed…) and asked him to identify it. This is a letter he knows confidently, and he proudly proclaimed that it was in fact the letter “A” for alligator. He balked a bit as we started making the A-shape with the playdough, but I slowly showed him a few techniques that he was actually old enough to understand this time around. I showed him to roll the playdough into balls and then into long lines, and to shape after that. I discouraged him from tearing tiny pieces of playdough and smashing it as he always used to do. Before too long, Benjamin had a letter “A” that matched my own.
Ben continued to identify each letter in the book, and we looked together at the letters to determine how many long and short “sticks” they were made of, and made our building plans based off of that. We found a really effective building pattern:
Before too long, Ben was building his letters before I could get mine built. We got a little silly with the letter “G”. He thought it should have a mustache…
When we got to letter “M”, Ben looked at the picture and studied it closely.
And we decided that overall, the letter “M” is just really a difficult letter!
Overall, this turned out to be a really fun game. I decided, in line with the video game premise the boys seem to enjoy so much, that this will be “level 1”. Someday, we will play “level 2”, where we will make the letters without the help of the book. But for today, I couldn’t have asked for a better time with my little Benjamin. He was such a good sport!
(Dear readers, please excuse my lack of photography skills, including the camera strap in many photos, and the poor back drop placement. I swear the garbage is over flowing only because today was trash collection day, and the container outside was overflowing in anticipation… but thanks for reading despite all this!)