by Allison McDonald We have been doing so many playdough and other sensory activities lately that it was about time to get back to a simple and playful alphabet activity. This alphabet activity is part of our Alphabet For Starters series. This series is all about playing with letters, discovering them without pressure. This alphabet garden is super simple but can be made more challenging with a few simple changes.
- Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper ( rumor has it that the dollar store is carrying it now! ), some green construction paper, multi-color construction paper, scissor and a marker or two.
- Attach the contact paper to the wall sticky side out. She loves to “get stuck” on the wall .
- Next step is making some grass. Fold your green paper, and cut.
- Next cut some stems and flowers. I did tulips because they are easy to free hand cut.
- Add letters to your flowers. Now here is where you can easily customize this activity. For my daughter I did plain old lowercase letters. You can do upper or a mix or write letters on the stems and have it turn into a match game.
- Set the pieces out and let your kiddo explore.
- My daughter loves flowers and she got right into it. We talked about the letters, the colors of the flowers and how the stems are different lengths. Don’t pressure young kids to do every letter. My daughter put a handful on while we played the first time and then I left it all set up and a few days letter she returned and added a few more. I will leave it up for a few more days and I am sure she will keep adding a few every day. The whole point is to play and discover letters. As she adds the letters to the wall she naturally says ” Look this is A, it’s your letter Mama!” and we talk about it .
If you are looking for a more traditional letter of the week approach we have many letter of the week ideas here. My son loved cutting and pasting so we made fun letter crafts when he was learning his letters. Find what works best for your child, what they enjoy and don’t forget to have fun!
Like many of my activities this sticky window was spur of the moment. I was trying to get ready for our family trip to Texas and my 2 year old had already watched more TV than I care to admit. We needed an easy and fun activity . This was perfect. I had a bouquet of flowers that I was going to have to throw away before we left anyway so it was even better that we could use it for this. If you don’t have a bouquet of wilting flowers on hand you can use leaves, grass clippings, pine cones, etc… Go on a nature walk and see what will stick!
- Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape, scissors and flowers or other bits of nature. I used markers to make some stems and the start of the mural but it was totally NOT needed. I wish I had not done this. The flowers and sticky window is enough. I would have put up another sheet of contact paper but it’s expensive and my daughter was waiting.
- Tape the contact paper on the window. The way I do this is to peel a little bit back and tape the top. The sticky side is facing YOU. The carefully peel the backing off. Tape all the other sides down with the painter’s tape.
- Prep the flowers in a bowl or container for your child. My daughter loved just playing with the flowers , pulling them apart and investigating. I loved watching her.
- Stick the flowers on. She was totally into this and it was such pretty addition to our kitchen.
I love getting kid made gifts especially for holidays like Mother’s Day . This is possibly the easiest mother’s day craft ever. Anyone , even the most un-crafty person can handle it , add in a few fresh flowers and you have a cute and functional gift for mom. As you will see both my kids made one and I have a few tips for doing this with a toddler .This is a great last minute craft to make as there are few steps and almost no drying time either!
- Gather your materials. You will need a small smoothie sized container , permanent markers, ribbon and scissors. I also used some cardboard for a mat to protect the table.
- Start by taking the labels off the bottles.
- Start coloring. They can write words, do a drawing or just some fun abstract designs. Using permanent markers is a huge treat at my house so my son was thrilled.
- The markers don’t dry right away so make sure you tell your kids to be careful to avoid the wet marker. This made my son take more care while making it which is a goal for us. We are working hard on him not rushing through everything.
- My daughter who is 22 months even made one. I sat her on my lap and held the bottle for her while she used the markers. By having her on my lap I could easily grab the marker if it started towards the table, her face, my face… anywhere that permanent marker would not be welcome.
- Next tie some ribbon and add flowers. We will put real tulips in on Sunday.
Favorite Books About Mom
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt is a wonderful mushy book that will still appeal to kids that aren’t so into mush. A little boy in his PJs asks his mom if she will still love him even if he was a series of terrible monsters. It reminds me of “The Runaway Bunny” but less saccharine and creepy. Sorry if I have just called your favorite book creepy but I’ve never been a fan of “The Runaway Bunny”. Back to this book and why I like it, I love that the little boy in the book keeps trying to find ways to make him unlovable and the mom keeps finding ways to love unconditionally. There is a deeper meaning here and moms will see past the fun illustrations to the real heart of this book, which is no matter what we love our children. When I found this in a thrift store and read it quickly, I couldn’t look at my son in his stroller throwing puffs on the floor without tearing up.
Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman is a book about everyday life of a family with two moms. What I love about this book is that it showcases parts of the day that young toddlers through preschoolers can relate to easily. They have bath time, they go to the park, they cook dinner, in other words they are a family like any with a small child. My son loved this book and related easily to the baby in the book and to the experiences that they share.The book makes no political statement, no explanation of two mommies and it shouldn’t, it’s a book about one loving family and nothing more.
Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through
We love playing with the alphabet. Whether it’s making letter crafts , reading book or creative activities like this we play with and point out letters where ever we go. This is the 5th installment of our Alphabet For Starters series, posts dedicated to introducing and playing with letters for beginners. We spent the majority of the day outside pulling weeds and my daughter helped us by pulling flowers too. I decided to piggy back that with this alphabet garden magnetic play. Please be careful whenever you use magnets . I prefer using products like this adhesive magnetic roll vs round magnets that are all too often put in little mouths. If your child is still putting things in their mouth skip the magnets it’s a nice extra but not required.
- Gather your materials. You will need some fun precut shapes I am using wooden shapes fromCraftprojectideas.com , some permanent markers, scissors, magnetic sheets , some paper and a cookie sheet.
- Start by writing out the alphabet one letter at a time on the wooden pieces.
- Decorate . I used permanent markers because I wanted to play the same day but if you have the time paint would be nice too.
- Trace the shape on the paper side of the adhesive magnetic roll.
- Cut and stick.
- Make a few scenes on paper ( I made a garden and a vase ), placed them on the cookie sheet and put the letters in a basket.
- Play. She started right away.
- Then switched the scene and kept going. As she placed the letters I labeled them and every now and then would ask which letter she liked best, which color she liked best and which was her favorite flower/ butterfly. Anything with polka dots was the verdict every time.
A Gardener’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian is a fresh and so richly illustrated alphabet book you will likely have the same thoughts I did while reading it with my son ” I need to frame these pages!” they are that awesome. What I think the main benefit of this book is , is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with a cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables and roots !
Baby’s Alphabet by 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 and forgot it on the plane. Hopefully someone with a baby finds it.
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra is a great alphabet book. I couldn’t help myself, I read it to my son to the tune of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . It is clearly it’s own book though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed and just like your little ones, these lowercase letters are pulling out all their tricks and antics to avoid bedtime. Well almost all of them, z is more than happy to go to bed! It’s a sweet book that your kids can relate to and I like that it focuses on lowercase letters.
Mother’s Day is less than a month away so it’s the perfect time to gather up all our flower themed crafts for kids and share them in one easy spot for you to find them. Over the years we have done a number of easy flower crafts for kids and toddlers that use common household materials so they are frugal too. Here are our top 21 flower crafts for kids.
Flower Cookie Cutter Prints ( great for toddlers)
Foam Flower Magnets
Pool Noodle Bouquet For Mother’s Day
Fingerprint Flower ( another great toddler craft)
Spring Flower Mural
Dried Lentil Flowers
Newspaper and Button Flowers
Paint Chip Flowers
Cupcake Liner Poppies
Felt Flower & Color Mixing
Paper Roll Pop Out Flowers
Easter Egg Flowers
Pool Noodle Flower Garland
Pasta Flower Centerpieces
Giant Sunflower Craft