Letter of The Week- Quilt Q

I had every intention of making this a lowercase q craft. The stars were simply not aligned, I turned 3 pieces of paper into scrap trying to make a lowercase q , cursed myself for not having a printer then made it an uppercase Q before my son lost all interest and ran back to the football game!  Luckily the paper cutter was the big treat ( He has been begging to use it for months)  and kept him at the table with me , because I think this is a darn cute letter craft!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, some multicolored paper for the quilt pieces , another sheet of construction paper ( if you want to display it), a dark marker, glue and scissors.  We used a paper cutter but I am not suggesting you do that,  I do suggest you let your child use tools when they are ready for them, and he was ready and very careful.
  2. Start by writing an uppercase Q  on the white paper. Feel free to do this as a lowercase craft just don’t ask me to write the letter, I am incapable. You want to use the white paper so that when you cut the q out you can follow the outline from the underside even if the paper pieces are glued over it.
  3. Cut the colored/patterned paper into strips , this will make cutting them into squares easier for your child whether they are using scissors or a paper cutter.
  4. Cut.
  5. He was very excited and he cut a lot , I was impressed with how careful he was.
  6. Add glue to the Q
  7. Add the quilt squares to the glue.
  8. Let dry.
  9. Cut the Q out.
  10. Glue to a second sheet of construction paper.

Alphabet Books

Bruno Munari’s ABC by Bruno Munari will make you wish you had an extra copy to  pull out the pages and frame them. It’s  1960 retro gold. The book is simple enough, each page is devoted to a letter like most alphabet books, and on those pages are objects that start with the letter. There are cheeky bits of dry humor throughout as a fly shows up on pages after F and my son liked the S page with a sack of stars and snow for Santa. All in all a little different but not ground breaking.  However the way it is graphically designed perfectly captures the retro cool that simply can’t be recreated with a new book. My son liked it but wasn’t nearly as into it as I was.

Alphabestiary: Animal Poems from A to Z by Jane Yolen is a great alphabet book for children who know their letters and need something a little extra. It’s a book of animal poems starting with Anteater and ending with Zebra. What I really like about this book is that you can use it in so many ways depending on your child’s knowledge of animals and the alphabet. You can have them choose a letter and read all the poems for it, choose an animal or even choose by flipping through and finding illustrations you like. This isn’t a book you read from cover to cover, it’s an anthology with poems selected by Jane Yolen. The poems are fun and it’s a greta way to transfer learning about letters into learning about poetry.

Letter of the Week Q !

Quinoa Q !
This isn’t the prettiest project ever but the tactile element of the quinoa was a big hit . If you are not familiar with quinoa, it’s a yummy grain that is similar to cous cous but healthier for you! We love it and it also makes a great addition to a sensory tub , it’s small, soft on little hands and not nearly as hard on your feet as lentils. You will want a broom or dust buster handy after this craft.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, markers( or crayons), glue, scissors and dry quinoa.
  2. Start by drawing a large uppercase Q on one piece of construction paper.
  3. Have your child decorate it with markers if they choose. This is a time when you can talk about the letter, making it’s sound, talking about upper vs lowercase. Or just letting your child get into coloring. My son was doing this while his dad had lunch and narrated every step to dad at the other end of the table.
  4. Cut the beautiful Q out.
  5. Glue onto the 2nd piece of paper
  6. Add more glue! We took turns , he made puddles of glue and I made a thin line.
  7. Add the quinoa – before sprinkling it on, give your child some time to play and feel it. We talked about how it is dry and not cooked yet, we don’t eat it like this. My son made the connection that it’s like rice and I had a proud mama moment.
  8. Let dry.

More 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 !

“The Alphabet From A To Y With The Bonus Letter Z” by Steve Martin was introduced to me by Rebecca when she sent it in for this post . When I saw it at the library I grabbed it and so glad I did. It’s a fun book with silly rhymes for each letter and I was surprised that my son sat all the way through it. It’s a pretty long alphabet book for a toddler. I liked the details in the illustrations even if the sometimes gross humor was not my favorite, but kids will love it !

“All Aboard : A traveling alphabet” by Bill Mayer was more fun for my husband and I than for my son but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a book of pictures, with hidden letters in them. For example the letter O is overpass with loops of road and hidden in it is an O. Some letters were easy to find some were hilariously hard. We read this to my son tonight at bedtime and while we stared at the letter H ( highway) picture debating where the h was, he fell asleep between us in his bed. This is a great alphabet book for families with children just learning and those who have mastered the alphabet. Oh and the debate was settled , we were both wrong. The final page highlights the letter in each picture in a compilation of the whole alphabet.

Letter of the Week ! Q q !

Queen Q!

I debated doing Queen, because it’s so obvious but my son knows what a queen is so I stuck with it. With older children drawing a bunch of question marks or doing a counting activity with quarters are great ways to use the letter in genuine ways. One thing I do not suggest is a Q-tip q, I did that years ago in a PreK class and the results looked like we glued used q-tips on paper, it was so repulsive my director asked me to take them down off the bulletin board!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper, paint daubers or crayons/markers, glue, sequins or other collage materials that make good jewels, and scissors.
  2. Draw a upper case Q. It took me 3 tries for one I liked.
  3. Have your child paint. color or otherwise decorate the Q. My son refused to paint it until the other side was completely done. Toddlers are such a joy.
  4. While your child is decorating their queen , cut out a simple crown from the 3rd piece of paper.
  5. Have your child embellish the crown with sequins , buttons – anything you have that sparkles.
  6. While your child is making the crown sparkle. Draw a face ( or have your child do it) on the other piece of paper. Make sure it is will show through the inside of the Q.
  7. Have your child color the face if they want. My marker obsessed toddler insisted on coloring but you don’t have to.
  8. While they do that cut out the Q.
  9. Glue the Q on the paper, and the crow on the Q and voila , a Queen Q ! Once it’s dry you can trim the back paper .
Letter Hunt

This activity is great for children who are able to identify letters reliably, younger kids who are still learning the basics of letter recognition may get frustrated. An easy adaptation would be to simply look for any letter with the little guys where as you can be letter specific with older ones.

  • You will need a paper lunch bag, markers, scissors and old magazines, junk mail, or newspapers.
  • Decorate the outside of your lunch bag with the letter you are looking for, both the upper case and lowers case.
  • Start looking through the printed materials and cut out the letters you find. With older children it’s fun to have contests like the person with the most upper case letters, the most letters total and the biggest or smallest letter.

* One thing I love about this activity is that when children are at this stage of letter recognition they start to see the same letter written in different fonts and are still able to identify it as a B for example. It’s great!