We love playing with the alphabet. Whether it’s making letter crafts, reading a book or creative activities like this we play with and point out letters where ever we go. This is the 5th installment of our Alphabet For Starters series, posts dedicated to introducing and playing with letters for beginners. We spent the majority of the day outside pulling weeds and my daughter helped us by pulling flowers too. I decided to piggyback that with this alphabet garden magnetic play. Please be careful whenever you use magnets. I prefer using products like this adhesive magnetic roll vs round magnets that are all too often put in little mouths. If your child is still putting things in their mouth skip the magnets it’s a nice extra but not required.
- Gather your materials. You will need some fun precut shapes I am using wooden shapes from Craftprojectideas.com, some permanent markers, scissors, magnetic sheets, some paper and a cookie sheet.
- Start by writing out the alphabet one letter at a time on the wooden pieces.
- Decorate. I used permanent markers because I wanted to play the same day. But if you have the time paint would be nice too.
- Trace the shape on the paper side of the adhesive magnetic roll.
- Cut and stick.
- Make a few scenes on paper (I made a garden and a vase), placed them on the cookie sheet and put the letters in a basket.
- Play. She started right away.
- Then switched the scene and kept going. As she placed the letters I labeled them. Every now and then would ask which letter she liked best, which color she liked best and which was her favorite flower/butterfly. Anything with polka dots was the verdict every time.
Alphabet for Starters Books
A Gardener’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian is fresh and so richly illustrated alphabet book you will likely have the same thoughts I did while reading it with my son “I need to frame these pages!” they are that awesome. What I think the main benefit of this book is, is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables, and roots!
Baby’s Alphabet by Jean Marzollo will appeal to your baby and toddler, we were given it as a gift and my son has loved it since about 9 months on. The photographs of other babies will keep your little one interested. You will be surprised how soon they will anticipate the next page. I know I was! Sadly our copy is now flying the friendly skies. We took it on a flight with us and forgot it on the plane. Hopefully, someone with a baby finds it.
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 its own book, though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed. But, 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.
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If you like this circle time activity, you will love the ideas and circle time lessons I share in Little School my ebook of preschool activities.