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Secret Letters Literacy Activity

This secret letters literacy activity is all about encouraging children to get excited about letters. It also gives them the opportunity to recognise some letters, if they're able.

What you will need:

  • Plain white paper, restock here if needed
  • A white crayon, get some here
  • Water colour paints, like these
  • Paint brushes, pick up some new ones here

Preparing the activity

To prepare your secret activity, use the white crayon to draw letters on the paper. If you're doing this activity with older children, you could extend it by writing their name, or other simple words. Make sure that you press as hard as you can with the crayon, without making the marks easily visible to little eyes.

Gather your group of children around a table suitable for painting and hand out the pieces of paper. Ask the children what's on the paper, and get them excited about the idea that there is secret writing which they can't see. Any age of early years child will enjoy the painting element of this activity, but it is most beneficial for children aged 22 months and up.

Doing the activity:

With the children suitably intrigued about the secret letters which they can't see, it's time to bring out the water colours and brushes. Encourage the children to start painting on their page, keeping their eyes peeled for any secrets which might be revealed. Depending on the age and stage of the children involved, prompt them to identify the letters and words as they discover them. You can enhance their learning by seeing whether children can link the letters they find on the page to places they've seen them before, such as in their own name.

This activity can be easily adjusted to support children with other areas of their development. For example, instead of letters, try drawing shapes or small groups of similar images to support mathematical learning.

Tracking the activity

22 - 36 months

Literacy, Writing; "Distinguishes between the different marks the make"

30 - 50 months

Literacy, Writing; "Ascribes meaning to marks that they see in different places"

40 - 60+ months

Literacy, Writing; "Writes own name and things such as labels"