On the way home from school we were talking about quills. My Harry Potter obsessed 9-year- old had made a quill by putting a biro refill into a feather.
My four-year old asked
Do we have any ink?
No but we can use paint.
We painted with feathers when I was little didn’t we?
We can do that tomorrow if you like. We could use the Peacock feathers we collected at Remlinger Farm.
I set the paints up with a few feathers.
My 2-year-old suddenly declared
I wrote the word ‘buh’
Buh for bat.
She has been playing a Sesame Street alphabet game on the iPad and is beginning to talk about letters and letter sounds.
Her 4-year old sister asked
How do you spell bat?
How do you think you spell it? What does it begin with?
That’s right and what other sounds are in bat?
Yes, so what is the middle letter?
Bat…b…a…t….. a. B..a..t spells bat.
After a little bit of impromptu literacy I had a brain wave. The girls are really interested in pirates at the moment and I thought we might be able to do some writing with feathers, make a pirate map or maybe we could make a wizard’s spell.
When it was dry I singed the edges to make it look like an old scroll.
I asked the girls what they would like to do. They decided on a Wizard’s spell.
It will be funny because we don’t even know how to read and write……………. Maybe Wizards write differently to people.
I think this would be a great way to encourage boys in their mark making.
- Set up a desk in a role play pirate ship with ink and quills
- Make a spell book for children to add their own spells
- Add a few feathers and a small pot of paint to your mark making area
- Make treasure maps and encourage the children to mark the treasure with an X.
Literacy for under 5’s shouldn’t be about sitting at a table learning letters, tracing over letters or using flashcards. It can be brought into any aspect of play and when children are ready and interested in letters and sounds they will talk about it, ask questions and experiment. Make it fun, make it relevant and they will learn.