Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Marshmallow Letters

The boy child has recently taken an interest in writing, so we have been working on making/forming letters. We've painted letters, formed letters with play dough, made rock letters, as well as a few other activities that I haven't had time to blog about. (Stay tuned!) Today, we made letters with marshmallows and toothpicks. 

My son loves him some marshmallows, so he was very excited when I told him that we were going to be doing an activity with them today. He was so engaged in this activity, though, that he didn't munch on too many until we were done. I was shocked! 

We only worked with the first 10 letters of the alphabet today. First, I wrote each letter on a post-it note, as he watched me write them. (Modeling proper letter formation is important. Kids notice the details in what you do more than you realize.) Then, we sorted the letters by attribute, curvy vs. straight letters (vocabulary development). 

We had not done this activity before, so he needed some help figuring out how to make the letters. I modeled the A, formed half the E, he formed the other half of the E, and he completed the F on his own (since it was so similar to the E). 

I asked him to try and make the H and I on his own and this is what he came up with....

"Look, Mommy. It's a little i." He ate the floating marshmallow on top before I could take a picture. 

He still didn't get the concept of having all the toothpicks connected with marshmallows, so I modified the letters on the post-it notes to include dots to represent the marshmallows, and it acted as a diagram for him to follow. 

My math connection quickly became obvious. We counted how many marshmallows and toothpicks we needed for each letter. When making the E, we noticed a pattern down the left side (marshmallow, toothpick, marshmallow, toothpick, marshmallow). We took all the letters apart and counted out all of the supplies we would need to make them again. However, when we got to the end, we were missing 2 marshmallows for the I... 

We're still arguing about who ate them! He denies eating them, but if I admit to eating them then that would be admitting to cheating on my diet. Nah, that would never happen. 

If you haven't "liked" Mommy the Literacy Master on FaceBook, then what is the matter with you? I need to feel the love.


  1. Excellent activity for so many reasons. You have the literacy element but so several math concepts outside of counting such as the spatial reasoning/problem solving. Wish we could combine forces.

  2. Thanks, Julie! I'm glad you pointed that out. I didn't want to get side tracked with the math connections since my blog is about literacy. But, I think we'll do this activity again focusing on constructing 3-D shapes. It was also interesting to see him trying to problem solve, a skill I know he needs to strengthen. We should combine forces. You should become Mommy the Math Master. :-)