Easy Gem Letters – Alphabet Activities

alphabet activity Playing and creating with letters has been a fun way for my children and students over the years to get comfortable with letters, learn their shapes, and spark discussion about letters as we craft. As children color, paint, glue, and handle letters  while doing alphabet activities like this one they are learning. You can do this letter with upper or lowercase letters. I chose uppercase for my daughter because she is very comfortable and familiar with recognizing both and my goal for her is to get comfy with the shapes of the letters for writing. The handwriting program she uses at preschool and will be using in kindergarten next year focuses on uppercase first so we are focusing more on uppercase at this stage, though by no means ignoring the lowercase letters.  Adding jewels, buttons, stickers… is a novel way of personalizing this activity. My daughter adores these gems which made this activity a shoe in from the start. You don’t have to make a name sign but as we make the letters she wanted to make something and I suggested a name sign for a bedroom. She loved that idea.

Gather your materials. You will need some acrylic gems, sticky back foam, permanent double stick tape, scissors, and multiple sheets of card stock if you want to make a sign. alphabet actvity

Start by writing the outlines to the letters on the back of the foam. Don’t forget to make them backwards so when you cut them out they are correct. jeweld alphabet

Cut out. alphabet activity

Add the double stick tape. jeweled letters gemsI find this is way better on foam than glue. Once it’s down if you give it time to sit it will stay on forever. We did this craft before Christmas ( all those Christmas crafts pushed this one to drafts) and not a single gem has fallen off. This is VERY tricky. She did the straight letters and the curves ones I took care of. alphabet activity

Add the gems. This is where the literacy activity can easily morph into counting, patterns, shape recognition, even estimation. How many gems do you think will fit on this letter? Take cues for your kids to decide how much to push just make sure it doesn’t feel like pushing. gem lettersI had put them into pretty little containers to make it easier for her to grab them, but there was no point as she just dumped them on the table to get a better view.  This took a lot of patience and if your child is struggling let the tape settle and really adhere to the foam first before adding the gems. alphabet activity

Let them sit for a while. We used them to spell all sorts of things before settling on her name.

alphabet activity

Arrange them in whatever display you want . I layered a few sheets of card stock with more double stick tape to make the base of the sign.  You could do the same or get a cheap canvas and add them to that. callie gem letters

Peel the back of the foam off and stick onto the card stock. gem letters alphabet

Find the perfect place for it and hang it up. Like I said we made this before Christmas and since we hung it up she traces it every night before we turn the light off. It’s a sweet reminder of how proud she is of making it as well as just a good literacy activity. alphabet activity

 

Together Counts All Year Long

togetherOne of the fun things I get to do as a blogger is work with great brands and initiatives. One that I have been thrilled to work with for a few years now is Together Counts. You may have seen some of their posters in your child’s school { I just saw one last week when I had to pick my son up from the nurses office… poor guy} and I am always happy to see it. Together Counts is a great program aimed t teaching kids and families about energy balance. Together Counts is about more than energy balance though, Together Counts promotes the family table, being active together, and realistic goals for busy families.

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Our family goals were:

To eat dinner together with no screens and LOTS of fruits and veggies at every meal.  I’d give us an A on that one.

To run or walk a fun run together. I’d give us an F for that one. While I ran many races including 4 half marathons I couldn’t get my kids on board. This year I think I will try to make our move together goal less of what I want to do and something more suited to them!

To take advantage of our yard and be active close to home. Another A. We have played soccer, picked apples, turned over rocks, had races, ran through the sprinkler… we don’t take our big yard for granted!

What goals are you hoping to make this year?

Here are some of the articles I wrote for Together Counts Blog this year in case you missed them :

Sharing Your Childhood Games & Meals With Your Kids
Storytelling Walks
Games You Can Play In A Kiddie Pool
Favorite Fall Family Activities
Black Friday Activities For The Whole Family

 

As stated above I have been working with Together Counts and am compensated by them for the work.

2 in 1 Printable Valentine & Activity Sheet

FREE printable valentine aactivity sheet This is a simple little printable that can be printed as a full page to use as a worksheet or small  ( 5×7) for valentines to give away. You could even pair them with a Valentine’s Day pencil or two for a perfect little package. How easy is that? Of course I’ll probably forget to hand them out in time and end up using them for restaurant waiting games for my kids until the summer. That works but I think you and I should remember to give these out on Valentine’s Day because they really are so cute, easy to print out at home, and FREE.

Print the sheet here ( click on image and print)
valentine printable no candy valentine for kids

I didn’t get all of them printed out before one was already being used!

valentine's day printable

Pom Pom Mittens Craft For Preschool

mitten craft

This fun little winter craft is simple to set up and fun for a wide range of abilities. You can make this a lesson about matching or textures, or you can just grab a hodgepodge of materials and let the kids create with wide open boundaries. I asked my daughter what she wanted to add to mittens and she looked at me like I was asking the dumbest question ever. ” Uh pom poms of course!” I thought that would be a fun contrast between the smooth card stock and the soft squishy pom poms so I raced to get them before she changed her mind. I made my own mittens too because it’s much more fun to create with someone else. I urge you to try to avoid samples to show kids, crafts are limited enough already samples tend to limit children’s creativity even more. I choose to craft along side her adopting some of her ideas into mine to model collaboration from time to time.

Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, yarn, a hole punch, pencil, scissors, white glue, and whatever collage material you are using. I think the pom poms are awfully cute. mitten craft

Start by folding your card stock in half. mitten craft

Next trace or have your child trace their hand. mitten craft

Cut out and voila you have just cut out two mittens. cut out pom pom mitten craft

Decorate. I hadn’t put out any markers or planned to have her draw but this is exactly why I love having all our materials within reach while we craft because she can grab what she wants to use. pom pom mittens craft for wintertime

Time to get the pom poms out and glue. pom pom mittens preschool craft

Add them to the card stock.

Can you tell she is upset in this photo? pom pom mittens countingShe had just counted all the pink pom poms and realized she was one short to have the same number on each mitten. A quick trip to the bathroom ( What? You don’t store extra art supplies under your bathroom sink?) and I was back with a few more pink ones.mitten craft for kids Once they are all glued on let dry. mitten craft for preschool

Punch a hole in each and attach a string. mitten craft for kindergartenI can’t help it I am going to add a warning that you all probably do not need but I can’t help but include. Please please do not allow young children to play with anything with a string like this unsupervised. If your child wants to play with their creations simple skip the string all together. All our activities are meant to be made with adult supervision and involvement. mitten craft for winter theme

Book

All book suggestions include affiliate links.

snow the mitten

The Mitten by Jan Brett is the perfect match for this craft and such a sweet book about a mitten that somehow keeps stretching as more and more animals crawl inside. That is until the bear sneezes! The illustrations are busy in a beautiful way that will have your children finding new things every time you read this book. The really amazing thing about this book is how it appeals to such a range of ages. My classroom of 2 and 3 year olds read this book the same week my son told me his had. He’s 8.