One of my eldest son's favorite activities or past times is spelling words. He (verbally) spells some of the words that catch his fancy wherever he goes. Usually, he reads them first because he likes to read too. Then, he spells out some of the words that he encounters while reading. We catch him pausing in the middle of a sentence sometimes, looking away from the page of the book that he's reading, and then spelling out a word. I guess he likes the thrill and the challenge of learning to spell a word. He's happy every time he spells out a word correctly. He really loves learning. And I'm glad that he can learn on his own and he's internally motivated.
Thus, in our homeschool, spelling is one of our favorite activities. We do this most of the time using our foam letters. If not, my son writes them on paper using pencil or crayons.
I first bought a set of textured foam letters at National Bookstore when he was much younger (2 years old maybe). I wanted him to learn how to write the letters then. I would lead him or guide his finger to trace the letters. Sometimes, we trace them on paper.
I'm very thankful that God led me to find these textured foam letters in the bookstore that fateful day. Actually, I wasn't planning to buy them then. I didn't know there is such a product. I just saw them while I was going around the bookstore looking for clay. My original plan really was to cut out letters from sandpaper and use these to teach my son how to write the letters of the alphabet. Since I found these textured foam letters, I didn't make the sandpaper cut outs anymore. :) I was also very happy that they were cheap.
Since, he is becoming more familiar in writing the letters of the alphabet, he has devised a new way to play with them. He now uses them to spell words. In the past, I would just ask him to arrange the letters in sequence. But since he has long mastered that, we now use these letters to spell words he is familiar with or words that we encounter in the books we read. He can do this for at least 20 minutes. But he likes it so much that sometimes he can do it for almost an hour, sometimes supervised, sometimes on his own. He uses his books as guide when he can't remember how to spell some words or if I'm beside or near him, he simply asks my help.
Yanthy's former therapist gave him a basket of foam letters and numbers in a basket, too. So, he now has two sets. I'm thinking of buying one more set from the bookstore or toy store soon since I noticed that my son not only likes to form a few words but he now uses them to form sentences or book titles. These simple foam letters are really impressing me. I'm delighted that my son has thought of a new way to play with them.
Hope this sharing/post gave you another parent-child bonding idea. Kids can also play with these when left with their nannies because they're easy to use.