Letter of the Week ! I i !

Ice Cream I !

Who doesn’t love ice cream? This activity can help teach the letter I , but it can also be used as a lesson about shapes and a simple math lesson. We only put on one scoop but you can add as many scoops as you can count!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 or more pieces of construction paper, crayons, scissors, glue and cotton balls if desired.
  2. Start by drawing a large I . Don’t cut it out yet.
  3. Have your child color and decorate the I, let them know that it’s going to be the cone of an ice cream cone. Ask them about the shapes they normally see on a cone, if they tell you a shape ask them to draw it on the cone. If they aren’t quite there yet, don’t push. It’s more important they are enjoying this activity , then us adults trying to cram in 4000 lessons into one. Go with their flow!
  4. While they are coloring and possibly drawing diamonds or other fun shapes, cut out one or more half circles for the scoops or ice cream. I made my scoop look more like ice cream but if you are using this as shape lesson simply use a perfect half circle.
  5. Cut everything out and glue together. Glue the I on the backing paper first, then the ice cream.
  6. Add more scoops if you want, and you can make the ice cream 3D by gluing on a few cotton balls.
  7. Let dry.
Books!


” Ice Cream , The Full Scoop”
by Gail Gibbons is a fascinating book all about, you guessed it, ice cream. It touches on the history of the tasty treat, how it was made in years past and how it is made today. As someone who once called St. Louis home, I was happy to see it also talks about the very first ice cream cone that debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in good old St. Louis! This book is not for toddlers or young preschoolers, it may even be too long for some 5 and 6 year olds. The delivery is fun with a lot of pictures so even if the whole book is too much, bits and pieces in small does much like ice cream is perfect!

“Manana, Iguana” by Ann Whitford Paul is a great book. It is a re telling of Chicken Little with a fun twist. The sky isn’t falling in this tale, instead Iguana is throwing a fiesta and although her friends say they will help, they all back out. She stands her ground and in the end they learn that you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too! The best part about this book is it’s use of Spanish mixed in with the English text. Small children will pick up on these words quickly and any exposure we as parents can give our children different languages is a benefit to them.

Letter of the Week ! W w !

Word!

This is an awesome craft for children old enough for scissors, it’s still fun with younger ones but it requires a little more prep work. If you are homeschooling and have a word wall you can use those words for your craft , and simply write the words out instead of finding them in newspaper.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some newspaper or paper to write words on, some cardboard ( old cereal boxes are always handy) ,double stick tape, crayons, glue and scissors.
  2. Cut out your words from the newspaper, if your child is able to let them do this themselves. Help the read the words .
  3. If you are doing this for a toddler cut the words out and using double stick tape tape them to cardboard backing , I just used some more cardboard for this. This will allow your child to glue the words on, newspaper is easily crumpled and toddler fingers have a hard time with it. The backing will help them do it without your help, which will help prevent hearing ” I do it” and ” Me do!” .
  4. Draw a big W and cut it out.
  5. Let your child color it with crayons.
  6. Grab the glue - I usually dot it on then close the cap and let my son imitate me. He is learning where to put it , and soon I will open it for him , but right now we are still practicing!
  7. Add the words.
  8. After it’s dry , sit with your child and ask about the words they chose, point our letters or simple praise their fantastic work!

Alphabet Book List

animalia by Greame Base

Align Center

Animalia by Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!


Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming is a wonderful example of what an alphabet book should be. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning their first letters, the text is short , the letters are front and center and the illustrations are fun and interesting. My son loves this book, I grabbed it at the library after remembering how much my Pre K class loved it too! Many alphabet books are too long to read entirety at circle time or in one shot with a toddler but this my 19 month old will sit through Z every time!


The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca did not live up to my expectations. My main complaint it that the letters aren’t showcased at all. Yes each page starts with the appropriate letter but I really feel like in an alphabet book the letter needs to be obvious , and easy for young children to pick out. The text was centered around each letter but there wasn’t very good flow from one page to the next. I was disappointed in this pick.

What Pete Ate
What Pete Ate from A to Z by Marie Kalman had my Pre-K class in stitches begging for more. It really is a funny book about a dog and his alphabetical list of things he’s eaten. I like it because it’s funny and simple and the alliterative text isn’t forced. The sarcastic bits will keep parents giggling too!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. It’s text is musical , it’s premise is brilliant in it’s simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!
Chicka Chicka ABC is a fantastic board book and shorter version of the longer book. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler, the illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even very young babies will respond to it! A must have for all bookshelves.

Baby's Alphabet by Jean Marzollo
Baby’s Alphabetby Jean Marzollo will appeal to your baby and toddler, we were given it as a gift and my son has loved it since about 9 months on. The photographs of other babies will keep your little one interested and you will be surprised how soon they will anticipate the next page, I know I was. Sadly our copy is now flying the friendly skies , we took it on a flight with us last week and forgot it. Hopefully someone with a baby finds it !

The Ocean Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta is a good book, not a page turner but it is filled with fun facts about sea creatures. The book is geared towards older children but because it has letters prominently displayed on each page, with great illustrations your toddler will enjoy it too. The text really is too long to read from A-Z for a circle time or a toddler but it was very easy for me to simply read each letter and label the ocean animal for my son who then sat through the whole alphabet. If your child is into all things that swim this is a good book to foster that love and learn a little about letters at the same time!


Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list.


Letter of the Week L l !

Leaf L !

School is starting , the leaves are turning and we had to turn our heat on the other day so I thought this weeks letter craft should reflect the upcoming season! Sorry it’s a few days late, it’s been so rainy we had to wait for the leaves to dry!

 

  1. Gather your materials. You will need to gather some leaves, 2 pieces of construction paper, glue, scissors and some markers.
  2. Go outside and find some fun colorful leaves! If the neighbor’s cat wants to help that’s a bonus!
  3. Draw a big L
  4. Have your child color the L while you wipe down and or dry the leaves!
  5. Add the glue
  6. Glue on the leaves.
  7. Let dry, I had to cover the L with wax paper and the heaviest ( and best might I add) cookbook I have to press the leaves down. After about an hour I was able to peel the wax paper off and let the leaves dry in the open.
  8. When dry cut out and glue onto the 2nd piece of paper.

 

Song!

Hurry, Hurry, Seasons Changing

Hurry, Hurry, Spring is coming
See all the flowers blooming
Hurry , Hurry Spring is coming
Baby animals everywhere!

Hurry, Hurry, Summer’s coming
See how the sun is shining,
Hurry , Hurry, Summer’s coming
At the beach and at the pool!

Hurry, Hurry, Autumn’s coming
See all the leaves falling,
Hurry, Hurry, Autumn’s coming
Grab a sweater it’s getting cold!

Hurry, Hurry, Winter’s coming
See all the snow falling,
Hurry, Hurry Winter’s coming
Bundle up like a polar bear!

 

Parent’s Corner : Make This Tonight !

Letter
Lacing Card

Once again shopping online has forced me to try and see if I could make it myself. I don’t need 5 bug lacing cards, I already have too many toys in my family room! So here is how I made one. I used my son’s initial, but there is no reason not to make a rocket ship, butterfly or a simple square!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( I am using a cereal box) , some card stock, permanent double stick tape,scissors, a hole punch, eyelets and an eyelet setter. Oh and a fun shoe lace. I let my son pick this out at the store, it’s thick so it’s won’t fall our of the holes easily.
  2. Cut your cardboard to a size the will be easy for your child to handle, the older the child the bigger it can be.
  3. Cover it with a large piece of cardstock the same way you would wrap a present. This way there are no sharp edges they can play with.
  4. Draw and cut out your initial or shape in a contrasting color and using the permanent double stick tape tape it on.
  5. Punch some hole around the shape. I messed mine up but ultimately even if they aren’t spaced perfectly it’s ok, they will still lace just as well.
  6. Add your eyelets.
  7. Start lacing. Please ignore my son’s messy face, I was making this while he ate lunch and he couldn’t wait to play with it. I was so excited to see how well he did with it too, not bad for 21 months! I think I may make a few more and “give” them to Santa for his stocking!