Friday, 5 April 2013

Exploring the Letter O

When it comes to learning, I like to let the child direct the learning. There is no point in telling my children what they need to learn when they are not ready or just not interested. I have found that the best way to support learning in my children is to focus on their area of interest because when they are interested, they are engaged and when they are engaged, they are learning.


This last week, my daughter has been rather fascinated with The Octonauts. So I took her area of interest and pointed out some letters, such as the "O" in octonauts and we started exploring it further.

I found a set of Octonaut Printables and my daughter decide which activities from this pack she wanted to do. Playdough is her favourite activity so I wasn't surprised that she asked for the Octonauts playdough mat. Playdough is such a great way to engage the sense of touch while working on fine motor skills.

We also used these dotted sheets from The Octonaut Printables  as well as a letter O dot sheet from here. What I love about Dot Markers is that they encourage hand-eye coordination, fine motor development as well as tactile and visual stimulation as they learn. 

We used some of our alphabet books to talked about the different things that start with the letter O and use the 'O' sound, just like in Octonauts. Although the word owl starts with the letter O, it doesn't say the 'O' sound as 'ow' is a diagraph so we didn't associate owls with the letter O. 

My daughter and I went on a search around our learning room to find toys and other resources that looked like the letter O. She engaged her problem solving skills to find and recognise things that looked like the letter O. We hid these items around the house for a 'hide and find' game. This was a lot of fun. I encouraged further play of the letter O by using our toys from our game and some oats to make a letter O sensory tray for my girls to play with. Children learn best when all their senses are being used so by using a sensory tray, they are able to do this by tasting and smelling the oats, touching, seeing and hearing the oats and the O toys as they play with them. 

We LOVE books so I found this octopus book in our shelf that was perfect way to support this interest. We read the story 'I wish my mother was an Octopus, by Shona Keenan, then used our flashcards to search and find the letter O's throughout the book.   

I used some small potatoes to make letter O stamps. I cut the potato in half then cut the middle out of them and together with some orange paint, they made fantastic O shaped stamps! This activity engaged the senses while my daughter worked on her fine motor skills as she picked up the potato and stamped it onto the paper.

We searched through our box full or letter and number magnets to find all the letter O ones. We used this large O card as a reference to compare the magnets to make sure we have the right one. This gave us the opportunity to look at the features of the letter O.

By simply adding chalk to the trampoline, this  encouraged my daughter to continue her learning of the Letter O.We also discovered some letter O foods during morning tea time as we had some yummy oranges and omlettes cut into the shape of the letter O. 

Can you think of any other activities where children can play with the Letter O?


  1. Fabulous list of ideas, love the Orange O's from potato's :-)

    1. Thanks Kylie!It was lovely watching my girl's enjoy learning.

  2. Would love for you to link up this fun post at the Letter O linky at

    1. Thank you Emma for the invite. I have linked up my post to your blog.