Letter of The Week

Yarn y

Letter of the week y craft

Y is always tricky but this craft does double duty not only reinforcing the letter y, but also as a active fine motor skills lacing toy! As you can see I wasn’t fussy about how my son laced it. I wanted him to get the yarn through the holes not make perfect stitches. Holding the yarn in between his thumb and fingers also promotes the tripod grip ( proper way to hold writing tools).

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, a hole punch, some markers, yarn, scissors and tape. Letter of the week y craft
  2. Write a lowercase ( would work great with uppercase too ) on your cardboard. Letter of the week craft
  3. Hand it to your child and invite them to color it with markers.  My son has taken to tracing and writing the letter on it. Letter of the week craft
  4. Add more colors until they decide they are done. Letter of the week craft
  5. While they are coloring cut off a long piece  of yarn and double it, so it make a bog loop. Tape the 2 ends together tightly so that it makes a hard end for easy lacing. Letter of the week craft
  6. Cut the y out. Letter of the week craft
  7. Hole punch time!  Our card board was too thick for my son to punch the holes, if the cereal box in the picture hasn’t had writing on the inside ( why do they do that?!) it would have been great. If your child can help , have them help. Letter of the week craft
  8. Before you hand the y back thread the yarn through the first hole and loop it back through the yarn so it ties onto the y. This eliminates meltdowns about the yarn just zooming through all the holes. As well as keeps the 2 pieces together for later use! Letter of the week craft
  9. Lace! I laced the first two holes to demonstrate it to my son then let him at it. Letter of the week craft
  10. Keep going! Letter of the week craft

Teaching children about letters is more fun if you include as many novel and sensory experiences as you can. This was a huge hit and even bigger mess, but well worth it. My son who is in the midst of a perfectionist phase loved that he could “erase” his letters. He also loved how the bright colors magically appeared under the cornstarch.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a shallow cardboard box, cornstarch, and some brightly colored markers, pastels or what I used… window markers.  Letter of the week craft
  2. Color the bottom of your box with a few colors. If you are using anything “wet” let it dry 100% before adding the cornstarch. Letter of the week craft
  3. Add the cornstarch and cover the color. Letter of the week craft
  4. Start writing! Isn’t it cool how the colors pop? I was giddy that it worked! Letter of the week craft
  5. Explore! Letter of the week craft
  6. He wrote an M then exclaimed – look I can make a W too, then flipped the whole box , then wrote another M.
  7. Letter of the week craft Letter of the week craft We stepped outside to shake all the extra off! Letter of the week craft

Have fun this one is MESSY – I was covered, my camera was covered, my son was covered and we had a blast!

Some of our Favorite Alphabet Books

Pattern Lesson

preschool patterning lesson

Whenever I do little lessons like this with my son , I set them up when he is not around. I introduce them as “puzzles” for him to help me solve and that peaks his interest and makes it fun, not some “lesson” mom is doing cause she misses teaching . Seriously though it is fun because he uses what he calls his “detective skills” to figure out the pattern. He’s also getting a good fine motor work out pinching them onto the sentence strip.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some colored clothes pins. If you don’t have colored ones available, grab the good old wood ones and color them with markers. You will also need some stiff paper like cardboard, card stock or sentence strips like we are using.  preschool patterning lesson
  2. Set out a number of patterns with the clothes pins. I did 3, a general rule of thumb is to provide a challenge but not overwhelm them, or challenge them too much to the point of frustration . I have done patterns before with my son but it had been a while, I also wanted to provide choices for him, something if you have a toddler or preschooler is at times an absolute must have.  Preschool patterning lesson
  3. Give them the pegs and ask them if they can solve the puzzle and figure out what comes next. preschool patterning lesson
  4. If they are not sure sing a song ” White , Blue, White , Blue…” that is normally get them going if they are ready for patterns. preschool patterning lesson
  5. If an ABABA pattern is too easy try a ABCABC one.

Next time we do this I will be doing it with 3 colors in one pattern, my son needed me to sing the pattern for the first strip but them completed the next 2 on fast forward with no input. Which tells me next time to make it a little more challenging, but to also provide some at this level to give him a balance of challenge and independent success. Best part – nothing you used gets ruined. The pins can be used again and so can the sentence strips.

Marshmallow Easter Egg

Going to the grocery store while pregnant can be dangerous, I left the store yesterday not with 1 but 2 bags of mini marshmallows.  Buyers regret stepped in but then I thought I could make a fun Easter craft with them too. So glad I got both bags because my son loved this and I think the Easter egg is adorable. Whenever I do crafts with tempting treats like marshmallows I give my son a number he needs to add to it before he can pop one in his mouth! So we limit gorging and practice counting.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white and colored mini marshmallows, construction paper, glue and a marker. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  2. Start by drawing an Easter egg on your paper. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  3. Add glue along the line. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  4. Add your white marshmallows along the edge. We did 15 then ate one, 21 then ate one , and 17 and ate one. Yes I did help too. My son said ” Mommy I will share my activity with you and tell daddy we shared.”  Marshmallow Easter Egg
  5. Next ask your child how many stripes they want. I caution you perhaps give them a range, my son said 8 and wouldn’t budge. I ended up doing 3 rows because 8 is a lot for a 3 year old to do. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  6. Add your colored marshmallows. We decided to add a sorting element by saying the lines can be any color, but it must be all one color. So my son was forced to sort the colors when adding them. Worked great! With younger toddlers I’d just let them go for it. Older children can add a patterning lesson in too. Marshmallow Easter Egg
  7. Keep going! Marshmallow Easter Egg
  8. Let dry.

I want to know YOUR favorite Easter books!

Leave a short review of your favorite Easter book in the comments and I will feature it ( and a link to you) in a reader’s favorites section of an upcoming  post.

Alphabet Beads – 2 Activities!

Support Your Team!

Olympic Bracelets

When I bought these beads I was trying to decide what to make with them , and inspiration struck today. We are going up to cheer for Canada and the USA at the Olympics and decided to make some jewelry for the occasion. Beading was not easy and my son only did a bit, I wasn’t expecting him to do any this is an activity for 5 and up although as you can see younger kids can help! For a great activity for younger ones scroll down!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some pipe cleaners ( in the country’s colors you are supporting), and some alphabet beads.Olympic Bracelet
  2. Start by searching for the letters. I didn’t ask my son to come help since my plan was for this to be an older child activity, but he came and helped!Olympic Bracelet
  3. Spell out your message.Olympic Bracelet
  4. Thread on!  I threaded all the of the beads on and separated the pipe cleaners to make it fancy ;) For the USA one I threaded the USA on a single pipe cleaner and the hearts on both.Olympic Bracelet
  5. Wrap the ends to make your bracelet.Olympic Bracelet

Uppercase Lowercase Match!

Alphabet Match Game

Games don’t have to be complicated to be fun. This alphabet game is super simple but easy make and fun to play.  The beads are uppercase letters so to make it more challenging for my son who knows his letters, I used lowercase letters in the tin. You could use uppercase letters for beginners or even spell simple sight words for more advanced learners.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need alphabet letter beads, a muffin tin, some paper, a marker , tape and scissors or a circular paper punch.Alphabet Match Game
  2. Write out the letters on the paper.Alphabet Game Match
  3. Punch them out.
  4. Tape into the tin.Alphabet Match Game
  5. Call your sorting superstar to the table! And have fun, it is a game after all!

You might also like :

Letter Pizza!
Letter Recognition- Links to great lessons
Cereal Box Laptop

Sort and Shape Heart!

Marshmallow Valentine's Treat

My son will do anything for marshmallows and he loves sorting. Since this craft itself is super simple I made things more challenging by creating a pre-activity of sorting the colors with bamboo tongs.  Yes many were eaten, we did this on a no nap day and the sillies were at an all time high but we still had fun.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a divided tray, mini marshmallows, some paper or foam , glue and tongs.Valentine Marshmallow Treat
  2. Start by sorting a few of the marshmallows in a tray. I put a few in each section to provide a guide.
  3. Hand your child the tongs and let them sort.Valentine's Marshmallow Treat
  4. And eat.Valentine's Marshmallow Treat
  5. When they are all sorted ( and yes I asked if I could help and sorted a few as well) add glue to the foam/paper in a heart shape.Valentine's Day Marshmallow Treat
  6. Start adding the pink marshmallows.Valentine's Marshmallow Treat
  7. Count as you go! We did 13, 5 and 9 before gobbling up a few yellow and green ones.Valentine's Day Marshmallow Treat
  8. Let dry. Build Your Own Snowman 002