Recently I was
indulging in my craft addiction trying not to buy out the store visiting a fabric/craft store, and noticed they had those plastic easter eggs on sale. I snapped up a couple of packages, because, as you know, they can be used in a variety of fun ways to promote early literacy and reading skills. Wait – you DIDN’T know? Oh boy, are YOU in for a treat.
Here are just a couple ways you can use those plastic eggs:
• Fill them with beans or rice (or beans AND rice) to make your own shaker eggs. Remember to tape them shut with duct tape (I bought the shiny silver stuff to go with my shiny eggs) or other strong tape that cannot be easily pried off by little hands. And, of course, only let kids use these with supervision – if they DO manage to get the eggs open, the rice and beans are a choking hazard. But what fun to shake out a rhythm while reciting a rhyme, breaking words up into syllables, reading a chanting story, singing a song, or just dancing to the music of your favorite cd! Shaking the eggs helps a child (and adult) slow down their speech so that they can more easily hear the smaller sounds in words.
• For older kids who are starting to learn to put letter and word sounds together, you can stick letters on the eggs to create “word families”: c, b, h, on one half of the egg, and “at” on the other side. Kids can position the halves to make different words and practice their different onset rimes (the first sound of the word): c-at, b-at, h-at. They’re also learning about rhyming words! Here’s a great description of how to make these. You can also make these out of paint chips from the hardware store or out of paper plates.
What a fun and easy (and inexpensive) way to build language skills!