Peacock P !
It’s back! Our ever popular letter of the week craft is back now that we are in the swing of things. Our philosophy about these projects is to have fun with the letter , to introduce them and play with them. We don’t focus only on this one letter all week, instead we take a whole language approach and continue to work on all letters as they pop up in our every day life and reading. This peacock craft was a blast to make, he did all the cutting and although I was skeptical that we’d get feathers he did a great job!
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper plus a little scrap of orange paper, some paint, glue , a googly eye and scissors.
- Start by drawing a p on one piece of paper.
- Draw tail feathers on another.
- Paint the tail feathers. We chose to use our Do-A-Dot paints, they were perfect for this craft, but any paint or marker would be great!
- Add another color!
- Time to cut it out. I let him go for it this time and I won’t lie to you, I was worried we’d end up with 40 tiny feathers but he did great.
- While they decorate and paint the feathers, cut out the head feather and beak.
- As well as the P, add glue to it.
- Add your feathers to the glue.
- Glue the P to the 3rd piece of paper .
- Time to add glue for the beak!
- Add it on.
- Add more for the head feather.
- Pop it on.
- Last but not least add the eye.
Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes . . . Naturally by Betsy Franco is a really cute library find. The book is non fiction about all the fun shapes and funky patterns that you can find in the animal world. From the beautiful feathers of peacocks to the amazing shapes of a beehive each page discovers a new natural wonder that we often take for granted. What I like about this book is it’s bright bold pictures. so often the non fiction books available at the library are older and their illustrations are not exciting enough for young kids. Steve Jenkins does a wonderful job accompanying the information in the text. The author also does a great job with a rhyming text that is full of just the right amount information.
Animal Antics: A to Z by Anita Lobel is an alphabet book, not a great one but there is nothing lacking either, it’s just adequate. The setting is a circus and each letter has an animal performer illustrated and acrobats making the corresponding letter above. There is no story line, just a series of these pages. It’s not bad and if your child s really into the circus I could see them loving it, but at our house it was just ok.
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Townby 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 .
- Gather your materials. You will need a red, a black( scrap would be great to use) and a white piece of paper. A black marker, kid and adult scissors, and glue.
- Start by writing a large uppercase P on the red paper. * you could have kids color the P if you choose, I was not adding extra steps today knowing showing off for beloved grandparents would take precedent over “art time”.
- Next cut a strip of white paper to fit along the P
- Draw lines along it for keys, if your child is able to have them do this even if the lines aren’t straight or well spaced. My son held onto my hand as I was doing the lines, to “help” but wasn’t interested in going solo yet.
- Next cut off a strip of black paper and hand your child their scissors. Have them cut off small black rectangles for the black keys. This took us a long time, My son was able to cut 4 with help without getting frustrated. Scissor skills are hard( as is taking pictures of a 2 year old with scissors), so this is an opportunity to learn and practice . As soon as it starts frustrating them , either put it down and come back to it or ask if you can help.
- Add glue to the white keys, don’t fret about extra glue it can be wiped and will dry.
- Add your black keys.
- He returned for more glue, this time glue the keys down to the P. Let dry.
- Cut out and glue to a black piece of paper.
“Music Over Manhattan” by Mark Karlins was longer than I expected but when I read it to my very overtired , no nap today 2 year old he happily listened and pointed out the instruments, and sky scrappers. The story is about a little boy who is overshadowed by his high achieving and nauseating cousin. A musician uncle plants the love of music in him and he strives to become as good as his uncle who floats in the air when he plays. Something I loved about this book was that the little boy works very hard, he practices all the time and slowly gets better. He had talent to start with but still had to work hard to achieve his goal. A great lesson for all children.
“Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane” by Carol Boston Weatherford is a fascinating book for my son who discovered “Johnny Coltrane” on YouTube while asking me about saxophones a year ago. What I like about this book is that it allows young children to relate to someone so inaccessible, and untouchable like John Coltrane. My son immediately grabbed onto the idea that is explained in the book that all the sounds and music Coltrane heard as a child turned into music he played later on. Later that day we got into a deep and very long winded “Is that music Mama?” conversation and I wasn’t always sure what to say. I wasn’t expecting to get stumped by his questions so soon. Either way when a book sparks questions like that it’s a keeper!
I was going to do President P for President’s Day but my son associates Obama with O and when we started talking about President he kept saying O , Obama. So I switched gears saved the cut out pictures of President Obama for another day and grabbed some pennies.
- Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, markers, glue, scissors and pennies!
- Start by drawing a P on your cardboard.
- Have your child decorate the P with markers or crayons, I would stay away from paint because you want the cardboard as dry as possible so it is strong for the pennies.
- Add the glue. The more the better so this is a great time to let your child have free reign . I showed my son where to glue then counted to 5 while he squeezed to get big dollops.
- Add your pennies. We had a little chat about who that is on the penny, and counted them. Let dry.
- Cut out the P .
There are a lot of President’s Day books out there but most are boring and lifeless, which bothers the historian in me, there are so many exciting things to teach about history but luckily I found this one.
It is always fun trying to find words that start with the letter of the week, Pasta was an obvious choice for my child since it is a staple in his diet and was one of his first words. It always helps to find familiar things to reinforce and of course colors are a perfect add on!
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper in P colors, some P color crayons, glue and some pasta!
- Draw a Fat P on the paper, if your child is older have them draw it.
- Color the P using the P color crayons , there are a many of P colors ( Purple, Pink, Periwinkle) – this is great fine motor practice and I was able to start my morning coffee while my son colored ( the truth comes out! ) .
- When they are done coloring if they are older have them put glue on the P, if they are still little dot the P with glue.
- Start adding the Pasta.
- If they enjoy this add more dots of glue and keep going. My son used to only take things off but he actually added every single piece of pasta on, I was very proud!
- Let dry and cut the P out and glue onto the 2nd P colored paper!
These books get very mixed reviews from parents, some love the messages, some think it’s too little too late with a sassy main character. I urge you to find them at your local library or book store and decide for yourself.
“Purplicious” is the sequel to “Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. In this one Pinkalicious is teased and made fun of because she is still wearing her favorite color, even though everyone else is wearing black. She is sad and no one knows what to do, except a new girl at school who shows her how to mix pink with blue to make purple! A lot of the bad reviews I have read about this book center around the bullying and teasing and parents often wrote that their child at 4 or 5 have never seen that kind of teasing, as a former preschool teacher and director I can sadly assure you that if they were in school at all- they have seen it, maybe not as bad as Pinkalicious did but take the rose colored glasses off it’s hard to be 4 ! I think it’s better to let children know that they don’t have to be ashamed of someone is bullying them, to ask for help and to overcome it. This book can be a useful tool for that message.