Disappearing Letters

When I was a teacher, one of mine (and the children’s) favourite activity was water and paintbrushes. It is so simple it is laughable. Basically, I would put a huge bucket filled with water and some think paintbrushes – like you use when decorating your house –outside and they would go to town mark making shapes, patterns and letters.

With this in mind, I added a little twist to create disappearing letters. This activity is great for letter recognition or, if your child doesn’t know letter sounds yet developing an interest in letters. It also builds arm strength and develops gross motor skills. I chalked letters on the floor (we used the patio in the garden) the challenge was to make the letters disappear. We had squirty bottles filled with water as well as a large bucket of water and paintbrushes. This went down so well. To practise letterrecognition, I asked him to make specific letters disappear, but this isn’t necessary. First, he squirted the letters to try to make them disappear – this didn’t work so well – so then he took to painting over them with water to make them go away. The delight in his face when he squealed “it’s disappeared” after every letter was adorable. He was happy to do this over and over again making letter after letter disappear. Next time I am going to chalk the letters on a vertical surface to make it a different activity but also to develop their core muscles as the upright posture engages abdominal and back muscles. Mark making vertically also extends the wrists which encourages proper pen grip as well as developing the shoulder and elbow strength.

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