Letter of The Week – Letter A Theme!

letter of the week a

This is the third school year that I have done a letter of the week and my son is well… kinda done. So while we won’t have new letters for a while I will be posting weekly theme posts like this one. I will include letter crafts, books and extension activities for every letter .  My philosophy about letter of the week is that we use these type crafts as a small portion of a whole alphabet curriculum. Do a craft with a letter for fun but don’t only focus on that letter all week. We should still focus on the alphabet as a whole.  I hope you like this new set up, I can’t preach that you should follow your child’s lead and then push my son into doing more letter crafts.  Until he wants to do some more this will be the letter of the week format.  Enjoy!

Letter Crafts

Alligator A - Alien AApple A

Crafts and Activities That Start With A

Acorn - Acorns and Apples Sensory Tub - Airplane - Ange l- AntApples

Alphabet Books

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Alligator Alphabet by Stella Blackstone and Stephanie Bauer. I was so excited to find this book because just this week my son started pointing out lower case letters in text. This book is a beautifully illustrated book with each letter represented on it’s own page. Pretty standard right? Wrong, although the text below the illustration had both upper and lower case letters, the main illustration is only the lower case letter. This is perfect for children like my son who are just starting to learn their lowercase letters.

A is for America by Devin Scillian is a perfect mix of national pride and real facts. As a Canadian I always feel strange critiquing works like this, I don’t want to sound too critical and that won’t be the case with this wonderful book. There are plenty of fantastic reasons to celebrate America and this book lays them on the table from A to Z !

The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra is a great alphabet book. I couldn’t help myself, I read it to my son to the tune of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . It is clearly it’s own book though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed and just like your little ones, these lowercase letters are pulling out all their tricks and antics to avoid bedtime. Well almost all of them, z is more than happy to go to bed!  It’s a sweet book that your kids can relate to and I like that it focuses on lowercase letters .

Letter Of The Week !

Boat b !

Letter of the Week B

When I presented my son with 4 different b themes to choose from his choice was clear, “Boat bbbb boat, boat let’s make a boat!” so we did. I have been enjoying watching him trace the letters now instead of scribbling on them randomly like he used to. It’s clear his ability to write is naturally emerging and I am tickled to see it come out like this.  What new development have you seen your child do recently? Leave a comment and share!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 full sheets of construction paper, and one smaller blue piece for waves, glue, scissors and markers. The letter stickers are optional .Letter of the Week B
  2. Start by writing a large lowercase b on one sheet of construction paper.Letter of the Week B
  3. Have your child decorate it as they see fit. Mine like I said is big into tracing, which is very interesting since I have never once done a letter tracing work sheet with him.Letter of the Week B
  4. While they do that draw 2 sails and a boat on another sheet, as well as some waves on the smaller blue piece. Letter of the Week B
  5. Have them color the sail and boat with markers when they are done with the b.Letter of the Week B
  6. My son insisted on cutting out the waves himself. So I grabbed his scissors too. I cut out the boat and sails while he was doing this.Letter of the Week B
  7. Glue the waves on the remaining full sheet of paper.Letter of the Week B
  8. Glue the b on and add the glue for the boat and sails.Letter of the Week B
  9. Add the sails.Letter of the Week B
  10. Add the boat.Letter of the Week B
  11. Give the boat a name- using the letter stickers and let dry. Letter of the Week B

Books

Sail Away

Sail Away by Donald Crews was a huge hit. I can’t say I am surprised at all my son loves this author and it’s easy to understand why. The text is simple, as is the premise of the book. Readers don’t get deeply invested in the characters, they are faceless people on a sail boat, instead the focus is on the boat istself. Where it goes, how the weather affects it and how it gets beck to where it started from. I have always enjoyed the use of light in Donald Crews books, you don’t have to explain to your child that a storm is coming or that time has passed because the light in the illustrations does the explaining for you. Great boat book!

Toy Boat

Toy Boat by Randall de Seve is a story that will pull at your heart as well as make you cheer, well it made my 3 year old cheer anyway! A little boy makes his very own toy boat and plays with it, in the tub and even sleeps with it. One day when he is at the beach it floats off into the open ocean. It’s turbulent, scary and well anxious to see this tiny boat made of household things fight the waves. My son was visibly shaken by it’s unintentional freedom. With a little help from a friendly fishing boat the toy boat returns home and both boat and boy rejoice. This is a common theme for boat books-  but the illustrations by Loren Long really help this one stand out above the others. My son cheered every time we read the part when they are reunited!

More Boat Crafts & Books

Recycled Boat Craft

Laundry Basket Boat and Pretend Play

Shape Boat Craft

Letter of The Week d

Door d !

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Sometime a craft really makes you proud, I know this isn’t rocket science but I was pretty excited when I thought of this , it reminds me of the lift the flap books that my son still loves and has since he was a baby. Inside the door we hid a dinosaur! Even with it’s novelty the craft is fast and easy .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some crayons, scissors, a marker, glue and a sticker or two.AASept7 002
  2. Start by writing a lowercase d on one piece of paper.AASept7 003
  3. Have your child color the d. My son discovered he can hold multiple crayons in one hand for maximum coverage!AASept7 004
  4. Cut out the d and cut the inner circle on 3 sides. Leave one side attached and fold carefully back.AASept7 005
  5. Glue the d back on. My son was insistent that he do the gluing , I wanted to do it so it didn’t get on the flap but conceded to writing x where he needed to put it. He did great and I was reminded yet again to chill out.AASept7 006
  6. Place it on the 2nd piece of paper.AASept7 007
  7. Add the sticker, you could also add a door knob, my wee one declared ” No door knobs mama, you’re silly” a hole punch dot would be perfect if you want one. AASept7 009
  8. Let dry! AASept7 011

Books!

Dogabet

” Dogabet” by Dianna Bonder is a fun playful alphabet book, perfect for animal lovers. We love dogs in our house so this was a sure fire hit, but even if you can’t tell a foxhound from a poodle you will like the busy pages and cute alliterative text. Each page is devoted to one letter and a corresponding breed of dog,  our favorites were the Otterhounds with their oboes and the purple Pugs. Also at the back of the book there is a guide to hidden images on each page that all begin with the proper letter, as well as a cat and bone. My son loved this book and playing “detective” with it.

Sleepy ABC

“Sleepy ABC” by Margaret Wise Brown . I had never read this book before, and although I have a legendary hatred of Runaway Bunny I generally love this author, I can’t get enough of The Big Red Barn right now. I like this book, and the illustrations will zip you back in time for sure.  Unlike many alphabet books it has a great rhythm for reading it all without breaks.  My one complaint is that the child is tucked into bed then a few letters later is out listening to a story from another woman not their mom. I am not sure perhaps those are different children, didn’t bug my son one bit, but left me wondering. Like it’s title suggests it’s a good alphabet book for a bedtime read, it even ends with something I say often ” Go To Sleep!”.

ABeCedarios

“ABeCedarios : Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish” by Cynthia Weill and K.B.Basseches , wood sculptures by Moises and Armando Jimenez.  This is a simple but amazing book.  The text is simply labels in both English and Spanish for the bright and wonderful photographs of the matching sculptures. I loved that for X the sculpture is of a mythical animal and the book asks the reader to make up a name begining with X, very clever!

Letter Of The Week ! Ss !

The letter S is pretty distinctive and often one of the first letters many children I have taught can identify, this is a fun easy craft using the letter S.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some paint, scissors, some black and white paper or foam, glue, and a red pipe cleaner.
  2. Draw a thick S on a piece of construction paper.
  3. Mix some paint colors together, you don’t need to do this step but I have been noticing since doing this my son has been naming colors more accurately. I ask him ” Which color should we use?” while holding 2 or 3 for him to choose from. It could be a coincidence but it takes an extra 30 seconds so I think it’s well worth the time!
  4. Paint your S, you aren’t going to cut it out until it’s all dry and this makes it less frustrating for little ones who are less able to stay within the S.
  5. While your child is painting cut out 2 black circles of paper or foam sheets, and then small white diamonds and glue together. Of course you can use googley eyes if you want to skip this step.
  6. Let the snake dry.
  7. Glue the eyes on.
  8. Add a tongue, I am using a pipe cleaner but red paper glued on would work great too.
  9. Glue the S onto another full piece of paper for strength, without it the S will be ripped in no time.
Books!

” Hide and Snake” by Keith Baker is a fantastic book for a wide range of ages. The story follows a snake that hides in multi colored places. It is not too easy to find the snake , but easy enough that this won’t frustrate your child. With older children this book can open a dialog about camouflage and how snakes use it for protection and hunting. Younger children love books likes these because they can stay “busy” while you read the fun rhyming text.


” The Greedy Python” by Eric Carle is a fun fable about a snake that is so greedy and keeps eating and eating that eventually he eats everything, even himself! Kids love this silly story!


Additional Activities

Magnetic writing boards

I love this toy, so does my son. You can use it in so many ways and for those of you afraid of unleashing your children with crayons and markers this makes no mess. My son loves to have my husband or me write a letter of the alphabet then he scribbles over it until there is no more space on the screen.

An activity I enjoyed doing with a student who loved this was to play restaurant, she was the waitress and would take my order. I would order letters, shapes, and numbers and she would write them down on the board. Older children enjoy playing hang man on this toy too!