Learning through movement is a great way to get kids excited about learning the letters and sounds. Zig Zag Letter Balance is a two minute prep alphabet activity that kids totally love!
Both toddler and preschooler loved hopping, tip toeing, running, and dancing in this game so much they didn't even realize it was a learning game!
Learning through movement is also known as kinesthetic learning. This is one of a set of learning styles such as visual, auditory, verbal, logical, social and more.
Kids are knownto have a strong connection with kinesthetic learning! Got a kid who doesn't like worksheets but will play with their soccer ball or fly their plane in the air with great concentration? They might be a kinesthetic learner!
According to indeed.com, Kinesthetic learners retain information better when they can move their bodies and interact with their environments. Learning through movement has also been linked to greater self confidence and engagement while learning. That's all to say, it makes it so much more fun!
First grab some blue painters tape and pick a spot in your home or outside to create a zig zag line. Make sure to use painters tape to avoid ruining your floors! Create an kind of pathway with the tape.
Next, place Post-its along the path, and write the letters your child is learning on them. Stick to 5-10 letters for this game.
Ages 2-4: For kids just starting out with letters, this game can be solely a letter identification activity. You walk across the pathway and whenever you come to a letter, you say the name.
Ages 4-5: For preschoolers who have familiarity with letters and are working on sounds, they can name the letter and letter sound when they get to a letter.
For a challenge, kids can name a word that starts with that letter or even more challenging, spell a word that begins with that letter. That way they're working on beginning sound identification and spelling!
Ask your child what they notice about this zig zag line! Children may have a natural inclination that this will be a game about movement, letters, or both.
Invite your child to move across the line, but stop at all the letters. They can name the letter, name the letter sounds, or say a word that begins with that letter!
Think of all the different ways of moving across the line. Here are some ideas:
As kids think of more ways to revisit the balancing line, they're exposing themselves to the letters and practicing those names and letter sounds over and over again. The more exposure they have, the more it sticks!
To help your kid become an alphabet champion, check out these 13 Letter Learning games we LOVE.
Kinesthetic learning helps kids build new knowledge in ways they enjoy, and a secondary benefit to learning through movement is the improvement of gross motor skills.
Gross motor skills are any activity that uses the gross motor muscles that make large movements: arms, torso, and legs. Let's face it, kids are NOT the most coordinated bunch so developing these muscles through movement is essential and helpful. First5California.com has some helpful gross motor milestones to check out!
So often kids are seated for learning time, but my personal rule is that kids shouldn't sit for more minutes than twice their age. When we invite kids to play and move to learn, they jump for joy and learning becomes fun, not a task. How would you rather practice your letter sounds? Sitting in a desk or hopping, skipping, and jumping to new skills?
If you liked this learning through movement game, you'll definitely want to check out this gross motor sequencing activity!