"See" the Alphabet with Your Body!

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What You Need:

  • Large sheet of newsprint, mounted on an easel or taped to a wall.
  • Tempera paint in three bright colors
  • Three brushes, one for each color of paint

What You Do:

  1. Start by setting up the easel, paints, and brushes.
  2. Have your child stand in front of you with her back to you. Explain that, although you usually practice letters by looking at them, you're going to try something different by "seeing" letters through the wisdom of your body!
  3. Explain that you're going to draw a simple letter with your finger on your child's back. Then start at the top of any letter you choose, and draw it firmly and clearly, using the child's whole back. Practice once or twice to get the feel of it; kids usually love the sensation and will ask for more.
  4. Next, have your child stand in front of the easel and pick one color of paint. Ask her to paint exactly what you are drawing on her back, starting at the top of the page. Now, take a second color of paint and have her try the same letter again, but make it different from the first—either smaller or on a different part of the page, for instance.
  5. Pick another letter for your child to draw, tracing it first on her back then allowing her to paint it. Continue on using more letters to create a letter collage, and watch the colors and shapes combine.
  6. Once she's comfortable with letters, you can also try writing whole word messages together. You can even have your child try writing something across your back. See what you can "see", even with your eyes closed!

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