We have been chatting about lowercase ls a lot around here lately because my son recently gained a new sight word FIRE (it’s always all in caps on extinguishers, fire doors etc..) – and the uppercase i throws him off sometimes. So we had a brief discussion about fonts ( using your computer to show all the silly different ways to make the same letter is a great way to play with that idea), and decided since we were talking so much about this letter we’d use it for this week’s craft.
- Gather your materials. You will need a full sheet of blue construction paper, some white, yellow and red as well. Glue, blue markers , scissors and sea life stickers.
- Write a lowercase l on some white paper.
- Start by having your child draw waves on the paper. I was so surprised that this was my son’s favorite part, he was so into it, carefully drawing squiggly lines.
- Next add sea life to the ocean. This is not a must do step but I think it’s important to reinforce some learning about the sea. We took time to talk about the different animals on the stickers ( crabs, sea horses, fish and starfish) and peeling those little stickers off is great fine motor practice.
- While they are working on their ocean, cut out the red roof and yellow ray of light.
- Hand them the lowercase l, ask them what letter it is, sounds it makes and why you are making it into a lighthouse.
- My son insisted on making red stripes on it , so I grabbed him a crayon. ( Mental note where is my red marker?? Can’t find it anywhere.)
- Cut the l out.
- Add glue to your ocean
- Add your lighthouse, my son’s was way to the right only because he didn’t want to cover any of his stickers. Place yours wherever as long as it’s vertical .
- Add the roof
- Add the ray of light and let dry.
Over the Irish Sea
When I was 1 I sucked my thumb
and then I went to sea
I climbed aboard a pirate ship
and the captain said to me
“Let’s go this way , and that way.
backwards and forwards,
over the Irish sea!”
* Continue counting with rhyming words like 2 and shoe, 3 and knee etc
Books About The Sea!
Stanley at Sea by Linda Bailey made me giggle . The story is about 4 dogs that go out to sea unintentionally when they are searching for food. While out there they start wondering when outside will end because the sea is so wide and they are so far from land. One dog suggest that outside will end when then hit a fence. Sure enough they hit what they think is a fence, what readers know is a tanker and are rescued and fed steak and sausages they can eat before being returned to their owners. Doggie nirvana for sure. I love that the book is presented through the dog’s perspective, it gives young kids a chance to laugh and correct the dogs ideas about the things they encounter.
My Very Own Lighthouse by Francisco Cunha is a book about what it’s like to watch a parent go out to sea while you wait at home for their safe return. The little girl in this book is worried about her dad who is a fisherman so her mom explains to her why there are lighthouses. She decides to make her very own so that she can keep her daddy safe. I love the authors deep understanding of childhood anxiety, and how he has her gain some control by making her very own lighthouse with toys and a star. It’s not realism ( using a star as the light) , but any child will relate to the shift in power from being afraid and having nightmares to feeling as though she is actively helping keep her dad safe.
A Sea-Wishing Day by Robert Heidbreder is a wonderful tale of adventure, pirates, mermaids and treasure! The best part the little boy and his canine companion never really leave his backyard in the city , instead the adventure is all in their imagination. Anyone with a preschooler will appreciate this book, playing pretend is a huge part of most 3-5 year old’s playtime, and it should be. This book encourages, as well as celebrates that as this little boy discovers adventures on the high sea.
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Boat b !
When I presented my son with 4 different b themes to choose from his choice was clear, “Boat bbbb boat, boat let’s make a boat!” so we did. I have been enjoying watching him trace the letters now instead of scribbling on them randomly like he used to. It’s clear his ability to write is naturally emerging and I am tickled to see it come out like this. What new development have you seen your child do recently? Leave a comment and share!
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 full sheets of construction paper, and one smaller blue piece for waves, glue, scissors and markers. The letter stickers are optional .
- Start by writing a large lowercase b on one sheet of construction paper.
- Have your child decorate it as they see fit. Mine like I said is big into tracing, which is very interesting since I have never once done a letter tracing work sheet with him.
- While they do that draw 2 sails and a boat on another sheet, as well as some waves on the smaller blue piece.
- Have them color the sail and boat with markers when they are done with the b.
- My son insisted on cutting out the waves himself. So I grabbed his scissors too. I cut out the boat and sails while he was doing this.
- Glue the waves on the remaining full sheet of paper.
- Glue the b on and add the glue for the boat and sails.
- Add the sails.
- Add the boat.
- Give the boat a name- using the letter stickers and let dry.
Sail Away by Donald Crews was a huge hit. I can’t say I am surprised at all my son loves this author and it’s easy to understand why. The text is simple, as is the premise of the book. Readers don’t get deeply invested in the characters, they are faceless people on a sail boat, instead the focus is on the boat istself. Where it goes, how the weather affects it and how it gets beck to where it started from. I have always enjoyed the use of light in Donald Crews books, you don’t have to explain to your child that a storm is coming or that time has passed because the light in the illustrations does the explaining for you. Great boat book!
Toy Boat by Randall de Seve is a story that will pull at your heart as well as make you cheer, well it made my 3 year old cheer anyway! A little boy makes his very own toy boat and plays with it, in the tub and even sleeps with it. One day when he is at the beach it floats off into the open ocean. It’s turbulent, scary and well anxious to see this tiny boat made of household things fight the waves. My son was visibly shaken by it’s unintentional freedom. With a little help from a friendly fishing boat the toy boat returns home and both boat and boy rejoice. This is a common theme for boat books- but the illustrations by Loren Long really help this one stand out above the others. My son cheered every time we read the part when they are reunited!
More Boat Crafts & Books
Pretend play activities that combine imaginative play with crafts are our favorite things to do lately. Also our supplies are made up of many recycled and reusable materials. This can be done with boxes, wagons pretty much anything your child can sit in! When they are pretending go along with their suggestions and let them lead. It’s your turn to ask “Why?” and follow along. Most of all have fun.
- Gather your materials. We are using a laundry basket, some party streamers, a wrapping paper tube, some painters tape, pipe cleaners, a paper grocery bag, sticky back foam, markers and scissors.
- Start by having your child decorate the mast of the sail ( aka the wrapping paper tube) with markers and foam.
- While they are doing that , draw a sail on the inside of the grocery bag.
- Fold and cut two layers ( so the inside is facing out ) of sail.
- Decorate the sail with markers and foam.
- Tape the sail to the mast. I am using painters tape because my son likes the blue. Any tape will work.
- Decorate the boat. We weaved the party streamers in and out of the little holes on the sides of our basket. I didn’t want anything sticky in the basket since my laundry does sometimes get put in it.
- Attach the mast. I am using pipe cleaners wrapped around the tube and tied to the basket. Like I said above I didn’t want sticky tape residue on my basket. If you are using a box no biggie but this worked for us. I covered the sharp edges with painters tape which also won’t leave a residue.
- All Aboard! We played ferry boat, and the drink you see was part of our pretend play. I had to be the lady in the ferry cafeteria and make him a drink before he got back in his Honda and we docked. Hey it got some banana into him too !
- Gather your materials. You will need construction paper, a blue marker, scissors and glue.
- Give your child the marker and a piece of construction paper to draw the water and waves.
- While they are drawing the turbulent sea, cut out a semi circle, a long thin rectangle, two triangles and 3 small circles.
- When they are done break out the glue! Add the glue for the boat first.
- Add the semi circle boat.
- Next add the glue for the mast and the rectangle.
- Time to add the triangles
- Dot on three dots of glue for the port holes.
- Add the little circles.
- Sail Away !
“The Seaside Switch” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.
” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!
We live by the water and one of my son’s favorite things to do is to jump in the Ergo and check out the boats at the marina. We decided to make our own today. Here is how we did it.
- Gather your materials. You will need A paper towel roll, the top of an egg carton, some tissue paper, glue, paint scissors and tape.
- Paint the egg carton. We used the dot a art paint, because it goes on with very little mess and had a playdate shortly after art time but any paint will do, just keep it thin so it doesn’t saturate the carton.
- Next up the paper towel roll mast!
- While your child is painting, cut the tissue paper into a sail.
- Glue onto the mast.
- Add a layer of tape on top to keep the sail in place. You don’t have to do this but I find tissue paper is so flimsy that I did 3 layers and needed glue on the bottom and tape on top.
- Glue the mast onto the boat, I poured a ton of glue and stuck the roll into it. Let dry.
- Voila , your boat is beautiful and environmentally responsible!
” Boats” by Byron Barton is a board book that has been read continually since it came home form the library a week ago. Perfect for toddlers who will appreciate the simple text and bright fun pictures, this book is a great for anyone with a child who like mine screams ” Boat, Dingy! Boat!” whenever they are near water!
” An Island in the Soup “ by Mirelle Levert is an award winning book , and it’s easy to see why. The story follows a little boy who refusing to eat imagines a fantasy world in his bowl of soup, it rains peas and carrots and he encounters a bad fairy but in the end he eats his delicious soup. The illustrations are perfect although the bad fairy’s unibrow is very very frightening!
” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is s cute little book that uses cartoony characters to help explain all about boats and how they work. This is a perfect book for children who’s attention isn’t held by a non fiction book, but wants to know more about boats!