This week’s been all about the letter W in our house. Wondering why? (See what we did there!) Well not only is it the first letter of our little boy’s name, but it’s also the first letter of his favorite new game - Alphabet Goo; otherwise known as learning the alphabet with the help of squishy, slimy, colorful water beads. Thanks to the very smart Debs and her fantastic ‘Learn with Play at Home’ blog, this has been an absolute hit in our house all week.
So what’s the magic formula? It’s simple - the combination of dollar store water beads and alphabet magnets = Alphabet Goo!! The perfect way to start teaching basic letter recognition and hone fine motor skills with sensory activity.
Alphabet Goo Ingredients List
1 Bowl for the Beads
1 Pack of Water Beads
Several Magnetic Letters
Kitchen Tongs for Grabbing
Tea Towel for Drying the Letters
Use the instructions on the water bead packaging to mix up a large bowl of squishy water beads. Now drop your selected alphabet letters into the bead mix and give this a stir up. Now assemble the kitchen tongs for grabbing and the tea towel for drying.
Ok, let the fun begin! Let your little one loose with the tongs (or hands if they’re not into utensils yet). Tongs are great for practicing fine motor skills, all the slippery, slimy goo makes it tricky but fun to grab hold of the individual letters.
Once they’ve grabbed a letter have them dry the letter off with the tea towel and take a moment to discuss which letter that have rescued from the slimy gooey mess!
- Talk about if they recognize the letter.
- Do they know words that begin with this letter?
- Do they know what that letter sounds like?
- And in our case, if it’s the letter W, discuss the fact that this is the letter that their name starts with!
This is such a great activity for its sensory and fine motor components - just remember depending on your child’s age how much of a focus to put on letter learning. If your child doesn't know any letters or sounds yet, there’s no harm in letting them search for them the letters and just telling them what they've found.
If they’re that little bit older, then you can easily extend the fun by including letters of basic words. Have your child find the letters and then see how many words they can make with them. You can also mix up this activity by hiding different objects in the goo. Numbers, animals, colored buttons, whatever... it's up to you and what you want to focus on.
Hope you have as such fun as we did!
***Please remember that water beads should not be ingested so parental supervision with children who might be tempted to eat them is required***