Before the Moveable Alphabet…
Before the Sandpaper Letters…
There was Cookie Monster.
My daughter gets to indulge in TV time at her grandpa’s house, which she visits twice a week — once just for supper and once for a longer stint. We’ve had to negotiate which shows are available for him and which ones I find appropriate. One of the few shows that we’ve agreed upon is Sesame Street.
This is where Ella first began to learn her letters, admittedly not in a Montessori way. Cookie Monster is often featured in a letter segment, his love of cookies a mere subplot. Ella was often asking to watch Cookie Monster at home, which is an option but I like to reduce TV time if I can help it, so I came up with this DIY a few months ago and it proved to be a fun learning material.
I cut out a simple Cookie Monster face out of foam and attached it to a wooden tissue paper box, which was originally from a dollar store but we found at a consignment shop. I then cut out several construction paper cookies and labeled them with all of the letters and numbers 1-9. In retrospect, I would have written the letters out in the proper Montessori colours (red for vowels and blue for consonants).
The game was that I would imitate Cookie Monster’s voice and request a specific letter: “Me want letter A to eat… “ahhhh.” I liked adding the letter sound to this game, as Ella had previously only been exposed to the letter name through Sesame Street and we are planning on doing a Montessori approach via phonemes. Ella had to insert the cookie into Cookie Monster’s mouth and then I made approving gobbling noises.
Just in case you’re not one to freehand cut out a Cookie Monster face, I’ve created this free printable Cookie Monster letter-eating game for you, to teach your child their letters!
This game could be switched out easily for a version of the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (and her various spin-offs), or a favourite animal eating a treat (Easter rabbit eating carrots, etc).
What do you think of incorporating letters into fun little games like this?