Letter Of The Week – Letter B Theme

Our letter of the week posts continue with a one stop shop for all things you may need for introducing and having fun with the letter B. Bugs, boats , bats and butterflies are just some of the fun crafts you can make, don’t miss the three alphabet books showcased they are all ones I highly recommend!

{ Letter Crafts }

Bumble B

Banana B

Boat b

{ Crafts and Activities That Start With The Letter B }

Banjo

Bat

Beach Sensory Tub

Birds

Boats

Bugs

Bunny Ears

Butterflies

Bus

{ Great Alphabet Books }

Alphabetter by Dan Bar-el and Graham Ross is another great alphabet book for you to check out. Each letter is represented by a child who has something that starts with the same letter as their name but doesn’t have what they want which starts with the following letter. It’s such a cute gimmick and so effective while reading that it’s not a gimmick at all! At the end of the book all the children pass the items back down the alphabet and everyone gets what they want. Awesome book for toddlers on up !

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!


Alphabet Soup by Scott Gustafson is a treat! I read a lot of alphabet books and this one stands out for so many reasons. Otter is hosting a potluck and his animal friends are all bringing something to share. Each page is devoted to an animal with a coordinating food item and more. This book is reminiscent of Graham Base’s Animalia but mush more toddler friendly. Where Animalia is great for older children because it’s so full of detail, this book brings it down a notch but still enchants you with stunning illustrations and fantastic coordinating text.

Letter of The Week – Letter A Theme!

This is the third school year that I have done a letter of the week and my son is well… kinda done. So while we won’t have new letters for a while I will be posting weekly theme posts like this one. I will include letter crafts, books and extension activities for every letter .  My philosophy about letter of the week is that we let kids play and be introduced to the letters and we should still focus on the alphabet as a whole which . I hope you like this new set up, I can’t preach to you do activities your child has genuine interest without pushing and then push my son into doing more letter crafts.  Until he wants to do some more this will be the format.  Enjoy!

{Letter Crafts}

Alligator A - Alien AApple A

{Crafts and Activities That Start With A}

Acorn - Acorns and Apples Sensory Tub - Airplane - Ange l- AntApples

{Alphabet Books}

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.

A is for America by Devin Scillian is a perfect mix of national pride and real facts. As a Canadian I always feel strange critiquing works like this, I don’t want to sound too critical and that won’t be the case with this wonderful book. There are plenty of fantastic reasons to celebrate America and this book lays them on the table from A to Z !

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 .

Letter of the Week – Guest Post !

Train & Tracks t !

T for trains

I am blessed to have wonderful creative readers and this post comes from Stephanie at The Helping Mommy. I loved the simplicity of this craft , but the learning potential is big. Trains and tracks are both wonderful t words that even the youngest letter of the week artist can relate to.

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Train tables, train rugs, tracks on the floor….most kids will play trains anywhere that there is a hard surface.  With this project, you can teach about lowercase t while helping your kiddo make a new and interesting surface to run his or her trains on.

  1. We cut the “t” shape out of brown construction paper.
  2. Pasted it onto regular white copy paper.
  3. We drew racks with crayons and extended the tracks out to the edge of the page.
  4. My son plastered train stickers on the tracks. ( remember peeling those stickers are an all important fine motor skill too!)

We wanted to preserve the “t” look as much as possible for this project, but feel free to add grass, trees, cows or any other embellishments that you can think of.  Somehow we were completely out of Thomas the Tank stickers, otherwise those would have been on there too.

Train Books

Thomas The Tank

Thomas and the Shooting Star by W.Audry
My son is a BIG Thomas the Tank Engine fan, though I’ll have to admit that not all of the books pass muster in my opinion.  Thomas and the Shooting Star is one of the cuter Thomas books that talks about how Thomas struggles to fall asleep.  Gordon tells Thomas the tale about how shooting stars go around helping engines fall asleep.  Follow Thomas on this nighttime adventure as he follows the shooting star and chases sleep.

Frieght Train

Freight Train Big Book by Donald Crewes
Donald Crews’ Freight Train is a classic book.  It is rather simplistic in nature, but it is good for the younger train fans as it talks about the different kinds of freight cars and teaches about colors.

chugga-chugga-choo-choo

Chugga Chugga Choo Chooby Kevin Lewis
Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo is a sweet book that takes a train-trip through a little boy’s room.  This book reminds me of my boy because he used to literally play with trains ALL day long.  The pictures in this book are jut adorable, too!

Tracks

Tracks
Tracks by David Galef and Tedd Arnold is a hilarious book about a man named Arnold who is in charge of directing the crew who lays down the train tracks.  Arnold’s glasses break, and his vision becomes a bit skewed.  What will the mayor think of this wacky track?  You’ve got to read it and find out!

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Stephanie Dakin is a mommy to a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old.  She enjoy helping other parents by sharing some of the insight that she’s gained ‘deep in the trenches’ of parenting.   You can find  her at The Helping Mommy . She is currently participating in a blog internship and also writing at Crafts for Kidlets.

Letter of The Week Craft

Lighthouse l

Lighthouse Craft

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.

  1. 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.Lighthouse Craft
  2. Write a lowercase l on some white paper.
  3. 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.Lighthouse Craft
  4. 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.Lighthouse Craft
  5. While they are working on their ocean, cut out the red roof and yellow ray of light. Lighthouse Craft
  6. Hand them the lowercase l, ask them what letter it is, sounds it makes and why you are making it into a lighthouse.
  7. 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.) Lighthouse Craft
  8. Cut the l out.
  9. Add glue to your oceanLighthouse Craft
  10. 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 .
  11. Add the roofLighthouse Craft
  12. Add the ray of light and let dry. Lighthouse Craft

Song!

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

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

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

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.

You May Also Like:

Boat b
Laundry Basket Boat
Shape Boat

Letter of The Week : Family Letters

Alphabet Craft

I often get asked how and when to start doing letter crafts.  My best advice is to start when your child starts paying attention to letters, pointing them out and enjoying alphabet books and toys.  The other question that normally follows that is which letter to start with? I suggest starting with a letter they are confident recognizing, and a theme they enjoy. This is why this family letter craft is so fun and perfect for beginners. Kids are narcissistic and  crafts with their own smiling faces are often sure fire hits! This uses your child’s initial as the letter of the week, my son decided we should also make M for mommy and D for daddy. We used lowercase because that is what we are working on but either upper or lower would be fine!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need pictures of your child and whoever else you are making into letters, a sheet of construction paper for each letter, and one for the backing, scissors, glue , a marker and crayons. Alphabet Craft
  2. Start by writing the letter on the construction paper.Alphabet Craft
  3. Color the letter with crayons. We did this as a family so Daddy came and made his too !  Alphabet Craft Alphabet Craft
  4. While they color cut out the pictures.  Alphabet Craft
  5. While you cuts the letters out your child and husband can  play puppets with their picture cut outs  !Alphabet Craft
  6. Add glue  to your cut out letter and glue it to the backing. Alphabet Craft
  7. Add glue to the front of the letter- we did a little counting here , first counting the picture cut outs and then adding that number of glue globs to the letter.Alphabet Craft
  8. Add the picture cut outs.  Alphabet Craft
  9. Let dry.

Alphabet Books

I have many alphabet book reviews here but these three are my 3 favorites for beginners.


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!


Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault 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 !