Sunday, November 19, 2006

Letter Hockey

One of the most successful strategies that I used early on with my child in Kindergarten when I realized he was obviously resistant to writing was letter hockey. Letter hockey is an activity I invented based on my child's love of ice-hockey. The single aim with this game is to get the child to write letters. As a game per se it doesn't have a great deal of purpose, other than that the writing will happen unbeknownst to the child in the pursuit of something they find far more fun! Every letter on the page is basically a huge achievement.
Basically draw a large rectangle on a piece of paper in the shape of an ice-rink.
You choose three letters and your child chooses three different letters. Write them at either end of the pitch.
Draw a penalty box for the purpose of putting errant letters inside for penalties to make the game more fun
Draw goals. Each of you chooses a letter to put in goal.
You face off with your letters. Whoever gets the letter written on the page first gets the puck. Obviously the child always gets the letter on the page, then he/she must write one of their other letters down to pass the puck. Get the child to draw a line between the letters signalling a pass.
The only goal is to get the child to write letters, so you faciliate only that by making it exciting and encouraging them. Let them get plenty of goals, make the sound of the horn everytime they score. Now and again stick a letter in the penalty box to introduce variety.
Then you work up to 5 letters each. The parent should always try to choose the letters the child perceives are difficult which demystifies them somewhat. (eg: y, k, w)
Eventually I will try to upload a diagram of what I am describing so it's clearer. This game can be adapted to any sport really. Remember be creative. And everytime your child gets a letter on that page it's a victory, so even if they only pop down three that's great.
The next stage of the game as the child ages is word hockey. You can play with simple short words instead of letters. I will describe word hockey in another post.

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