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Alphabet Chalk Tuff Spot Tray

Encourage your little one to learn the letters of the alphabet or phonics sounds with this easy set up tuff spot tray activity using chalk pens and water.

Our tuff spot tray is without a doubt on of our most used resources. They are so versatile and have many uses. We regularly use ours as a base for messy play or for setting up small world activities. 

The joy of a tuff spot tray is that you can use it as a completely blank canvas, not every set up needs to be elaborate. I'm a huge believer in quick and easy set ups as lets face it, time is precious.

My little one who is four is really into learning her alphabet/phonics sounds and I'm looking for new ways to make this interesting for her. Some previous activities we've done include Alphabet Construction and Alphabet Hunt.

Alphabet Chalk Tuff Spot Tray

The beauty of this activity is that it only takes a few minutes to set up and you only need four resources to make this work, a tuff spot tray, chalk pens, a cup of water and a paint brush. I simply wrote the letters of the alphabet onto the tuff spot tray with the chalk pens. I chose to do this using different colours to aid learning opportunities. I wrote the letters in a sporadic order to make it a bit more of a challenge for her. I then added a cup with some water in it with a paint brush. Regular chalk works too, its just less defined than the chalk pens. 

I explained to her that when she found a letter she needed to use the paint brush to then wipe it off. So I asked her to find a letter and she then found it and used the paint brush to wipe it away. While she was painting the letter I would ask her what that letter sounds like and what that letter is for e.g a for apple. 

So I asked a reception teacher and they said that it was more important to teach a child the phonics sounds rather than the traditional alphabet. Don't worry if you've been teaching your child the traditional alphabet you can start to incorporate the phonics sounds by telling your child what that letter sounds like. 

My four year old really enjoyed this activity. She is quite confident with her letters/sounds but for any that she wasn't sure about I then prompted her by telling her the colour it was on the tray which then helped her out. 

If your child is only starting out with learning their letters/sounds then including the whole alphabet may be quite intimidating, you could perhaps break it down to a few at a time. If teaching phonics sounds then the most common order to start with is usually s, a, t, p, i,n. There are lots of resources online to help support the learning of phonics. If you are new to the world of phonics then check out this great guide from The School Run.

If you do not have a tuff spot tray you could perhaps do this on a window using a whiteboard marker pen and then wipe off with a cloth. Or perhaps you have a blackboard on an easel? This is easily adaptable to what you all ready have. You could even just write the letters on a piece of paper and use paint or a bingo dabber to mark off with.

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For more learning activities you may like:

Number Fun Activities

Conker Sight Word Match

Alphabet Construction Activity

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