Letter of the Week ! E e !

Elephant E !

This is a simple but effective activity to introduce the letter E. With older children I have grabbed everything from my craft closet and let them make ” Everything Es” but toddlers and young preschoolers are better served with something more tangible like an elephant. So it’s not our cutest craft ever, but it will do the trick!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, something to color with, glue, scissors and a marker. We used chalk because we haven’t used it in a while but paint would look great!
  2. Draw an E with a long trunk in the middle. Draw a large ear .
  3. Have your child color the E, talk about how elephants have trunks, and ask them what other big things do elephants have on their heads?
  4. Have them color the big ear.
  5. This is just a picture of my son stacking the chalk on his tractor, he took a breather while I cut out the E .
  6. Grab the 2nd piece of construction paper and if your child wants to color it as well.
  7. Time to glue everything on!
  8. All done!
Books!

” Ella : The elegant elephant” by Carmela and Steven D’Amico is a cute story about Ella the little elephant that is nervous about her first day of school. She tries to make herself feel better but the school bully still teases her. I like this book because it shows kids that you can stand up for yourself without bullying the bully.

“Elmer ” by David McKee is another book with a great message. Elmer is different, he isn’t gray like all the other elephants, and he’s a little bit of a goof too! He’s not so sure he likes that though. Like all of us it takes some time for Elmer to accept who he is but in the end he sees that patchwork is just who he is!

Big Sponge Painting

This is a perfect example of process not product, during this activity your child is discovering how the big brush and sponge make big prints on the paper while their little fingers make little tiny prints. There is no wrong way to do this, just let your child explore.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some big paper- I like to use the reverse side of old Christmas wrapping paper I am sick of, some paint, a large sponge, adult size paint brush and a pan to put the paint in.
  2. Mix your colors and pour your paint into the pan.
  3. Start with finger painting. Talk to your child about how their little fingers make small dots and squiggles on the paper, with older children you can ask them if they know how they could make bigger marks like a hand print.
  4. Next paint with the paint brush. Ask questions like ” If you had a whole house to paint would you want to use your fingers or a big brush?” with toddlers you can simply say things ” Whoa that’s big!”.
  5. Next paint with the giant sponge. My son loved this one! Before we dipped it in the paint we explored the sponge, feeling it and squishing it.

Books!

 

” How Big Is A Pig”by Clare Beaton is such a sweet board book. Fun rhymes all about different farm animals accompany stunning illustrations that are really photos of fabric patch work! I love just looking at this book, my son loves it too.

” Big Fish , Little Fish” by Ed Heck is a good introduction to opposites for little ones, it’s not as good in my opinion as ” Dinosaur Roar” by Henrietta Stickland but it’s worth a look especially if like my son your child is presently obsessed with fish! Also the final page’s message is rather reminiscent of “Swimmy” by Leo Lioni .

” When I Get Bigger” by Mercer Mayer addresses what it feels like not to be big enough to do things you want to do. Little Critter makes a list of all the things he wants to do when he gets bigger. I remember feeling like this , and to 4 and 5 year olds who desperately want to be big kids this book will strike a chord!

Halloween Books!

Scary Good Books !

I am posting this now so there is some hope that my readers will be able to find these books in their local library before they are all snatched up!

” Monster Math” by Anne Miranda is a fun math lesson turned into a fun and entertaining storybook. You can simply read the book or you can have your little mathematician help you guess how many new monsters arrive and leave on each page. The illustrations are adorable and even if the math skills are above your toddler or preschoolers heads they will still enjoy the book.
” Inside a House That Is Haunted” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli was the hands down favorite Halloween book for my 3 year old class in 2005. I must have read this 200 times and even after Christmas had come and gone it was still requested all the time. The story is a rebus read along, so it is repetitive and it builds upon itself. This is great for children who are eager to “read along” before they are able to read words. The repetitiveness allows them to anticipate what is next and feel included. Very cute even after reading it hundreds of times.

” 10 Trick – or Treaters by Janet Schulman was the book I bought to try and eclipse ” Inside a House That Is Haunted” and while my class loved this one two my plan didn’t quite work out. This book has the most adorable pictures and in every page there is an owl hidden somewhere, which is a great trick to keep reluctant readers involved. The story counts down from 10 to no trick or treaters with fun rhyming text and a fun array of trick or treaters in cute costumes.

Twinkle Twinkle Little

Starfish !

The inspiration for this activity came from my son’s infinite love of all things in the ocean. He was playing with one of the books listed when I asked him what he wanted to make in art and he was very clear that a we needed to make a starfish.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper, I used an old grocery bag but card stock would work too. Paint, a paint brush, 5 popsicle sticks, glue and some glitter paint or sequins.
  2. Draw a big starfish. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect, mine isn’t!
  3. Have your child choose a paint color is they know their colors and paint the starfish. We only used one color but you can use as many as you wish.
  4. While the paint dries a little , grab the sticks and cover one side with sparkle paint or add the sequins. I did one stick and then let my son try , he needed some help but did pretty well. He did two all by himself!
  5. Glue the sticks on the starfish, I added the glue and let my son put the sticks on top of it.
  6. Let dry and cut out.
Books!



Commotion in the Ocean “ by Giles Andreae is a fun look at the different creatures are all cute and informative but not too long for younger children. The illustrations by David Wojtowycz are bright m endearing and I think they steal the show!

” Secret Seahorse” by Stella Blackstone is a fascinating and beautiful board book. The story follows a little seahorse that hides on each page as it makes it’s way along the ocean back to it’s family. The illustrations are felt, fabric, sequins and other fun and very beautiful hand stitched creations. I am never ready for the next page because the previous has so much to look and marvel at. Kids like finding the seahorse on each page too!

Letter of the Week ! M m!

M for Mountain!

I was going to do marble painting for M, but my teething toddler is putting even more things in his sore mouth right now so the marble idea will have to be saved for another less accident prone time. I was surprised that my son knew that these were mountains when I was testing this idea out on him, I was thinking this may be a 3+ activity, but I was wrong. He had fun making it and I hope you do too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper, glue, scissors and markers or crayons to decorate.
  2. Draw a low and wide M. Don’t cut it out yet.
  3. Have your child decorate the M, my son spent 5 minutes playing “match” with the markers and lids before coloring, I was loosing my patience but took my own advice after a few crabby minutes and let him lead. As it turned out he wanted to color the “bala” which is a W, so a little flip is all we had to do!
  4. While your child is drawing wild flowers, animals or other things like scribbles draw some small clouds . Older children should be able to do this and the next step on their own.
  5. Draw some snow caps for the tops of the mountain. Cut them and the clouds out.
  6. Give your child the 3rd piece of construction paper, have them draw birds in the sky, a sun or whatever they want.
  7. Cut the M out.
  8. Glue the M on the backing.
  9. Glue on the snow caps.
  10. Add the clouds and let dry.

Songs!

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain!
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain,
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses, she’ll be driving six white horses,
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes

Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes
Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes
Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her, we’ll all go out to meet her,
We’ll all go out to meet her when she comes

She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes
She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes
She’ll be wearing red pajamas, she’ll be wearing red pajamas,
She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes

She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes
She will have to sleep with Grandma, she will have to sleep with Grandma,
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes

We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes
We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes
We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings, we’ll all eat chicken and dumplings
we’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes!