Foam Letters and Numbers
Foam Letters and Numbers are great for introducing the alphabet, beginning spelling and other alphabet activities. They are a fun way to introduce numbers and counting. Some are interlocking pieces which can create a surface for toddlers to play on. There also are some letters and numbers designed for bath time.
These puzzle mats come in various sizes. A good size has squares about at least 6"x 6". Examine the individual letters and numbers carefully. Some sets have smaller pieces than others. Find one with fewer small pieces that won't affect the recognition of the letter or number if you were to remove access to the smaller pieces. Younger children will typically put it in their mouth. I would recommend throwing out or holding onto these pieces until they are older. Look for age recommendations on the packages. Examine potentially hazardous pieces like the piece in the middle of the top of the A.
Foam Bath Letters and Numbers
Activities with Foam Letters and Numbers
- Identifying Colors:Sort by putting the same colors together.
- Letter and Number Recognition: Pick a random letter and number and have child identify it.
- Alphabet and Number Train: Make an alphabet or number train with your child.
- Cube:The puzzle mats can interlock pieces to form a cube and have your child find a particular letter or number to make your cube. Roll the cube and see if your child can identify the letter or number on the top.
- Learning Letters: Trace a letter on a sheet of paper.
- Building Words: Make short words. Sound out letters to make a word like cat and have your child find the letter.
- Name Practice: Select the letters of your child's name. Practice the letters and sounds and practice putting the letters in order.
- Letter Sounds: See if your child can find the letter by giving them the sound.
- Number Identification: Put only the numbers in the tub and see if your child can find a number you ask for. Later they can build larger numbers like 10, 15, etc.
Tips and Suggestions
- When we weren't using these as a mat, we connected the foam letters/numbers in sets of four. It stored easier and kept pieces from getting lost. A bonus was we had the girls help and they learned quickly to count to four.
- Child assigns meaning and importance to letters and numbers in context rather than abstract.
- Great opportunity to learn letter names, sounds, and order of alphabet, numbers, sequence in a very hands on way with toddler toys they enjoy.