Alphabet Goo

May 30, 2012

Kids love Water Beads. They are sensory, squishy, bouncy, colourful, rolly-poly balls of fun!

Generally when the kids are done playing with them though, they don't really resemble balls any more. They are much closer to GOO!

So, what to do with them once they are mush? The easiest thing of all is just to throw them on the garden. They will dry up and disappear, BUT, if you'd prefer to get one last activity out of them, why not try this?

crushed water beads, letter activity
Alphabet Goo! Add some basic letter recognition learning to this fine motor, sensory activity.

The invitation to play. 
Bowl of crushed water beads with magnetic letters inside. Tweezers for grabbing. Bowl of water for cleaning. Tea towel for drying.

Practicing fine motor skills using the tongs/tweezers to find and grab out the letters.
It's fun but tricky thanks to the slippery, slimy goo.

Cleaning the letters. Swirling the water round and round.

Drying the letters with the tea towel

Discuss the found letters. Do they know any of the names? Sounds? Words beginning with? etc

Ditching the tweezers, time to squish the goo between your fingers

I turned my back and guess what? 
Now all the water from the cleaning container is in with the crushed water beads!

She loved swirling it round and round and round with a spoon.

Adding a plastic cup to the goo soup! Lots of filling and pouring. 
It's fun to watch the chunky bits plop back into the mixture.

Handy Tips:

- Simplify this activity by enjoying the sensory and fine motor components but don't put such a huge focus on the letter learning. If your child doesn't know any letters or sounds yet, there is still no harm in letting them search for them and just telling them what they've found.

- Extend this activity by including letters of basic (or more advanced) words. Have the child find, wash and dry the letters and then see how many words they can make from them.

- Mix Up this activity by including different objects to hide in the goo. Numbers, animals, coloured buttons, whatever.. it's up to you and what you're wanting to focus on.

- Some children aren't into the messy, gooey stuff which is why you'd include the tweezers/small tongs. This allows them to still play/learn without getting messy.

-Talk with your child about the process and order. "Which comes first? Drying the letters or washing them?" etc. 

- Listen to your child talk as they go through their experiences. This will help you determine where they are at with their learning, knowledge and understanding and help you to develop the activity (or future activities) to their level and interests.

***Water Beads should not be ingested so parental supervision with children who might be tempted to eat them is required***

Debs :)

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