Letter of the Week T t !

Tower of T !


We eat a lot of cereal at our house, so when I saw both of these boxes waiting to go out to the recycling I started to play with them to see what I could make, I stacked them on each other and my son exclaimed , T ! So that’s exactly what we are going to make , a big T !
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 cereal or similar sized boxes, some wrapping paper or other large pieces of paper,tape ,glue, scissors and some paint and some fun paintbrushes!
  2. Before sitting your child down , wrap the boxes in the paper , make sure it’s inside out, so they have a blank canvas to paint on. I use old wrapping paper I am sick of but anything will do.
  3. Start painting. I am having my son paint the boxes with this fun brush . When I have larger projects to paint I try to use novel brushes to keep him interested. Toddlers and young preschoolers are notoriously fickle, one day they love painting , the next it’s a no go. With novel brushes like this one , my chances are good that the activity will be a hit.
  4. Add a second color. Keep Painting!
  5. Paint the second box. Feel free to do whatever you like, you can even use markers or cover it in stickers! Let both boxes dry.
  6. Glue them together Let dry upside down for a few hours, we ran errands, had nap and then it was perfect!

Letter Discovery Box!


The point of a discovery box is to introduce things to your child with a sense of discovery, it makes them feel like they found it. When they pull an object out of the box, ask them what it is, add in that that starts with the letter of the week!

Enthusiasm counts, so get excited and they will be too!All you need is a box and some household things. toys that begin with the letter and if you have any magnetic or foam letters grab those too!To make it harder for older kids you can add in things that do not start with the letter of the week and ask them to decide and make two piles!


Song!

I’m A Little Tea Pot !
I’m a little tea pot,
short and stout,
here is my handle,
here is my spout!

When I get all steamed up,
hear me shout;
” Tip me over, and pour me out!”

Book!



” Alphabet City” by Stephen T. Johnson is a fascinating take on an alphabet book. The alphabet is found in different places in the city, like a fire escape, and the rose window of a church. Children love trying to find the letters and adults will too! The most amazing part of this book is that the pictures are actually illustrations, they look crisp and clear like photographs but aren’t. Awesome , Amazing and definitely worth checking out!


Fishing For Letters Game


alphabet activity

This fishing for letters game was a favorite in my classroom and is really easy to make. Tuck those kids in , grab some scissors and start cutting, by morning you’ll have a fun game to play with your kids!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple colors of card stock or sturdy construction paper, a marker, scissors, eyelets and an eyelet setter ,or you can also use paper clips!
  2. Draw a fish to make a template. Make sure the tail is large enough to write a letter on it. Cut it out and use this to trace all the fish.
  3. Start tracing the fish on your card stock/construction paper. I normally trace one for every two fish.
  4. Get comfy on your couch, and cut! Layer two or three pieces of paper to make it go faster but be careful , the paper can shift.
  5. Add a letter on the tail and a smile too. If you are using paper clips add an eye too!
  6. If you are using the eyelet option, add the eyelet as the eye for each fish. The eyelet should be magnetic, double check though since some are so heavily coated with paint the fishing pole may not pick them up!
  7. I am using a fishing rod that came with a Melissa and Doug puzzle but you can easily make one with a chop stick, ruler or blunt knitting needle. Add some yarn or ribbon with a strong magnet on the end and you are set!
  8. Wake your baby ( aren’t they always our babies? ) and show them the new game!


Additional Activities

Click here for more Under The Sea themed activities!

Traffic Light Color Matching Activity

craft for boys


  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 full pieces of paper ideally one neutral color and one black, some red, green and yellow paper to rip into pieces, some double stick tape or glue, red, yellow and green crayons or markers and something to trace the circles with.
  2. Trace 3 circles on the neutral piece of paper, the top should be red, middle yellow and bottom green.
  3. Hand your child the colored paper to rip into small pieces. This isn’t just fun for them, it’s great practice for their fine motor skills!
  4. Start gluing or taping your small pieces in the correct circles. Younger children may need you to place a few correct color pieces first, but even young toddlers will surprise you with placing the correct color in the correct circle. My son blew me away while we were doing this consistently placing the right color down!
  5. Cut the extra paper off the sides of the traffic light, and glue on to a black piece of paper, trim and voila you have your very own traffic light!


Additional Activities

Red Light Green Light~ An Inside Version

You may be familiar with Red Light Green Light as a running game outside, but this version can be played inside . Introduce the concept of red being stop, yellow being slow and green meaning go by acting it out. You don’t need to run, you can do any movement at all. I have done this as a circle time activity with clapping, hand waving and knee slapping! Have preschoolers suggest movements too!

Books!

 

” Firefighters to the Rescue!” by Kersten Hamilton is a beautifully illustrated look at the heroic happenings of a group of firefighters. The text is good but my one concern is the lack of any female firefighters, that aside the book is worth a look.” Policeman Small” by Lois Lenski 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! Also toddlers gravitate towards this book, my son loves them!

” Cool Cars” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker is a bright little book that talks about all different types of cars and even a little bit about the rules of the road in a zippy rhyming text!

 

 

But Can They Write?

Celebrity Authors
Here are my reviews of a few books written by authors you may know and love ( or hate) from their other lives as celebrities. I am eager to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment about celebrity authors, the featured books or leave a recommendation for a “celebrity” book I didn’t mention .

“Is There Really A Human Race?” by Jamie Lee Curtis made me cry. My husband would say that’s not exactly hard , but it is when it’s a book not many bring me to tears. I really like this book and so did my son which surprised me because I thought it would be too long and sophisticated for a 2 year old. The rhyming text was so well written that it along with the adorable illustrations by Laura Cornell kept him happily interested as I read it to him before nap. I thought that the message was going to be about race relations, but instead it was about the rat race, and how it’s more important to try your best, help others and to be bold. The line ” And for those who can’t speak for themselves use bold voices” was when I lost it. I hope that lesson is one I can teach my son, to stand up for others. Okay so maybe I am a softy but this book is great!


“Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery” by Jamie Lee Curtis is a cute book. After being so happily surprised with the previous book I grabbed this one and started reading it to my son. This was too sophisticated for a 2 year old and probably too much after a few other books. It’s a funny book that fantasizes about the life of a balloon after it slips from your hands. I wish I could have read it to a 4 or 5 year old to see their reaction. I liked it but the message that stood out for me was most definitely one for the parent reading it more than for the child. Not that kids wouldn’t be entertained, I am sure they would. The overall message is about letting go, and what parent can’t relate to the anxiety of letting go.


“I Got Two Dogs” by John Lithgow will delight you. The book comes with a CD and I urge you to play it, hearing a book by the author is always amazing, but this song was thoroughly entertaining. As a dog lover who fondly remembers my childhood dog eating all the lasagnas at my first boy girl dinner party , I can relate to the naughty but lovable dogs. The message is about devotion and unconditional love and you don’t have to be a dog lover to get that.


“Carnival of the Animals” by John Lithgow is a book about a little boy who falls asleep on a school trip to the natural history museum. He has wild dreams where people in his life turn into the animals from the museum. This is the perfect example of why I should preview books before handing them to my son. This book isn’t for toddlers, some may like it but the text is long and the illustrations while beautiful and can be scary. They freaked my son out so we closed it and I read it later. The book is written in prose and the vocabulary is advanced , which I love! How are children suppose to expand their vocabularies if we don’t challenge them? That said I would probably not expect a child under 5 to sit through the whole book, although I am sure some eager 3 or 4 year olds would be just fine. I should also note that the book also comes with a CD although mine was missing from my library copy, I will update this post after I have found a copy and listened to it.

“Mr. Peabody’s Apples” by Madonna is a preachy but worth a look. As an adult reading it I couldn’t help but think it was a “poor me” story about how celebrities are faced with rumors but really that must be hard. I was being unfair so I put my preexisting knowledge about the author away and started to like the story. It’s about a teacher who is the center of a small town’s gossip mill after a boy thinks he sees the teacher steal. The moral tone is heavy but the Rockwellesque illustrations by Loren Long make reading it feel like you are in a time warp and the heavy tone is not so overbearing. The book is far too long for young preschoolers but appropriate for the 5 and up crowd.


“The English Roses” by Madonna is a pretty book, filled with pretty girls with pretty hair and pretty clothes. I’m not sure I like the rest of it. I don’t hate it but I am a little concerned about a few messages that stood out for me. Now as a teacher I have had to defend some books to parents over the years and I think that most books can be spun by the questions the teacher or parent asks and how the discussion after reading goes. This book can be useful with that for sure, and I think many young girls especially would like this book. Here are my reservations though, the plot is about a clique of girls who don’t like a classmate. They don’t like her because she is “perfect” and they are jealous of that. After a rude awakening by a fairy godmother they see she has no mom and does many chores. So they pity her and decide to start being nice to her, in return people start talking about them and they become popular. I guess I was hoping that in the long book that there would be more substance to the lesson. Like people for who they are not because you feel sorry for them, judge people when you know them not by their outsides and I think Madonna trying for that but just missed the mark.

Grab Your Cosby Sweaters

Childhood Favorites!

Today I am sharing with you some of my very favorite books from childhood. These are the books that started the love affair I have had with books, libraries and story time ever since. Please feel free to add to the post by leaving a comment with a favorite title from your childhood.



” The Duchess Bakes A Cake” by Virginia Kahl. I had to search this book out, I had forgotten the title and author all I remembered was that there was a child named Gunhilde! Thank goodness for Google! The story is very sweet with the Duchess giving her staff the day off because she wants to bake a cake for her family. Unfortunately things go awry and the cake ends up huge with the Duchess stuck on top of it high in the air! Luckily the duchess finds a solution and things are fixed in the end. I loved two things about this book as a child, the idea of everyone eating a giant cake to save the Duchess and that the Duchess was taller then the Duke, I remember thinking that was funny and I didn’t know that a wife could be taller than her husband. That’s the beauty of books, even picture books open children up to new experiences.


” Babar and Zephir”
by Jean De Brunhoff was my favorite of all the Babar books, most of which I have tracked down and bought on ebay. What I loved about this book was we got to see where Zephir came from, and go see the fantastic world hanging houses in Monkeyville. Babar books are always interesting to re read as an adult and this one is no exception.

” The Seasons of Fern Hollow” by John Patience. This book is a cute look at the world of Fern Hollow where there is a large cast of animal characters who live in a small idyllic English village. The book itself is sweet, going through village life one season at a time but my favorite thing about this book and the others by the same author was this map of the village. I would lay in bed staring at the map, trying to find different ways to get from one character’s house to another. This book inspired my imagination.