When I presented this activity to the smalls, they were intrigued. They had no idea what this was all about. All they new is that it looked like a whole lot of fun. We have hens in our back yard and the kids watch them scratch and peck everyday. They know that’s what chickens do to find food…that’s their work. When I suggested to them that we could do a little scratchin’ work ourselves to practice our letter-writing skills, their “feathers” plucked right up!
I gave each child a plastic plate with dividers. I purchased these plates at Walmart for just over a dollar apiece. I put vowel tiles in one “yard” and consonants in the other. The tiles came from a word game similar to Bananagrams. If you have a Scrabble or Scrabble Jr. game, you could use those tiles. If you find yourself without word any of these resources, you could certainly make tiles with card stock or cardboard.
I used Cream of Wheat cereal for the “scratch”…as I had accidentally poured a box of this cereal into a jar that still had a soapy film on it. The porridge was compromised! However, it made a great medium for scratching! You could use many other different things from your pantry or craft supplies… I gave some of the children just plain ol’ plastic chickens for scratching our their letters. I also made a “chicken pencil” so the children could practice their pencil-holding skills without taking the fun out of it!I used a Fisher Price Little People hen, and a rod from the Trio blocks, a scrapbooking glue dot, and some tape.
Before we got started with our writing, I let them in on the other meaning of the phrase, “chicken scratch.” I told them that sometimes people call messy, illegible hand-writing “chicken scratch!” They thought this was pretty funny.
Then the smalls got busy. And they loved it! The readers and spellers in the group formed words with their tiles and copied them into the grit…The non-spellers can choose tiles from their yards and scratch them into the grit as well. It’s all about practice!My 6 yr old son was the most excited about this activity. He loves to read and spell and sound things out. He found word after word, and just kept on scratchin’ them out.I love it when he sticks out his tongue to concentrate. Too funny.
When the smalls were finished with spelling and writing practice, I allowed them to play freely in the grit with their chickens. The activity turned into another half hour of play. All kinds of imaginary things went on at my kitchen table with those chickens. And I got to just listen. What a glorious thing…to listen in on children’s’ play! It was a great way to spend an afternoon, that’s for sure.
And now it’s your turn to have some fun! It’s Weekly Kid’s Co-op and there are so many ideas already linked up with us! Feel free to click the link below and browse through the great blogs, or link up your blog so we can see what you’ve been up to! Thank you for coming to play with us this week! Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes