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Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Letter A activities

Caedyn has begun expressing an interest in wanting to read.  Now, at two and a half, he's (WAY) too young.  But, letting my son experience reading through crafts and games?  OH yeah!  Besides, I've been waiting all my life to have a kiddo of my own who is old enough to do fun things with.  So, here's some of the fun we have recently been having with the letter A.



So, this was great--he had so much fun!  My boy's a little perfectionist.  I put the glue (Tacky Glue worked great!) down on the construction paper and he carefully laid down his cheerios.  I will also do this with macaroni and maybe uncooked beans or lentils.  It's great for kids to work with manipulatives when they're this age because holding a pen just right is pretty tough.

Okay, super easy.  You've probably seen this old standby already, but here's our version and I thought I'd break it down.

Green Construction paper:  
1.  A big green A  (freehanded, people-- no one's checking out your ability to make a perfect A, I promise you).
2.  A little u, but you don't cut out the inside of the u.  This is the piece for the alligator's eyeball to rest in.

White construction paper:
1.  A little circle (eyeball, and Caedyn filled in the dark circle by himself--also good practice of shapes).
2.  White rectangle, folded and cut zig-zags out--gives you two teeth pieces.

Marker:  I wrote the "A is for Alligator" and Caedyn drew the tongue.

Another old standby.  Not my idea, but works for the idea, you know?
Red construction paper
1.  Little a, cut out.

White construction paper
1.  Just cut a circle that will fit behind your a.

Green construction paper
1.  Leaf shape (rounded diamond shape?)

Marker
I drew the seeds in and wrote the "Aa is for apple".


Okay, the picture at right is another idea picked off of Pinterest.  Someone had suggested using popsicle sticks and putting velcro on them so that your kids could create letters that way.

I like this one because of course they are re-usable for all the letters to come.  
 This one was one we came up with on the fly but it became a BIG hit.  Caedyn wanted to do another craft so I tried to think of something else with the sound of A as in apple.

Ha!  Axe, of course.  We first made it with cardboard and tinfoil and string.  But Caedyn promptly began cutting down imaginary trees, and he cut down so many of them that we had to reinforce his axe with duct tape and popsicle sticks.
 Here it is reinforced at the right.  But, boy oh boy, he caught on that A is for Axe, even if we did have to cover that part up.

When Daniel came home, I got the whole story, as in why the axe really connected with Caedyn.  Turns out, that Daniel plays a version of the Oregon Trail on his phone with Caedyn.  The one part Caedyn gets to do is the chopping down of trees.  Ha!  Gotta love it when things come together for kiddos like that.  :)

I wrote the "A" in dotted lines with a pencil so he could trace over it.  Doing it really big like this (writing one A on a huge piece of paper) was good exercise.  It gave him a chance to see that he could write an A, too.

I got these pictures out of an alphabet book I bought from Dollar Tree.  He cut them out (yay for scissor practice!) and glued them on. 

He is too young yet to be comfortable with too much of pen or pencil practice but writing a letter really big is rewarding for him (he sees he CAN do it) and great for hand eye coordination. 





I also wanted to show off this other neat find from Dollar Tree:  These are stick on letters that can peel off and be stuck back on again.  So much nicer than the magnetic ones.  And one buck for the whole alphabet!


Now, I'll go into detail on this one.  This is "A is for ant". 
These are ants (just in case you weren't sure), and we made them out of a pair of old socks, two pipe cleaners and stuffed them with plastic garbage bags.  I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest, but it was a caterpillar.  I just adjusted it a little.

Here, Caedyn stuffs his sock with a garbage bag.  No need to use expensive pillow stuffing on something like this, right?  Tie off sections with your pipe cleaners.
Bend the ends of the pipe cleaners for feet and legs.  We chatted a little about how ants have three parts.

I cut two little holes in the top of the "head" section of the ant.
Then I pushed another piece of pipe cleaner through the holes and bended it so he now has antennae.
Then we added googly eyes and a puffy paint smile.  Of course, when your kiddo is just two and a half he needs a lot of help with this project but that didn't stop Caedyn from being terribly proud of his ant when it was all done.  Yay!  A is for "Ant"!


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