Letter Of The Week

Road r !

Alphabet Craft

Using words that are easily recognizable, and readily used by your child for letter recognition activities is important.  Most all children can identify a road and what goes on it from very very young, so it’s a great choice!  Add in a child who loves anything that drives and you have a huge hit! Also finding vehicle stickers is dead easy, they are every where. My son loved this craft, when he woke from nap he skipped his usual snuggles and went straight for the table where I had the craft ready.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper ( one should be black) , vehicle stickers, scissors , glue and white or yellow chalk.Alphabet Craft
  2. Start by writing a large lowercase ( or upper) r on your green construction paper. If your child wants to decorate this go for it, it will mostly be covered by the road but if they are game , do it! Alphabet Craft
  3. Cut 3 rectangles out of the black paper. I included kid scissors in my picture because I was hoping my son would want to do some of the cutting but he just wanted to hurry to the stickers! If your child is able, encourage them to do some or all of the cutting.Alphabet Craft
  4. Have your child use the chalk to make road markings.  Alphabet Craft
  5. Add glue to the r Alphabet Craft
  6. Add the road. Alphabet Craft
  7. Time for stickers! Not only does this add extra fun since for many kids stickers are treats ( I know I use them as treats for all sorts of things) but it also adds great fine motor practice. When they carefully peel the stickers off they are using those fine motor skills, so do not do this step for them! Alphabet Craft
  8. Let dry completely then show it off ! Alphabet Craft

Books

Sputter Sputter Sput

Sputter, Sputter, Sput! by Babs Bell is all about a little car that zooms… until it starts to sputter! What could be causing that? It’s out of gas! The story is simple but the illustrations take it from basic story to a quirky and fun book.  The concept of up and down is reinforced multiple times but with fresh and fun illustrations by Bob Staake each time. My son enjoyed this book but it was a quick read , I think it would have been a favorite a year ago though , it was a little simple for him now at 3 1/2.  It’s definitely worth a look to see the illustrations !

Road Builders

Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy was a birthday gift for my son in November and he was not interested at first. Maybe because of the plethora of lego that was taking over our house… however it has since become such a favorite he recently “read” it to my sister’s dog. It’s a story all about how a road is built , explaining what the crew does, and how each type of construction vehicle has a different role in building a road.  I like that it explains the process from start to finish, in just the right level of detail for preschoolers.  I also like that there is a female crew member and her participation is seamless .

I'm A Truck

I’m a Truck by Dennis Shealy is about Big Blue Bill a big rig on his way from the Big Tuna to the Big Apple! As he travels along the highway, stops at trucks stops and runs into road construction he visits with his truck friends. Most every type of truck is covered in this book and the illustrations by Bob Staake ( yes the same as above!)  are so detailed that you can spend extra time just finding things on each page. All the trucks are anthropomorphized and some hilariously so. I am quite fond of a logging truck named Leif who had a beard and toque ( winter cap for non Canadians ) , he makes me giggle. My son loves the part where Big Blue Bill is stuck in city traffic behind a garbage truck who is stinky!  The text is a good length and I have a feeling this will be a favorite for a while at our house.

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Traffic Light Craft
Outdoor Car Wash
Rainbow R

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

Letter of The Week – Earth Day

Earth e !

Earth Day Craft

Earth Day is coming up so to extend our learning about the earth into our regular letter of the week craft we made an earth e today. My son loves this paint roller and for a craft like this where you cover over crayon it was the perfect painting tool.  I couldn’t narrow down my books to just 3 today, they range from toddler to school age so there is something for everyone.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white construction paper ( or paper plate), another sheet for the backing, a blue crayon, a black marker, green ( or yellow and blue) paint,scissors , glue,  a dish and a paint brush or roller. Earth Day Craft
  2. Start by writing a lowercase e on your white paper. If you are me fail miserably, try again on the other side ( yes this is a picture of my better e). Still mess it up. Earth Day Craft
  3. Grab a paper plate because that was your last sheet of white construction paper, make a stencil and trace it on the paper plate. Earth Day Craft
  4. Give your child the blue crayon and explain that this e is the Earth ( show them pictures of the earth if need be to explain how the blue is the ocean and the green is the land).  Have them draw some ocean- make sure they press hard. Earth Day Craft
  5. Time to pour paint Earth Day Craft
  6. Now mix it. I prefer to do this than use the regular green if possible. It’s some extra fun and extra learning. Earth Day Craft
  7. Roll it on! Earth Day Craft
  8. Let dry and cut out.  earth day craft
  9. Glue on your backing paper. Earth Day Craft

For more letter of the week crafts check out my eBook Alphabet Crafts !  From A-Z you will be learning and creating with your child .

Books

in the garden

In the Gardenby Leslie Bockol is a little board book all about growing your own fruits and vegetables in your garden. It is simple and although it’s listed for 3-6 year olds I would read it to 1-3 year olds. It identifies a number of fruits and vegetables and completes each page with ” I pick it and eat it!” my son loved the repetition and quickly completed each page for me while I was reading it to him. I think it’s a perfect book for toddlers and young preschoolers to introduce gardening to them.

The Whole Green World

The Whole Green World by Tony Johnston was an unexpected hit with my son.  Today reading it he learned that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, he saw the book in our pile to read and wasn’t taken with it, but I suggested maybe just reading the first page and he was hooked. The book is really about appreciating the whole world, from the view point of a little girl who grabs some seeds, plants them , waters them and savors the beauty all around her. My son loved the sing song text and the ultra detailed illustrations by Elisa Kleven. Which my son would study with every turn of the page asking me ” Mommy which bird, which book, which cake is your favorite?” making reference to the illustrations . It was a wonderful book to snuggle up with !

Herman and Marguerite

Herman and Marguerite: An Earth Story by Jay O’Callahan is a funny story with interesting and sometimes unexpected illustrations. The story is about a worm who has heard about the orchard above and wants to see it, but the sun is threatening and he is saved by a caterpillar! They develop a friendship and because of it the orchard that was once barren starts  attracting  animals again.  It’s not all easy along the way and the worm gets to return the favor of saving the caterpillar when she gets stuck between rocks on her way to spin her chrysalis. When she emerges as a butterfly her worm friend is there and so is a beautiful flowering apple orchard!   My son liked this book , I found it somewhat disjointed and what we both thought was odd was the random inclusion of photos of the author throughout the book. “Who is that weird guy Mama?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that one. Still he sat for the whole thing, and learned just how important worms are. It won’t be renewed over and over from the library though.

EcoMazes

EcoMazes by Roxie Munro is a new book that was sent to me by the publisher for review. The idea of this book is to showcase different ecosystems like wetlands, the tundra, desert and more through both a maze and search and find game. This book is not designed for preschoolers although my son loves it. We do the maze together as that is far too complicated for him, but he loves to find the animals on each page and has learned a lot about them too. What is awesome for older children ( 7-10) is that along with an answer key to the maze and pictures there is a full page of information about each ecosystem in the back of the book. This doesn’t talk down to the reader and gives great information using sophisticated vocabulary. I am excited to see how this book’s use changes over time in my home.

Letter of The Week

Carrot C

Letter C craft

I am always trying to find activities that can be part of a holiday we celebrate but aren’t so targeted that readers who do not celebrate it can’t use it either today or another time in the year. So this Letter C craft was born, carrots can be part of a unit on gardening, healthy eating or for us something we make in preparation for the Easter bunny.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( paper will do but cardboard just makes it more substantial), a marker, a small dish, scissors,  3 or more green pipe cleaners, a sponge, hole punch,  orange paint,  a sheet of construction paper and glue  if you are going to display it.  Ours is resting on the blue paper in the picture but we didn’t glue it on, it’s part of our Easter craft mish mash on our table! Letter C craft
  2. Start by writing a C on the cardboard, I tried to make mine thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom to make it resemble a carrot. Letter C craft
  3. Pour some orange paint into a dish. Letter C craft
  4. Paint! My son loves this glass sponge and how it paints. I love that the sponges make the paint go thinner which makes it dry faster. Letter C craft
  5. Let it dry, cut out. Letter C craft
  6. Punch 3 holes in the top. My son was able to do this with help, the cardboard was too thick for his hand strength to do it alone. Letter C craft
  7. Chase your son around the kitchen when he runs off with the pipe cleaners pretending to conduct an orchestra. Try to decide if it’s brilliant or if you are just too tired and frustrated ( and pregnant) to indulge him when he says” No mama you need to play the Bassoon, I’ll be the trombone!” give in for a bit then consider bribing him with Easter candy just as he decides to come back on his own. Thread the pipe cleaners through the holes. Letter C craft
  8. Twist together. Letter C craft
  9. If you are gluing to the paper add glue to the back of the carrot , press onto the paper and let dry. Letter C craft

Want even more letter of the week crafts?
Check out my eBook Alphabet Crafts , it’s filled with letter of the week crafts from A-Z including 5 exclusive never before seen crafts !

Books

Coco The Carrot

Coco The Carrot by Steven Salerno is an absurd tale of adventure, and I loved it. Coco is a carrot who dreams of a life larger than the vegetable drawer . She dreams big and goes for it. Unlike most carrots that end up in stew she becomes a famous hat designer and is the toast of Paris with her Monkey companion Anton. If you are scratching your head but oddly intrigued you will like this book. It was long but my son sat with me giggling and telling me ” Carrots can’t do that?!” more than once. I loved it because it is so absurd that she is a carrot, but the story itself is about going for your dreams, hitting bumps in the road and realizing that your dreams shift and change and that’s ok.  There is great bits of humor for the adults as well, something I always appreciate!

A Very Big Bunny

A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo is a nice book about 2 bunnies that don’t fit in at school.  This book opened a good dialogue between my son and I as we were reading about how both the tallest and the shortest bunny in the class got picked on.  The students in their class were mean but not purposefully bullying, they excluded these bunnies because they simply didn’t fit. The part that hit me the most was when the teacher lined the kids up by height, and Amelia the tall bunny was always last. It just made me think of how adults so often single kids out without trying to be terrible, but really hurting them. All that aside, the book itself comes to a nice conclusion and I think it’s worth grabbing for any child tall or short!

carrot_soup

Carrot Soup by John Segal is a cute book about planting a garden, in this case carrots, tending it and then reaping the rewards…. or maybe not. Rabbit carefully planned out his garden, took care of it but when it was time to gather all the carrots they were all gone!  Throughout the pages there are hints to where the carrots might be, your child will likely figure it out before Rabbit does. My son liked this book and I loved reading it with him as he was rather exasperated that the Rabbit couldn’t figure out the mystery!

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C is for Cookie

Letter of The Week

Kite k

Alphabet Craft

Kite K is a very classic letter of the week activity, not my most creative but my son enjoyed it. We decided on it because the wind has been strong and even caused some power outages last week in our area. So we talked all about it and when deciding on a letter craft to make settled on Kite k! If you want to make this activity last longer you can add bows along the strings, and wind swirls on the blue paper! Don’t forget to take the time when you are making this to brainstorm K words with your child. Ours this week were Key, Kick and Kitten.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a 2 pieces of construction paper, some paint, scissors, some yarn/string or thin ribbon, glue and a marker. Alphabet Craft
  2. Start by writing a lowercase k on your paper, also make some diamonds for the kites.Alphabet Craft
  3. Invite your child to paint the k and the kites however they want. Letter of the week craft
  4. Cut the k out and glue onto the 2nd piece of construction paper. Alphabet craft
  5. Cut the yarn into 2 strings. Alphabet Craft
  6. Add glue for the strings and kites Kite K
  7. Add the strings on. Kite K
  8. Add the kites Alphabet Craft
  9. Let dry.

Books About Wind

The Very Windy Day

The Very Windy Day by Elizabeth MacDonald is a funny story about how everyone walking on North, South , East and West streets had their belongings mixed up by the wind! Hats , blankets and even food gets passed along from one person to the next in this silly story about a windy day. My son was entertained by this book but didn’t ask to read it again after our initial reading.
HowLadiesStoppedWind
How the Ladies Stopped the Wind by Bruce McMillan is a charming story that is reminiscent of a folk tale, about ladies in Iceland ( with the help of their trusty chickens)  who decide to plant trees to stop the wind. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as just planting some trees as they soon discover.  There is some fantastic bits of humor for parents and amazing illustrations! This was a great library find that I laughed my way through.

More Alphabet Crafts!

Want even more letter of the week ? Check out my eBook “Alphabet Crafts” from A-Z it’s packed with letter crafts and helpful teaching tips for getting your child excited about letters and learning!