building words outside, on the fly, WordWorld-style
We were chatting about the trees, about Brady, and about our neighbor’s new puppy when she found a sick on the front porch.
LOOK MOMMY!!! It’s a ‘V’ for ‘Vinny’!!
Thank goodness for Cora’s little preschool buddy Vinny for giving her a reason to learn the letter ‘V’, right?
And so began our quickie search for letters, simple word-building, and practice with letters and sounds–just another teeny bit of proof that all parents need is one little spark to sneak in some natural, real-life, meaningful learning into our kids’ days.
- Building Words Outside: After Cora found her ‘V’ for Vinny, I said, You are so correct, Cora! That IS a ‘V’, and your buddy Vinny’s name does start with ‘V’. You are so smart! What other words do you know that start with ‘V’? Can you think of any?
Cora finds a ‘V’ outside!
She immediately said, LOVE! Love starts with ‘V’!
I told her, Let’s say ‘love’ together, really slowly: lllllove. Love. What sound do you hear in the beginning of ‘love’?
She said, Oh, it’s an ‘L’–llll.
You’re right. ‘Love’ does start with an ‘L’ but there’s a ‘V’ hiding inside it. Can you hear it when I say it? Listen: loVe. Let’s spell it so you can see where the ‘V’ is in the word.
We have to find the letters L, O, and E to spell ‘love’. We already have the ‘V’. Let’s use our strong eyes to find them.
We searched around–and what I realized, though I recall very vividly doing this very same thing with Maddy (and possibly Owen) way back when we had a crazy squirrel family in our back yard, Cora was too young. She would have just been close to two then, but now, as a four-year-old, she’s totally ready for this kind of learning.
As we found each letter, we placed it on the cement. Cora held onto the ‘V’ until the end, and she put it right where it belonged–in the word ‘love’.
But Cora wasn’t finished. She continued looking for letters even after we spelled ‘love’. She said, I found an ‘I’ and a ‘C’! What does this spell: L-O-V-E-I-C?
It doesn’t spell anything, my little friend. But I know another word we can spell with the letter ‘C’–do you know one?
That’s exactly what I was thinking–so what letters do we need to spell ‘Cora’?
Cora still makes her ‘A’ upside down–even with sticks–but she’s working on it!
She knew–immediately (woo-hoo!)–and started searching for the ‘O’, ‘R’, and ‘A’.
She said, The ‘R’ will be so hard to find because that’s the hardest letter to make. I told her we’d see what we could do and that sticks come in all sizes and shapes.
Hooray! We did it–we ‘built’ Cora’s name outside!
Cora moved her ‘C’ from the end of ‘love’ to a new spot, and I gave her the ‘O’ to place next to it. Then I made an ‘R’ out of sticks that I broke apart. She put her ‘V’ upside down and said, And here’s the ‘A’!
And that was that. We admired her name, and we stood there for a second or two, until Cora found the tulips in the garden and turned her attention to them. She played with one, pretended to be one, asked me to take pictures of her as a tulip, and we were soon on to the next thing–bath and bed.
It only was a matter of minutes–fun, natural time spent together–but capitalizing on this learning opportunity took very little effort on my part, and I’m sure it helped Cora better understand a few of her letters and letter sounds.
Though this wasn’t exactly WordWorld style, the natural learning that evolves in each of the WordWorld episodes is similar. Our family is a huge fan of WordWorld–and I look forward to sharing our experiences with the WordWorld eBooks and interactive site–totally worth checking out!
fyi: This post is sponsored by WordWorld. You can actually find a handful of awesome free eBooks and games on the WordWorld site, and find out more about WordWorld’s iPhone and iPad apps on their website as well. The opinions, activities, and ideas here are all my own.