One of the many advantages of growing up the daughter of a cabinet maker is that when I need something wood related my dad is always more than willing to take care of it for me. So instead of going to the craft store and buying a ton of one inch square wooden tiles for several cents a piece, I just call up my dad and he uses the scraps at his shop, which costs me zilch. Plus, I get to be really specific. “Two hundred one inch square wooden tiles, 1/4 in thick, please.” I could have even specified the kind of wood. He replies, “Of course. How ’bout I cut you three hundred, instead? You can pick them up from the house this weekend.”
These are the same tiles I used for the banner picture on the header of Stay At Home Educator. They are the same tiles I use for the profile picture on my Facebook page. They are the same tiles I use for so many fun literacy games. I bet you can’t wait to hear about all of them!
This activity is for building letter recognition skills. Before you begin, spill out the letters on a tray, separating the letters that are unfamiliar. The object of the game is simple. Take turns building a tower of letter tiles.
The catch is that for a letter to be added to the tower it must first be named. I used both upper and lower case letters because part of letter identification is discriminating between the cases and also between look alike letters. If the name is incorrect, the player does not add a tile to the tower and it is the next players turn.
The tower continues to get taller ans taller until it tumbles over. Of course this is William’s favorite part of the game, but the notion of building a tower until it falls over motivates him to play again and again, which means he is practicing his letter naming skills again and again.
The game ends when a tower topples over. There are two ways to determine the winner of the game. The winner can be determined by the tallest tower, or by the last tower standing despite its height. Choose the one that best fits your child. For William and I, there was little to no competition in our game, so we ended it when the first tower fell.
Just a note, while my dad did cut about three hundred tiles for me (honestly, I didn’t count them), I did not use all three hundred tiles to play. I used only a couple of handfuls. Too many letters could have been too overwhelming. As with any activity, it is so important to keep in mind how your little person will respond. Some tweaking will be necessary for success and I’m sure that as William gets older and more confident in his letter naming and fine motor capabilities I will need to adjust the parameters of the game to make it more suitable for my growing little guy.