Sweet Pea is 35 months old.
From: Erika from Confessions of a Homeschooler often posts an individual Do-A-Dot letter worksheet when her tot is learning a particular letter (P for example), but I had trouble searching her site to find all of the letters. I also searched the web, but was surprised that I couldn’t find a full set of these anywhere so I decided I would just create my own. Since I made these however, I’ve learned that Erika sells her entire preschool alphabet curriculum (which contains way more than just Do-A-Dot worksheets) for $10.
- Do-A-Dot markers. (They are also called dotter or bingo markers. We found ours at Micheal’s.)
- Smock or a Bib (optional, but highly recommended).
- Gather all your materials and sit next to your tot.
- Depending on your tot’s dexterity, you may need to unscrew the Dot-A-Dot markers for them.
- Show your tot how to press the marker straight down inside one of the circles on the worksheet to make a dot.
- Allow him or her to finish the rest of the worksheets on his or her own.
Observations: This activity was a huge hit. Sweet Pea absolutely loved dotting in the circles for each letter. She was easily able to unscrew the caps on her own, but some younger tots may need help.
At first it took some effort for her to get the marker lined up with each dot correctly, but she quickly improved.
Sweet Pea really deliberated about which color of marker to use for each letter. I had no idea it would matter to her so much, but she loved being able to choose from all the colors in the box and always used only one color for each letter.
Sweet Pea has a good understanding of letters, but obviously can’t write yet. I think she was really excited to be able to actually create the letters in another way. She was very proud of her work and wanted me to take a picture of each of the letters she completed. I may even get around to making a lower case set one of these days.
I would highly recommend this for other tots.
Notes from the Trenches:
If this activity is too advanced for your tot, these markers work great for free play too.
The biggest problem with Do-A-Dot markers is that they can be very messy. They just don’t clean up like good old washable Crayola markers. Note that the following picture was taken after we had washed Sweet Pea’s hands several times.
[Update Sept 9, 2012 - One of my commenters suggested that children are not learning how to form the letters in the correct way when they use these. For example, they start at the bottom left side of the page when making a B, instead of the upper left side. If this bothers you, I suggest drawing a star in the circle where you want your tot to start forming the letter.]
Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent)