When you think of a vivid memory in your life, you can probably associate it with a visual image in your mind. But do you also remember a smell, a feeling, a sound or even a taste associated with that event? When kids experience new learning using many of their senses, they are more likely to remember it. The best learning experiences include more than just seeing and hearing the material. For emergent writers, letter learning should always begin with multisensory experiences. Next time you’re talking about letters at home, try to help your child activate as many senses as possible so the learning will really stick. Here are a few easy ideas to try…
1. Use texture: Dump some salt on a plate and write letters to activate the sense of touch. Or try writing letters on sandpaper.
2. Use food: When letters taste good, they are much more memorable! Form letters using bread dough and bake them. Or cookie dough. Yum!
3. Use smell: Make scented playdough. My favorites are peppermint and lavender! Roll out some playdough snakes and make as many letters as you can.
4. Use movement: Try to form the letters using your hands, or lay on the floor and use your body. (For that one, you might need a few buddies to help.)
5. Use sound: Take turns making sounds and naming the corresponding letter.
If you want to know more, check out these resources on multisensory literacy learning: