Letter of The Week K !

Key K!

Driving back from music class Thursday I asked my son what letter he wanted to do this coming week. I like doing this because it gives him a chance to think about letters, he will suggest one, I ask him what craft we made for that and together we brainstorm. After many W suggestions ( his favorite letter) we settled on K !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some paint ( we used roller paints because it had been a while, but use whatever you feel like, crayons or markers work too! ) , some sticky back foam, scissors and a marker.
  2. Start by drawing an uppercase K on one piece of paper.
  3. Next draw some keys on the back paper of the sticky foam. Do not worry about perfection, as long as your child can tell they are keys you are a ok.
  4. Cut out
  5. Invite your wee one to come and decorate the K, ask them what letter it is and if they are at the stage where they are starting to learn sounds, see if they know the sound. Be relaxed , at this stage we are introducing and exposing kids to this not testing them. There is no pressure and if this causes anxiety in your child – drop it. They have lots of time for school pressure , let’s keep learning fun as long as we can!
  6. Hand your child the keys and let them play with them, while the paint dries. We pretended we were robots and needed the keys to power up and power down.
  7. When the K is dry cut out and glue onto the 2nd piece of paper.
  8. Peel off the backing , and stick the keys onto the K.

Letter Discovery Box

The objective of a discovery box is to introduce your child to a selection of things with a common theme. As they dig through they feel as though they are the explorers finding these amazing things! Depending on the theme you can put all sorts of things in to find. For letter of the week find household items, and familiar toys that they can identify, and connect to the letter they are learning. Older children can be challenged by putting objects that do not start with the letter and have them sort them into two piles.



Letter of The Week X !

letter of the week x craft
 

Music is a big passion in our family, my son is nuts over Jazz and can be found playing air upright bass intermittently throughout the day. He recently discovered the xylophone and loves it. So keeping with that I decided to do Xylophone X today for our letter of the week craft . Not like I have many other choices for this letter anyway. It’s a huge bonus if you can tap into your child’s passions. No matter what the lesson is about, counting, letters, colors… if it includes something your child is into they are more likely to be more fully engaged and retain the lesson.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some markers, 5 colors of foam ( more construction paper would work too), glue and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing a large X on one piece of construction paper.
  3. Have your child color it if they want. The audience of garbage trucks is optional.
  4. While they are coloring cut out 4 strips of foam, each slightly smaller then the previous.
  5. Cut out small squares of foam – please skip this if you have a young toddler who still likes to eat things.** you should cut out your X here, I had a momentary lapse and forgot, trust me it’s easier if you do it now, glue it onto your 2nd piece of paper.
  6. Add 4 long lines of glue
  7. Add your foam bars
  8. Add dots of glue on each end of each bar
  9. Add the tiny foam squares.
  10. Let dry.

* If desired you can make small mallets and glue them in the extra space of the X. I had them cut out but as you may be able to see in some pictures, my son had his garbage trucks watching art time and ready to go. At this point was more into filling them with foam scraps than doing any more art.

Books!

“I Know A Shy Fellow Who Swallowed A Fly” by Barbara S. Garriel was an instant favorite with my son. The text is a reworked version of “An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly” but this guy has a hankering for musical instruments. My son giggled through the book, and was very adamant that no one could swallow a harp but this fellow did ! I liked this book because it’s a fun and absurd, as well as educational. If your wee one is as into instruments as mine, you have to read this book.


“Meet The Orchestra” by Ann Hayes is a good resource for teaching about musical instruments. The book goes through many instruments found in an orchestra with a sizable description for each. Animals are used for the musicians and my son thought that was funny and actually learned a bit about them as well. It was really too long for us to sit and read cover to cover but it’s easy to break up and read one or two instruments at a time if it’s too much for your child in one sitting. Also there is some figurative language that young kids will not get at all. Helpful for teaching but I don’t expect it to become a favorite to snuggle up with.


“Zin Zin Zin ! A Violin” by Lloyd Moss is a big hit at our house and if you have a child into music or musical instruments this is a great book. You count the instruments as they come on stage for a performance and not only is this a great counting book, but it introduced musical instruments in it’s rhyming text and super fun pictures. I am biased though my little man is really really into instruments and loves this book. The day we bought it I had to sit in the back with him on the way home from the bookstore because he couldn’t wait to read it .

 

Additional Alphabet Activity

Letter

Lacing Card

Click here for the full how to.Also don’t forget to check me out at
FamilyEducation.com

 

Bird Craft


Nature Brochure Craft !


While on the ferry my son found this brochure of local birds and refused to let go of it. I did what I do best and tried to think of a way to turn it into an activity the following day. Here is what we did and how we did it. I would like to thank Shawna and her son for sending me the song request !

  1. Gather your materials. First you need to go outside and gather some branches!
  2. Now gather the rest, you will need 2 pieces of construction paper, a bird brochure from a local travel kiosk (or a book about birds, anything with glossy pictures) some scissors, lots of glue . I had crayons in the picture too because I thought my son would want to draw some sky or leaves, he wasn’t interested.
  3. Start by cutting out the birds from the brochure, I had my son point to which ones he liked, I read him their names and then cut them out. Older kids could do this independently.
  4. Grab the glue. Draw a tree with the glue. I laid out the branches first as a guide.
  5. Add the branches to cover the glue
  6. Add more glue on the branches and around them.
  7. Add the bird cut outs.
  8. Let dry, yes it will take a while!
  9. Use your new bird guide when you bird watch in your backyard!

Song !


Sing a song of sixpence
a pocketful of rye
four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie.
When the pie was open
the birds began to sing
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
to set before a king?

The king was in his counting house
counting all his money.
The queen was in the parlour
eating bread with honey.
The maid was in the garden
hanging out the clothes
and down came a blackbird
and snatched off her nose.

You naughty, naughty bird
I need my little nose
to smell all the soapsuds
when I was the clothes.
I’ll get a sugar cookie
and hang it on the tree
if you will find my little nose
and bring it back to me.

Letter of the Week A !

Alligator A !

This is a pretty classic letter of the week idea, but my son and I were both so excited about how cute the alligator turned out to be. The foam teeth and googly eyes really helped turn the A into an alligator. Don’t miss the additional activity for more ideas about how to incorporate letters into playtime.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper ( different colors), 2 googly eyes, some white foam or paper will do, glue, scissor and markers.
  2. Draw a large upper case A on one piece of construction paper. I added two triangles on one side of the A for eyes.
  3. Give your child the A and have them color it to their liking. We have been talking about inside vs outside a lot this week so I shouted out “Inside the A” and ‘Outside the A” and my son obliged, it made it a little silly but fun.
  4. While they color cut out some triangles for alligator teeth.
  5. Cut out the A
  6. Glue it on the 2nd piece of paper.
  7. Add glue to the eyes ( you can see where we had glue all over above the eye, no biggie, just wipe it)
  8. Add the googly eyes
  9. Add dots of glue for the teeth
  10. Add the teeth. Let dry.

Books!

“SNIP SNAP! What’s That? “ by Mara Bergman was a great library find. The book is about an alligator who sneaks into an apartment filled with three very terrified children. I love that the story changes when the children decide to stop being afraid and to fight back. My son really enjoyed the book, he liked he use of onomatopoeia throughout and the exaggerated illustrations of the alligator. After we read it at lunch he asked for it to be his nap time book, and again for it at bedtime. That is a good review from a 2 year old!

“Alligator Alphabet” by Stella Blackstone and Stephanie Bauer. I was so excited to find this book because just this week my son started pointing out lower case letters in text. This book is a beautifully illustrated book with each letter represented on it’s own page. Pretty standard right? Wrong, although the text below the illustration had both upper and lower case letters, the main illustration is only the lower case letter. This is perfect for children like my son who are just starting to learn their lowercase letters.


“Alligator Baby” by Robert Munsch is a ridiculous story that will have your child laughing and screaming “No no that’s not a people baby!” The story is about a family who brings home the wrong baby, over and over again. Finally the older sister takes things into her own hands and saves the day. Kids love this story, it’s not the best bedtime book though, my son was very very hard to settle down after laughing so hard at this one.


Additional Activity


Cookie Sheet Letter Board

Looks simple doesn’t it? It is. All I did was buy $1 magnetic letters at Wal-mart and grabbed a cookie sheet from my pantry. My son has been playing with this on and off for days. Here are some of the fun things we’ve done.

  • All the letters on the sheet- take turns finding a letter and taking it off
  • All letter off the sheet, taking turns finding a letter and putting it on
  • Grouping the letters by color
  • Counting the letters as we put each on , and taking them off again.

Of course we labeled each letter as we did this. It is definitely simple but it was also a lot of fun.

Giant Sunflower Craft

sunflower kids craft
It was cold, dark and dreary today, so we made our own cheer with this giant sunflower project. This is a great craft for a day when you are stuck inside because there are so many steps . You can plant a seed or act out how a seed grows into a plant while you are waiting for your sunflower to dry.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper bag, a paper plate, some black rice, glue, yellow and green paint , a marker , scissors, a bath poof or sponge and double stick tape.
  2. Start by cutting open your grocery bag and drawing a long stem along one edge and multiple petals on the rest of it.
  3. Cut the stem outline out and have your child paint it green. My son loved using the roller paints for this because it was so easy to make long straight lines. Let dry.
  4. Paint the petals with the bath poof or sponge. I find that when we are painting a large surface it’s much better to use a big tool that covers easily.
  5. Paint the bottom of the paper plate with the yellow paint too. Let dry.
  6. Cut out the stem and petals
  7. Add glue to the center of the paper plate – more is better so this is a great time to have your child control the glue.
  8. Add the rice. My son added a few at first then dumped the whole dish on. Let dry. This actually dried to the touch pretty fast.
  9. Flip the plate upside down and using the double stick tape tape the petals on.
  10. Tape the stem on.
  11. Brighten even the darkest day !

Books!

“The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carleis a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. My son liked this book but didn’t make it all the way through, which I expected since it is a long book for a 2 year old.

“Planting A Rainbow” by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for little curious minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and dive into it reading each flowers name on every page , or browse it more casually with a youngerchild simply noting the colors.


Additional Activity


” Grow Little Seed!”

I love teaching through acting things out, and just like all the classes I have had my son loves it too. For this theme we started as little “ta ta tiny!” seeds deep in the dirt. Then it rained and we started growing roots ( ours looked a lot like jazz hands) and then started to push through the dirt to the sunlight. Then the sun was bright and strong and we grew and grew, and finally blossomed. With older children I would havegone into more detail , maybe include a strong wind blowing us to and fro, sprouting leaves etc…However you do it , go big, take your children’s suggestions and have fun!