Food Colouring Letter Play
This week, the brilliant Laura from A Lovely Little Art Room got in touch and we agreed to challenge ourselves by each creating an activity using two main resources: kitchen paper and food colouring! Laura’s blog is wonderful and her Instagram feed is great for all sorts of creative ideas for children- so do check it out and give her a follow!
The activity Little and I did was a first for us; we had never used these resources and hadn’t done much of this type of letter learning before. I thought, however, that it might be useful to share in all it’s imperfect state: Firstly, because I am always up for constructive feedback and ideas for improving activities like this. And secondly, because I think sometimes we can feel pressure to only share ideas which are tried and true. So, to encourage a reflective learning culture online… here goes!
I am always on the hunt for new ways to engage in letter play with Little. We started with a handful of letters; M, D, T, S, I and A. These are letters which he is just beginning to recognise. I wrote the letters onto a square of kitchen paper using sharpie pens in the same colours as the food colouring we had; red, yellow and blue. Little then used his curly dropper to suck up the matching coloured liquid and squirt it onto the letter as we repeated the sound. As well as introducing the letters and sounds, using the dropper added a fine motor element to this game.
Once we had done this a couple of times, we switched to matching the upper and lower case letters with each other. This was more challenging; Little had to identify which letter we on,, say which colour it was, find the lower case one that matched and then squirt it with the correlating colour of food colouring.
We did this several times, he loved using his ‘map’ of the upper case letters in colour, to find the lower case equivalents and then do his ‘job’ of squirting them. The longer we played for, the faster and more confident he became with identifying the letters.
We stopped when Little had had enough, and then he did lots more squirting of his own onto kitchen paper on the tuff tray. Although from the photos, this activity looks quite haphazard, it was really about the process and repetition here as we were just start on the letter- learning journey together!
This activity was adult-led. It isn’t something which Little can do independently yet, although, with a little more practice, that would probably change. I am aware that opinions run strong on the theory of pedagogy in the early years world; namely around child-led or adult-directed tasks and play. We do lots of free play. For us, though, introducing some structured tasks in short bursts, has worked well, too.
So, I’d love to hear what you think; have you ever used food colouring and kitchen paper for activities or craft before? Do you set up letter-learning opportunities for preschool-aged children? And, most importantly, how cool is the jumbo dropper?! Drop us a comment below!