We've made ones with different themes, including winter, summer, a candy village, and more. A while back we even made an ABC Raceway. This time we took some inspiration from some other ideas we've seen on the inernet and created a Letter Match Racecar Village.
A few blogs have been posting great ideas for using racecars with the alphabet. Playdough to Plato, has previously posted several fun ways to learn with racecars. Great ideas include using racecars to learn to read, recognize sight words, and blend letter sounds into words. Fantastic Fun and Learning also used racecars to practice learning to spell names. Reading these posts this last year and Big Brother's current interest in the alphabet inspired me to create our village.
The materials are simple: large paper, white sticker dots, and permanent marker.
On the sticker dots I wrote all the capital letters and placed them onto the top of different toy cars. On the paper I drew a lowercase alphabet "parking lot" along the side and top of the village. I then drew houses with different family names and words which Big Brother has been wanting to read and spell: his name and his brother's, which I edited in this image, pet names, a few sight words, etc.
The idea was that he would match the capital letter cars to the lowercase letter parking lot spots, as well as match the cars to the words in the houses.
He was instantly intrigued and engaged and started lining the cars up in their places without any suggestions from me.
He also quickly realized we needed extra letters so we could fill all the houses with the right letter cars and had me make some extra stickers for cars of his choice.
Cars took turns leaving the parking lot and driving along the roads to the houses and buildings.
I often evaluate play projects by how long it engages Big Brother; his play with the village went on for over an hour. I loved listening to all his self-talk while I made dinner. The cars spoke to each other by letter name, called out to each other when needed, and were sent back to the parking lot when it was their time. We rolled up the paper and saved it for another day when he was done.
What are some ways you help kids practice the alphabet through play?
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