So much of our lives these days are driven by technology, and although there are negatives, technology can also provide amazing learning opportunities.
I am sure that I am not alone in the fact that every time I am working on the computer, I am guaranteed to have some helpful little hands desperate to have a turn. So why not ask for some “help” to do some of this tedious computer work, whilst adding an educational twist?
This has sparked a simple, yet effective activity that I did with my almost 3-year-old to develop some basic keyboard skills, with the main purpose of improving letter recognition. He LOVED it and loved that he was “helping mum with her work” (what kid doesn’t love jumping on the computer??).
All that is needed for this activity is to set up a blank Word Doc and start dictating some words/letters.
Being so young we didn’t focus too much on punctuation (and didn’t worry about an ‘0’ being used in place of an ‘o’), but this is something that can be incorporated as an extension.
And if you are like us, one of the main aspects that you will need to work on at the beginning is where the Space Bar is and its purpose, as well as only pushing each letter once, to aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavoid a whole bunch of extra letters.
I said the letters to form 2 simple sentences and said “space” when needed:
“Hello my name is Hunter.”
“I have a dog called lulu.”
So a simple activity that worked really well for us (you can see our mini video on Instagram) and one that is regularly asked to be repeated.
Adaptations and extensions:
- Use this typing opportunity to send emails to loved ones, or just to your partner informing them that you are the superior parent, or other messages that are coming from the child so you don’t cop the blame.
- Using flash cards or anything else with letters, set them out for the child to follow themselves rather than saying each individual letter. This will also help with association between upper and lower case.
- Download your States Foundation Font (a fee is involved) to use whilst typing. There is also the option for Foundation Font – Dots and Outlines which can be used for handwriting practise once printed out.
- Using some coloured stickers, ask your child to find certain letters on their typed sheet of paper and place certain stickers under each one.
- Cut up the words from the sheet of paper and ask the child to put them back in order.
- Play around with fonts and colours for a bit of extra pizzazz.
- This task can be adapted to add in numbers and to teach literacy elements such as capital letters and full stops. We didn’t extend this far, but did add in the full stop and learnt about the space bar
- Further linking it to literacy for older children: Chose a word from the sentence written and then using a book (a favourite/regularly read story works best) ask them if they can find this word on any of the pages.