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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Books About : Emergency Workers

Do your child’s ears perk up when they hear sirens? Do they ask to drive past fire stations just to see if the trucks are “at home” ? Have they ever dreamed about being a firefighter, doctor or police officer? If they have these books will be perfect for them.

Emergency

Emergency! by Gail Gibbons is a great compilation of all the different kinds of emergency responders in our community from police, ambulance , firefighters and and even utility workers. My son loved the simple illustrations and the descriptive but to the point text about all the different vehicles and people inside them.  We also both loved the look at the history of some of the different vehicles over time at the end of the book.

policeman small

Policeman Small was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Policeman Small is about a policeman in a simpler time, a time that is perfect for little readers not looking for the reality of what police work is, instead looking for something simple. A big hit with young toddlers, my son enjoyed this book well before he was 2 and still does years later.

Ambulances

Ambulances by Carol K. Lindeen is a simple non fiction book all about ambulances that uses simple questions and real photographs to inform and educate the reader. My son loved that the book uses real photographs , he studied each one asking questions about who each person , what happened to them etc…  The text is very brief but it does it’s job explaining the basics so that like my inquisitive little guy , your child can use that base knowledge and ask more specific questions after reading each page and studying the photographs. Good non fiction choice.

Dr. Meows Big Emergency

Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Lloyd was taken out of the library late last week and has been read at least twice a day since, we both know it off my heart.  In the book readers meet Dr. Meow and her trusty ambulance driver Woof as they care for patience and rush to the aid of Tom Cat who has been injured falling out of a tree. Really it’s a story about being kind to others and forgiving, as Tom Cat learns not to pick on little Mr. Bird and in turn Mr. Bird forgives Tom Cat for his mistakes.  Both my son and I loved the little cheeky details, humor and fun little world that the author illustrator created in this book.


Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell is the current favorite at our house. I found it at a thrift store for twenty five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my moneys worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Cute book for fire engine lovers!

Fire Truck Craft

fire truck craft

It is no secret my son loves fire trucks. We often have to drive by the local station on the way home to see if the trucks are in or busy rescuing people. This fire truck craft does take some prep work but is a great lesson in shapes and as your child gets older you can simply give them the pieces and let them put them together like a puzzle. I was very hands off today and glad I was, he needed very little help. All I did was ask him where he thought each piece should go and what shape each was.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some red, yellow, orange, white and black paper, scissors , a black marker and glue. fire truck craft
  2. Start by pre cutting the shapes. I started with a building with rectangle windows – this is not necessary I did this per my son’s request for something on fire. The picture of this is lost – I made it by cutting a black rectangle then folding it and making rectangle window cut outs.
  3. Next I cut out a ladder, a main rectangle for the truck, a square for the ab, a tiny square for the siren, 3 circles for the wheels and yellow and orange triangles for the flames coming out of the burning building.  If your child is able simply draw the shapes and have them cut them out!fire truck craft
  4. Time for your little learner to join you.  Add glue for the shapes. fire truck craft
  5. Start piecing them together- we started with the main part of the truck then the ladder.fire truck craft
  6. The cab and wheels.fire truck craft
  7. Don’t forget to ask your child what all these shapes are! Next we added the small square for a siren.
  8. fire truck craftHe added the building fire truck craft
  9. Next he channeled his toddler self and pretended to eat the glue ” No I am not eating it mama, I am playing with the air puffs.” That didn’t make me feel better ! fire truck craft
  10. And the triangle flames. fire truck craft
  11. Let dry.

Books

Flashing Fire Engines

Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton is a favorite at our house. Normally even after my son and I read the books we review I grab them to do the write up , this is on my son’s shelf where it always is I know the whole thing off by heart as does my son , so no need to grab it for reference. The book is a rhyming masterpiece, somehow keeping up the rhyming pace as it explains how firefighters fight fires and rescue people! Details like what gear they wear, and how hoses and hydrants work are included as well as ladders and sirens. My son loves this book and as an adult who has  read it hundreds of times it’s fun to read,  even over and over again.

All Aboard Fire Trucks

All Aboard Fire Trucks by Teddy Slater is never where i expect it to be in my house, because my son carries it around to read all by himself. No at 3 he isn’t reading yet instead he’s memorized much of this text and likes to sit and go over the many types of fire vehicles that are discussed in this very detailed book.  I have learned a lot from this book. It covers the basics but also goes into the more specialized fire vehicles like airport firetrucks, foam units for chemical fires and bulldozers used in forest fires.  If your child gasps every time they see a firetruck, can tell a pumper from a ladder and dreams of fighting fires, they will love this informative book!

tonka fire trucks

Tonka: Fire Trucks by Melissa A Torres is another favorite of my son. This is a Tonka book and has wheels that really roll which has served us well while traveling. It serves a double duty as a book and toy. The book itself isn’t bad either- which surprised me because usually novelty books like this usually underwhelm me. This book covers all the major types of vehicles used to fight fires, a pumper, an aerial ladder truck, fire chief’s truck, rescue truck and fire boat. Just the right amount of info is given for each and the illustrations support the text well. If your child isn’t into fire trucks I wouldn’t go searching out this book but if they are it’s a a worthy  addition to your library of firetruck books.

Holiday Travel Craft

Pack it !

Travel Craft

I grew up in a family that not only loves to travel but made it their business, my son has been on many planes, and loves to play airport . This wasn’t a mama planned activity but  I figured many of you will be packing suitcases over the holidays and this activity can help prepare  for the trip ahead.  Do not fret about having the exact items they will be packing, you aren’t training them, just getting them used to the idea of packing, choosing things to take and the idea of travel.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of construction paper, some plain labels, markers, a catalog or magazine, scissors and glue stick.Travel Craft
  2. Start by folding your paper in half and drawing a suitcase ( totally fine if yours is a little wonky- as long as your child can recognize it , you are fine! ).Cut out.Travel Craft
  3. Together with your child decide on the different places you should go, write the places on the labels with a dark color. I used large labels so I wrote multiple place names on each.Travel Craft
  4. Have your child color the labels with markers.
  5. Cut into smaller labels if needed.
  6. Add them to the outside of your suitcase.Travel Craft
  7. Rip out some ages with items your child would like to pack, have them cut out the items if they can. Travel CraftMy son cut at one page while I cut out more items for him choose from. Travel CraftHe is able to cut but not navigate around objects yet, so we shared the task.
  8. Decide which to pack. Of course my son needs lots of PJs .Travel Craft
  9. Add your glue Travel Craft
  10. Add your pictures into the inside of your suitcase.Travel Craft
  11. Let dry OPEN, if you close it it will glue together.Travel Craft

Books

rooster

Rooster’s Off to See the World by Eric Carle was reviewed by my son tonight as ” That’s a really nice book mama.” When I asked him what he liked he said ” The rooster was lonley, I only like trips with you and daddy too.” See Rooster has a grand plan to see the world, only he didn’t really plan it at all. Along the way friends join him but when night falls and they are cold and have no place to stay they all head home, and so does Rooster. I love that my son explained why Rooster went home and that he felt the same way not wanting to venture out to see the world alone… yet. Great book for kids learning to add and subtrack as well, as each page adds animals, then after the night falls each subtracts.

cars

Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming! by Patricia Hubbell has a fun retro look and is a whimsical look at all sorts of cars , places they go and who drives them.  Like her book Trucks the drivers in this book aren’t always conventional, or human. My son thinks it’s hilarious that zebras, ducks and other animals are driving cars alongside humans. I love the rhyming text that never feels forced and zooms along with the illustrations.

I love planes

I Love Planes!by Philemon Sturges ia all about things that fly. This is a great book for young toddlers , the text is limited but effective.  The colors are bright and cheery and even though he usually reads longer more complex books my son still enjoyed this book, and learned about Blimps for the first time.

Car And Driver Craft !


I was asked tonight where I find inspiration and I answered everywhere and that is the truth. My son is so into car models right now, it all started with him noticing the H on a friend’s Honda and slowly it’s developed into a chorus of ” Honda! Chevy ! Audi! BMW! Toy-woda!” every time we drive anywhere. I decided to harness that and work in some phonics.  To say he had a blast is a massive understatement.This would make a great group project too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a car magazine , some craft paper( or any large piece), a marker, some crayons, scissors and a glue stick.Art Supplies
  2. Start by drawing a road on your paper.
  3. Add the alphabet with your child, have them tell you what’s next after you write each letter if they are able. Car kids craft
  4. Hand them the crayons and have them decorate the road- we kept it simple with grass, yellow markings and black for the road. There is no wrong way to do this.Coloring
  5. While my son did that I ripped some pages out of the magazine looking for different makes that start with different letters (Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda…) If your child is able to have them search . My son refused to let me do this alone, but he was searching only for Hondas.Car and Driver Reader
  6. When I had enough I cut the cars out more carefully. Cars
  7. While I did that I handed my son some of the discarded pages for him to practice cutting too, his cutting skills aren’t fine tuned enough yet and if I had given him a car to cut out, it would have been pure frustration , but he felt included by cutting the scraps.Cutting
  8. Time to glue them on.
  9. Choose a car, identify it and identify which letter it starts with. If your child needs some help here is what I did. My son had issues with was I for Infinity. When he did I repeated the sound and said ” like Igloo” by giving hints he was still able to figure it out himself which for most almost 3 year olds is key to their pride. With children who are not identifying sounds yet, tell them which letter it starts with and have them find it on the page.
  10. Find the letter on the page.2October 106
  11. Add glue
  12. Add the car.2October 107
  13. Repeat with all the cars.
  14. When all are glued on go through them again and label them with their names.2October 086
  15. After I taped it to the wall he picked out a car for me, a Mercedes! Good boy!Favorite Cars

Song

Little Red Car is one of my most viewed song videos click here to watch it !


Books!

“The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race” by Stan and Jan Berenstain shouldn’t be overlooked. Both my son and i really enjoy this book from the ever popular series.  It’s a good story about being persistent and they sneak lots of learning into the rhyming text. Colors, opposites and more can be reinforced by this retelling of the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare.

Everything I know about cars

“Everything I Know About Cars” by Tom Lichtenheld is hilarious! I grabbed it at the library today knowing I would need some car books to pair with this activity and didn’t preview it at all.  All I knew is that it was a book about cars I had never read.  At nap when I finally opened it with my son in his car Pjs- I realized it’s very long, and probably more approriate for 4+.  I didn’t put it down though because after reading this on the first page I was hooked :

A collection of made-up facts, Educated Guesses and silly pictures about Cars, Trucks and other Zoomy things

The author had me at zoomy things. My son only made it through the first few pages, but I couldn’t wait to open it back up after he was asleep.  The book takes the readers through the history of cars ( totally made up) , the basics of road trips, kid designed cars … and ends with a tutorial on how the reader can draw their own made up car. I really liked this book and plan to buy a copy for my 4and 7 year old nephews who will love the humor ( yes some of it is pottyish but still fun) and the illustrations.

” Truck Driver Tom “ by Monica Wellington is one of my son’s picks. The story is simple, Tom and his puppy drive produce from the farm to the market and see the country side and much more along the way. The best part of this book are the fun bright and detailed illustrations, there is a wide variety of trucks, cars , emergency and construction vehicles! Also it’s a great lesson about how our food gets from the farm to us. This author is one I have only discovered since becoming a mom and really wish I had been familiar with her while I was teaching, her books are perfect for 2-5 year olds.