Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Writing Series - P,B and R


Summer is well on its way and so is our writing series! This week I've introduced how to write P, B and R (capital and lower case!). It was a lot of fun! My favorite part was the extra bonus activities that we got to do - make play dough, go to the beach and play in sand (and the dirt we didn't get to last week!).

I love the idea of the frog hop letters from Handwriting without Tears and the other little catch phrases that they use. If you don't have the pages that talk about these, check out this post (here) and get the pages. Big Sister will repeat the phrases as she writes "long line, little curve, little curve." Precious!


In case you are new, here are some links you'll need:
  • Summer Writing Plan (here)
  • handwriting page (here) - write "P   P   P   p   p   p" or "B   B   B   b   b   b" or "R   R   R   r   r   r" and be careful of all extra links/downloads.


Here we go!  Here's what we did this week:


The Letter P:




After learning about how to make the letter P, we practiced writing.

Then we made some play dough so that we could form letters with the dough. Here is the recipe that I used, it's from my mom (a preschool teacher) who makes this recipe each month for her kids!

Home Make Play Dough (1 batch)

2 Cups sifted flour
1 Cup salt
2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
2 Cups water
2-4 Tablespoons oil (vegetable)
Food coloring

Mix cold. Mix over medium heat with a wooden spoon. Cook until thick. Hint: it is better to undercook this than over cook it. Cool slightly and knead on the counter.


Ok, we made a few modifications to this. I did not want all of it to be one color, so we made it colorless (which is actually a pretty sandy tan) and used 3 Tablespoons of oil. Then I divided the batch into 3 lumps. Working with one lump at a time, I put the desired amount of food coloring plus a drizzle of oil and mixed it up.

This is a great recipe to do with kids because if it gets messed up (and it's really hard to mess it up!) you haven't ruined dinner! She helped by pouring ingredients, sifting,  mixing and kneading (once it cooled quite a bit!).








After we made the play dough, we used it to form the letter P on a paper. We realized that the paper soaked up quite a bit of the oil so we discontinued that and just made letters on the table. After we made a few "P"s we made all sorts of letters. My goal was not just formation of the letter P, but a fun experience with forming any letter.






Then we did the letter B!


B is a letter that we've needed to work on for a while now. Our last name starts with B and her B's looked...well... not quite right! She even said one day, "I wrote a B, but it doesn't look like a B!" This was a good one to practice and she got it quickly.



She was very excited to write in the sand. Sand play is one of her most favorite things to do outside. This was quite a bit easier to do than the play dough making. All I did was pour some sand in an old frisbee and let her write. I knew it wouldn't hold her attention for a long time since she is used to all kinds of toys in the sand, but I didn't want it to be something that took forever. Just a quick, easy and fun writing activity.





Finally this week, we focused on R!


R was very similar to B and P so by the time we got to this, it was a breeze!  But she was excited about the rocks! My original plan was to put shells on the R after we went to the beach, but that plan got changed. I had a bowl of rocks, so we modified our plan. I really wanted to use fish tank gravel, but couldn't find our old bag of gravel, so I made a smaller R and let her go to town.


One thing I want to point out is that Big Sister is writing with a broken crayon. I've heard for years that writing with broken crayons is a great way to teach and reinforce proper grasp of writing instruments. Here is a link to an article by an Occupational Therapist (here).




Our Field Trip this week was to the beach! I originally wanted to go to an ocean beach, but some friends of ours were camping and there's a river at the camp grounds. We went and played at the "beach" and splashed in the water. Just as much fun (but no seashells)! Plus we got to go tubing! If you are in the central Florida area, Kelly Park is wonderful! Check out this post from the last time we were there (here).






If you don't want to go to the beach for B you can make pizza with pepperonis for P (you could even get a small "p" cookie cutter and cut out Ps from the pepperonis to put all over the pizza. Or you can go roller skating or visit a farm to see roosters for R. What ever you end up doing, have fun!


Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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