Aside from my obsession with new recipes and saving money, my whole goal in life is to trick my second-grader into thinking learning is fun. His teachers have mastered the art of deception. I … on the other hand … well, I’m working on it. Here’s the proof.
Keyboard Codes (Spelling Practice with a Homemade Laptop)
My son LOVES the computer, so I’m constantly in search of
great online (educational) games for him to play. When I saw Joyful Mama’s post
on the felt
laptop she made for her daughter, Sweatpea, it jumpstarted my creative
Since we’re still working on spelling those word-wall words my
son is bringing home from school (check out Roll & Write for some history
on that), I thought a DIY laptop would be perfect!
I knew, though, that if I put a pretend laptop in front of
my son and asked him to type the words he would lose interest quickly. To
prevent that from happening, I created ciphers (each was a sight word from
school) for him to decode using the keyboard. This was SO MUCH fun!
1. Make aDIY Laptop
Use a large flat, rectangular piece of corrugated cardboard
(mine was the packaging that came with a 16x20 picture frame I bought
recently). Score in the middle so you can fold your laptop. Cut the holes off
of an 8 ½ x 11 plastic sheet protector. Use a glue gun to adhere the sleeve
above the fold for your laptop’s monitor.
Download and print the keyboard I made (click here). Glue it
to your cardboard laptop below the fold. If you want, draw a rectangle below
the spacebar for a touchpad.
Next cut another piece of cardboard to make a kickstand to keep your
laptop’s monitor from flopping over. Attach to the back of the “monitor” using
a glue gun.
I love to pair a great book with every activity, so for this one we read Doreen Cronin's Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. It's hilarious!
3. Help Your Child Decipher Keyboard
Pages 2-4 of the keyboard download have sight-word keyboard
codes. Give one of these pages to your child along with the laptop.
codes are numerical with the first number indicating the row and the second
number representing the number of keys in that row that a child will count
(from the left). For example, if the code is 33, a child will count down three
rows and over three keys; hence, the letter is D.
4. Have Them Type the Sight Words
This was a lot of word work for my son. Once he completed
decoding all 12 words from the first worksheet, I told him to find one
2-letter, 3-letter, and 4-letter word and circle each. Then I slipped his
completed keyboard codes paper into the monitor’s plastic sleeve and he typed
each of those three words.
When this was done, my son had loads of fun playing with his
new “toy.” Since I had all the supplies for this activity on hand, I have no
doubt that this is the cheapest computer I will ever buy him.