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 – Olympic Edition!

t Torch

Olympic Craft

The Olympics are a big deal in our house. My grandma was a Canadian Olympian, I lived in Calgary in 1988 when they hosted the Winter Games and grew up in Vancouver where the Olympics are going on as we speak. We are heading up to Vancouver later this week and getting very excited. For today’s letter of the week I had to do something with an Olympic theme.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a black piece of paper, a white piece of paper and some red and yellow tissue paper ( or regular paper too) , glue, scissors and markers ( the Olympic colors- red, green, black, blue and yellow).Olympic Craft
  2. Start by writing an upper or lowercase t.Olympic Craft
  3. I drew the Olympic Rings to add to the torch , this is totally optional.Olympic Craft
  4. Have your child decorate the torch with the markers. I absolutely LOVE how my son decorated it, I don’t know why I do so much but this craft is not getting recycled, I think it’s so pretty.Olympic Craft
  5. Cut out the Olympic rings – I drew lines to guide him( and then I still helped him as well) .Olympic Craft
  6. Cut out the t and glue it to the black paper, add glue for the Olympic rings.Olympic Craft
  7. Add the Olympic rings.Olympic Craft
  8. Cut the tissue paper to make flames. Let the kids go nuts, irregular cuts make awesome flames.Olympic Craft
  9. Add glue.Olympic Craft
  10. Add the flames and let dry.Olympic Craft

Looking for more Olympic Crafts ?

Book

Tacky and the winter games

Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester is wonderful, hilarious and really explains the winter games  in a fun way. Of course these winter games a little different than the ones you may be watching on TV, the skis are made of fish and the medals are a little more honest than our bronze, silver and gold- my favorite being “Not Bad” for the third place.  The process of leading up to competition is very similar though the eating healthy, physical training and even an opening ceremonies of competitors from various lands.  Kids will pick up on the similarities quickly but also the ways that Tacky never really follows the crowd, he is an odd bird after all. Like in all the Tacky books Tacky stands out from the others, and just when we think he’s messed up for good, he finds redemption! Very cute book and perfect for this activity.

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Letter Of The Week t !

Treasure T !14th

Pirates are big around here right now and if my son’s friends are any indication they might just be a big deal at your house too! I think when you use projects that really interest your child the learning will happen naturally, making something fun is much more memorable then sitting down and doing worksheets ! If this theme doesn’t strike your fancy here are our other T projects, you can make them as upper or lowercase.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some plastic gold and/or silver coins, plastic jewels, markers, scissors and glitter.14th 005
  2. Start by drawing a lowercase t , I was using up scrap paper today.14th 007
  3. Hand it to your child, have them decorate it however they want.  I offered up markers and glitter. It was up to him what colors he wanted to use and if he wanted to use both or just one. My son is almost 3 now so even with more structured crafts I am starting to give him more choices. Of course the bulk of what we do day to day  is open ended and there is no mom instruction at all, just creation. 14th 008
  4. He chose glitter14th 010
  5. And a red marker.14th 012
  6. Add the glue. Try to add less than my son did, it’s midnight and still not dry!14th 018
  7. Add your coins and jewels. 14th 020
  8. Let dry… it may take a while !

Books !

class three at sea“Class Three at Sea” by Julia Jarman is a great book . A class field trip is almost ruined when the boat is taken over by pirates! Luckily some quick thinking and a repaid favor is enough to save the class.  The plot is simple but the way that story is told is fun. The rhymes are hilarious, the pirates names are perfectly gross and your kids will love that it’s not a parent or even a superhero that saves the day, it’s just a kid! I like that there is a message of helping others, among the pirate shenanigans too! I read this to my son while he was eating and we had to stop because he was giggling so much I was afraid he’d choke!

PiratePeteTalk

“Pirate Pete’s  :Talk Like A Pirate” by Kim Kennedy is a fantastic vocabulary lesson hidden in a fun book that will make you laugh. See Pirate Pete is looking for a crew but just anyone won’t do. Readers follow along as he interviews potential crew members and rejects each one.  The problem is that they don’t speak “Pirate” instead they use funny big words which are awesome and wonderful to share with your children , words like misappropriated. How awesome is it to read a children’s book with a word like that in it? This book offers so many possibilities for learning and teaching about new words.

pirates-dont-change-diapers

“Pirates Son’t Change Diapers” By Melinda Long is a sweet tale about taking care of a baby sister, while dealing with rowdy friends , who happen to be pirates. Luckily the pirates help out and in the end things are even better than you’d imagined.  Maybe I am just looking at this book through mom glasses but the pirates put off finding their treasure because they have to take care of the baby, they delay their own gratification because someone needs them.  It’s a nice lesson about responsibility, and caring for those who can’t care for themselves. Of course there are diapers on cats, dogs and head enough to make it funny to your little one too.  My son is just now getting into this book, at almost 3.  It’s a bit long for toddlers but preschoolers will love it.