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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Elephants, Envelopes, Eggs & an Elf! Crafts for Letter E



How do you choose which vowel sounds to focus on when you create a letter of the week format for young children?  I try to make sure that one sound is introduced: only one.  And it is always the short sound.  There will always be time later to introduce the knowledge that every vowel has a second sound.  That's what makes the vowels stand out! 


But I admit, this can make crafting tricky!  There aren't THAT many items that begin with the short e sound as you might first imagine.  And we want things that young children can actually relate with.  Things that are already a part of their world. 

I also always try to include one animal in the batch of crafts for letters.  Children love animals.  They learning about them and they love stories involving them.  And there is, of course, no better animal for letter E than the ever popular Elephant! 


Our Elephant Craft is a basic cut and paste.  You can see the example of the finished craft in the bottom right hand corner.  We also have a black and white version which is perfect for following up the story of Elmer.  You know the Elmer story, right?  By David McKee? If you don't, take a listen:


Elmer is such a great story, and one of my young students colored a VERY colorful elephant after she listened to Elmer.


This little elephant alone is enough to run over and pick up our new E craft packet

But let's check out the other crafts, too.  I want to show you our fun little mailbox that is so good for pretend playing with Envelopes.


Learning more about mail and envelopes is a perfect study for Letter E.  And so I also include our booklist for letter E, which has some fabulous suggestions for kids to learn more about mail.


Also included in our Craft packet is a marvelous Egg craft that involves crushing eggshells.  Small children love the tactile experience of feeling eggshells crunch under their hands.  If desired, you can even paint the shells before you crunch them, like we did below:


But regardless, the end result is this adorable little spring chick:


Lastly, our Elf Craft Sheet is fabulous.  Here's the colored version:

But we love it best when the children get to personalize their little elves, and color them up on their own. 



Learn more about this fabulous collection of crafts for E (the short sound), here in our store.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dandelions, Dogs, Dinosaurs and Ducks: Crafts for Letter D


When I am looking a little something extra for little bodies to do, my preference always leans toward the haptic activity.  I was such a haptic learner when I was a child:  anything I could pick up, grasp, touch, and feel was much more likely to be something I retained.  And I find as I teach, that probably most small children fall into that category at the Kinder levels.


This Dandelion craft seen above, is exactly that kind of activity.  Sure, we have the black and white version so the children can color it first, but the real fun begins as soon as they stick on the play-dough (or clay or Styrofoam ball) and start filling the thing full of Q-tips that have been cut into halves or thirds.  That is the best.

I love to follow up a craft with a great story, and yes, thanks to my Children's Librarian background, I even have a great story about Dandelions.  It is The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony and you can check it out on this read-aloud.


Thus begins our four new letter D crafts in our brand new D Craft packet which you can purchase in our store!


But let me give you a glimpse of the other three included crafts, too.  First, you can't let letter D go by without doing something with Dinosaurs.  Our Dinosaur craft uses shape identifiers (square, circles, triangles) to allow children to put the dinosaur shapes exactly where they're supposed to go.


Another fun craft that we offer in our D Crafts packet is a duck craft.  This little critter takes a lot of cutting and folding: perfect activities for those little ones who still need to practice this kind of hand-eye coordination.


And last but not least, we also include a little Dog craft, using a toilet paper tube.  This is one of those projects that your little ones will go home, holding proudly, and maybe include in their pretend play.




As you know, if you follow my blog, I can hardly let a craft go by, without recommending some great read-alouds to go with it.   So, in our letter D craft packet, I include a letter D Booklist.  You will probably find some books you are familiar with, but hopefully, I have given you a few new ones to check out, too:



Each of our crafts has a place for children to write their names (or have an adult write the name) so that student works are easily identifiable.

You can find all these crafts shown here,  and our other fun Letter Craft packets in our store

Monday, April 30, 2018

Caterpillars, Cows, Cats & Crabs: Crafts for Letter C


Letter C is the time when you can really start creating with little ones if you are following through with a kind of letter of the week format.  They are now beginning to expect that their time with you results in an amazing creation that they have somehow personalized into their very own.  Followed up by a story or some sort of learning time that highlights this new thing they have made with their own hands. 

We can't disappoint them now!  We have created this fabulous Letter C Craft Packet to cover four letter C crafts that will come in so handy for students of later aged preschool through the 1st grade. 

Let's begin with our Crab Craft:


This little guy utilizes either a stamp pad or fingers dabbed in paint for his legs.  The only trick will be ensuring that the paint from student fingers only ends up on our specially made beach image, and not anywhere else.  (A box of handy wipes after paint use does the trick!)

I have such a fun story to recommend for this Crab Craft creation.  It is Bill Peet's Kermit the Hermit.  It is a longer story, and will be best for students who are age 5 and older, but the imagery is engaging and the little blue crab gains our empathy early on.   If you have younger kiddos, I'd recommend Eric Carle's A House for Hermit Crab.

Next, let's look at our Cow Craft: 


This sleepy-eyed fellow is a perfect follow up to any of Doreen Cronin's Click Clack Stories.  One of our favorites is Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type.  The version of this read aloud that I found for you here, would work excellent for classroom viewing:



If you would prefer a Duck Craft as a follow-up to this fun story, I would also recommend our Letter D craft packet, which has a fabulous duck craft included!

All of our craft packets include both a black and white version and a color version for easy printing of your preference. 


We couldn't let the Letter C go by without creating a craft that included our favorite character, our very own Glimmercat.  But to those who aren't familiar with her, this craft can be simply a fun cartoon cat, white with gray spots.  This one turns out best if students use a slightly thicker paper: a light card-stock would be best!


As you have noticed, we like to recommend great children's stories for read-alouds with our crafts, and also included in our Letter C craft packet is our recommended Book List for these crafts. 


And last but not least, let's look at our Caterpillar Craft: 


Every Letter C Craft packet should have a good quality caterpillar craft included because caterpillars are so fun to learn about and discover.  My students have always loved making patterns with their pom-poms as they glue them onto their spaces, and cutting out the Caterpillar eyes and feet gives them some delightful hand-eye coordination to work on.

Check out one of the above suggested books for Caterpillars (Waiting for Wings and Ten Little Caterpillars)  for some great follow-up read alouds. 

Be sure to check out our Letter C Craft Packet in our store!  Happy Crafting!