It may be cold outside, but you and your kids can warm up inside by playing a fun letter scramble game using paper snow mittens. This letter scramble is great for kids who are just learning letters or are starting to spell a few small words. It also works for older kids who are practicing their weekly spelling words.
- craft or construction paper
- letter stickers or markers
- Using a pencil and scissors cut about 30 small snow mitten shapes from your paper. A good size is around 2 x 3 inches. It would also be fun to trace your child's hand and cut out the tracing as if it were in a mitten or glove.
- Kids can decorate their paper mittens with crayons or markers, or simply use some decorative paper as shown here, to give it a fun look.
- Add a letter to the center of each mitten. It can be a black letter sticker or can be handwritten with a dark marker or crayon. My children and I made every letter in the alphabet, as there are many words that can be unscrambled from those 26 letters; you can make extras of letters that are more common. I also put each of the five vowel letters on the same type of paper to help my children with vowel recognition.
- Now it's time to find letters and unscramble!
To play this letter scramble game with my five-year-old, I placed five letters on a table and asked her to find the letters to the word "cat." She pulled out the c, a, and t. This is something I knew she could do from working with her before. But if you're not sure where your child is with learning letters or forming words, this is a good way to see what they know. Try it out a few times and see how successful they are.
For even younger kids, you can ask your child to look for one letter and work on letter recognition or on sounds.
To play this letter scramble with an older child, I had my eight-year-old son pick out words from the entire pile of letter mittens. We worked on his spelling list from school, finding all the words he needed to practice.
You could also further the learning by lining up the letters to a specific word, but all mixed up, and having them figure out what word it could be. For a guide, they could look on their spelling list to see if there are some letters that match a word there.
Try this different way to encourage learning in your children, making it fun and engaging. Adding the snow mitten element can spice things up. You could customize this game with any season or holiday, or with fun shapes that your children come up with.