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Learning Letter A

Here’s what my son and I did for Letter A — we read about apples, ants, and anacondas; learned about our 5 senses, made fun crafts, enjoyed an apple taste test, and sang some fun songs!

Monday — A is for Apple

“The Apple Pie that Papa Baked” by Lauren Thompson
  • Writing Practice: Write Uppercase A and lowercase a.

My son used this Letter A worksheet that I found on K5 Learning: https://www.k5learning.com/worksheets/kindergarten/tracing-letters-a.pdf

  • Book: The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson. I love Lauren Thompson’s books! (Try her Little Quack series if you haven’t’ discovered them yet — they are too cute). In this apple pie book, the cumulative and lyrical text create a sweet story that teaches preschoolers about nature and the apple’s life cycle.

Check you local library for this book — it’s a great read 🙂 You can also buy it on Amazon. I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program, so if you buy an item through my site’s links, I get a small portion of the sale to help support this website.

  • Craft: Tissue Paper Apple — supplies needed are a piece of paper, pencil, glue stick, and tissue paper in red, green and brown (or orange).
Tissue Paper Apple Craft

I drew a rough outline of an apple on a piece of paper and then I cut red tissue paper into 1-inch squares.

My son and I both scrunched up the red tissue paper squares together — great for preschool fine motor skills. After we had a lot of of tissue balls, my kiddo covered his apple shape in glue and then glued the tissue all over his apple.

After covering then entire apple in red tissue, we scrunched up green tissue to make a leaf. My kiddo added the green leaf, but thought his apple was still missing something. He decided to add an orange stem (I didn’t have brown tissue paper).

His apple turned out pretty cute! We really enjoyed doing this craft together and I love that he added his own creative ideas with the stem.

  • Song: preschoolers love to sing! Don’t worry if your singing voice isn’t great because your child will be having too much fun with you to care. Sing Raffi’s Apples and Bananas song. It is the perfect combination of silly verses and phonetic vowel sounds for preschoolers. Find it here on YouTube. We love this song in our house and find ourselves singing it all of the time 🙂
Preschool STEM 5 Senses Apple Activity

Tuesday —

  • STEM: 5 Senses — we have 5 senses: sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. Let’s use our 5 senses on an apple! (1) What color is the apple? Do you see any marks on the apple? (2) what does the apple feel like? Is it smooth or rough? (3) Take a sniff. Does the apple have a sweet smell? (4) Take a bite and taste the apple. Is it yummy? (5) What do you hear? Can you hear crunching sounds when you chew your apple?
  • Air Writing: Ask your child to hold up a hand and trace letter shapes with their finger in the air. I was skeptical of this at first, but my son really got into it and I periodically find him air writing his letters all on his own.

Wednesday — A is for Ant

  • Writing Practice: write uppercase letter A. I found a worksheet from AtoZteacherstuff.com:
  • Book: The Ant and the Grasshopper by Luli Gray. This book has bright, exciting pictures that will capture preschoolers’ imaginations! Based on the Aesop’s Fable of the same name, this book shows that it is important to work hard and plan ahead, but that it is also important to be a good friend and enjoy some fun! Check you library, or get it on Amazon.
  • Craft: Egg Carton Ant — supplies needed are a paper egg carton, washable paints, paintbrush, pipe cleaners, sharpened pencil, scissors, and googly eyes.
Egg Carton Ant Craft for Preschool and Kindergarten

Cut your egg carton down so that you only have 3 humps. (Add a quick science lesson by explaining that ants are insects and insects have three main parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Ants have 6 legs, 2 large eyes, and 2 antennae.)

Pick a paint color and then paint your egg carton. (We painted ours on top of a paper plate to catch all of the paint drips/spills/wild brush strokes!) Let your egg carton dry.

Once completely dry, add your googly eyes to your ant’s face.

Now you have to choose pipe cleaners to make 6 legs and 2 antennae. You will need 2 pipe cleaners to make the legs and 1 pipe cleaner to make the antennae. I thought it would be fun to make rainbow colored legs, but my son stuck with his favorite color, blue 🙂

We used a sharpened pencil to punch the holes for the antennae and legs. We stuck the legs through the holes, and bent the pipe cleaners slightly inside the carton to hold the legs in place. Then, we made “feet” by bending the ends of the pipe cleaners and we were excited that our ant actually stood up!

  • Song: Sing The Ants Go Marching. This song is a preschool favorite — it’s catchy, you get to say “boom,” and counting is involved!

Thursday —

  • Salt Tray Writing: cover the bottom of a shallow tray or pie tin with table salt. Your child can take one finger to trace letter shapes in the salt.
  • Worksheet: Color the boxes with letter A
  • Apple Taste Test: We went to the grocery store and bought different kinds of apples and we had an apple taste test when we got home! It was fun to try to different apple flavors and compare them to each other. Our favorites were Honeycrisp and Fuji.

Friday — A is for Anaconda

  • Writing Practice: write lowercase letter a. We used this worksheet from AtoZteacherstuff.com:
“I Saw Anaconda” by Jane Clarke
  • Book — We read I Saw Anaconda by Jane Clarke with illustrations by Emma Dodd. This a cumulative, lift-the-flap book about an anaconda that eats everything around it. The snake ends up getting sick — ick!

My son says this anaconda book is awesome because it has so many flaps! Every page is interactive and he giggles as the anaconda eats everything in sight. Plus, he learned about some new animals (a stork, piranhas, and a skink).

bubble-wrap-paper-plate-snake-craft-

For this craft you will use the bubble wrap as a stamp to make the snake’s scales. I am a big fan of out-of-the-box paintbrush ideas, so using bubble wrap to make the snake scales is a super cool idea.

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Yummy Fruit-Themed Crafts and Books

Fruit-themed crafts and books

I love summer fruits! Strawberries, watermelon, and raspberries are favorites in my house. We have a raspberry bush in our backyard and the berries taste amazing! All of our snacking reminded me of some fruit-themed crafts and books. My preschooler made a construction paper strawberry and a paper plate watermelon. They were both fun to make and he really liked adding his fingerprints to the crafts.

STRAWBERRY CRAFT:

handprint strawberry craft

I love handprint crafts. They are like a time capsule for your little one. You can look back at them and see how small their hands were.

This craft was pretty quick and easy to make. Supplies needed are red and green construction paper, brown marker, scissors, and glue.

1) First, I drew a strawberry shape and my son cut it out. He added the seeds with a brown marker.

2) Next, I traced his hands on green paper and then I cut out the hand prints.

3) My son glued the handprints on top of his strawberry, and ta-da, now we have a cute strawberry craft to hang in his room!

WATERMELON CRAFT:

paper plate watermelon craft

Isn’t this watermelon craft cute? It looks good enough to eat! My son made this at preschool and was so excited to share it with me when he got home 🙂

To make your own watermelon craft, you need a paper plate, green and dark pink construction paper, glue, and black finger paint.

1) First tear up pieces of green and pink paper. This is fun for kids because how often are they allowed to tear things apart!

2) Cut a triangle shape out of a paper plate to be your watermelon slice.

3) Glue the green paper along the rounded edge of the plate. Then glue the pink paper on the remainder of the plate. Let your project dry.

4) Using washable, black finger-paint, have your child add the seeds with their finger.

BOOKS:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We’ve been eating so much fruit lately, it reminded me of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as the caterpillar eats his way through the story. This book is dear to my heart — I remember it from when my brother and I were kids and I am excited that I get to share it with my son.

This is a must read if you haven’t read it yet. Borrow it from your local library, watch this read-aloud from Brightly Storytime, or buy it on Amazon so you can read over and over again.

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s affiliate program. So if you buy a product through one of my links, then I get a small percent from the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support! Happy reading 🙂

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

We also enjoy reading The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. This is an older story, but still cute. Kids will be on the edge of their seats as they listen to the story about the mouse who has to protect its strawberry from a hungry bear. Reading this one together is great fun! Check your local library for this book, or you can get it on Amazon here.]

MORE CRAFTS!

My son and enjoy making crafts together! He is so creative 🙂 Check out my CRAFTS Page for more fun ideas and how-tos to spark your kiddo’s imagination. I love pairing books with crafts! As part of my weekly preschool schedule, we read books together and make a craft that goes with it. It is a fun way to help extend the learning 🙂

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Letter S

Letter S week was tons of fun! My son practiced his writing and “s” sounds and we read books together about things that started with letter S, made crafts, and sang songs. Here is what we did:

  • Writing Practice: write uppercase letter S

Monday — S is for Snail

  • Book: We read Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor. This book is hilarious!!! And it is so darn cute. We love the snail’s determination and positive attitude. The message of helping others and working toward your goals makes this book a winner. We just keep rereading this one and we laugh every single time –seriously, it is a family favorite! My son even insisted that we buy copies for 2 of his cousins 🙂

You can buy a copy through Amazon here.

  • Craft: Paper Plate Snail— This snail craft is pretty easy, but a lot of fun because my son enjoyed using his paints. Best part was, I could pull the supplies together in a couple minutes so we could dive right into craft time!

Supplies needed are paper plate, construction paper, watercolor paints, paintbrush and water cup, scissors, glue and a marker.

To begin, draw a spiral shape on the paper plate (this will be the snail’s shell). Your child can start painting the plate while you are drawing the snail’s head. Cut out the head. Once the plate is dry, your child can glue the head onto shell.

  • Song: Preschoolers love to sing. So for letter S, we sang You are my Sunshine. If you don’t know this song, check out this YouTube video.

Tuesday —

  • STEM Activity: Sink or Float. We picked 5 items from our house to see if they would sink or float in a bowl full of water. (Pick a variety of weights so that some sink and some float.) Fill a bowl with water. Before putting an item in the water, ask you child to guess if it will sink or swim. Why do they think that? After trying each item in the water, count how many sank and how many floated.
  • Air Writing: Ask your child to hold up a hand and trace letter shapes with their finger in the air.
  • Math: look around and count how many things you can find that start with the letter s.

Wednesday — S is for Star

  • Writing Practice: write lowercase s
  • Book: We read Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Cabrera. I love her take on nursery rhymes and my son and I are big fans of her artwork. Plus, I just like owls 🙂 If your local library doesn’t have this one, you can get it on Amazon here.

We also read James Dean’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star featuring Pete the Cat. Pete is one of my son’s favorite book characters, so we read a lot of Pete the Cat stories. This book is a replica of the song, including the second verse (which I can never remember when we sing the song), so it is really the cute pictures of Pete that make this book so enjoyable. Dean’s artistic interpretation of the lyrics and Pete’s iconic coolness make this book a fun read. You can get this board book on Amazon here.

  • Craft: Star Craft — This craft is great for fine motor skills. Kids get to paint and wrap yarn!

Supplies needed are a paper plate, watercolor paints, paint brush and water, scissors, yarn, and tape.

Start by drawing a star shape in the center of the plate and cutting it out. Kids can paint the plate with a variety of watercolors; be creative!

Let your plate dry.

Pick out yarn or string to wrap around your plate.

Tape one end of the yarn to the back of the plate and then let your child start wrapping. When you are finished wrapping yarn, cut the year an and tape the end to the back of the plate.

You can repeat this craft with other shapes and make a whole bunch 🙂

  • Song: I was sick of Twinkle Twinkle after reading 2 books about the song, so we sang Raffi’s Shake My Sillies Out. This song is so much fun to sing and has lots of great movements to do with it. If you don’t know this song, check out Raffi on YouTube.

Thursday —

  • Salt Tray Writing: cover the bottom of a shallow tray or pie tin with table salt. Your child can take one finger to trace letter shapes in the salt.

  • Worksheet:

Friday — S is for Strawberry

  • Book: We read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. This is an older story, but still cute. Kids will be on the edge of their seats as they listen to the story about the mouse who has to protect its strawberry from a hungry bear. Reading this one together is great fun! Check your local library for this book, or you can get it on Amazon here.
  • Craft: Strawberry Craft–I love handprint crafts. They are like a time capsule for your little one. You can look back at them and see how small their hands were.

Supplies needed are red and green construction paper, brown markers, scissors, and glue.

I drew a strawberry shape and my son cut it out. He loves using scissors, so I try to find crafts and activities for him to work on his cutting skills.

Next, he added the seeds with a brown marker.

I traced his hands on green paper and then I cut out the hand prints.

He glued them on top of his strawberry, and ta-da, a cute strawberry craft to hang in his room!

Animals

Birds

A bird flew into our house today! Poor little thing thought it could escape through the window, but it got caught in our blinds. Thankfully my husband was able to free it and the bird flew back outside through our slider. It was quite an exciting start our morning!

In honor of our little visitor, here are some my family’s favorite bird books:

Birds by Kevin Henkes — this book is perfect for young bird lovers. The child in the story expresses the wonder and curiosity children have for our feathered friends. The picture perfectly capture the text and we love the bright, bold colors. Check this out from your local library, or buy it from Amazon here.

Kiwi Cannot Reach! by Jason Tharp — this story is laugh-out-loud funny and interactive. Kids will love helping Kiwi attempt to reach the rope that is hanging from the top of the page. The ending will result in lots of giggling and requests to read it again and again! We had checked this out from the library and my son loved it so much that I ended up buying it for him — it is still a favorite at bedtime! Check this out from your local library, or buy it from Amazon here.

Mel Fell

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor — this book is unique because you actually have to turn the book sideways to that the cover flips up because the bird is “falling.” But don’t worry because king fishers are diving birds, so everything turns out alright; plus then you get to turn the book so Mel can fly back up. The physicality of the book really makes it special. The concerned animal friends add humor to the story and we learned a lot of cool facts about kingfishers! Check this out from your local library, or buy it from Amazon here.

Bird Activities:

Check out this read-aloud of Are You My Mother? from Brightly Storytime.

PAPER PLATE BIRD CRAFT:

This was fun and easy to make!

Supplies needed are 1 paper plate, crayons, feathers, googly eyes, tiny bit of orange or yellow construction paper to make a small beak, and glue.

-Color one side of your paper plate. My son’s favorite color right now is blue, so just about everything we make is blue, but feel free to be creative and color your bird any way you want.

-Fold the paper plate in half. The rounded side will be the bottom of the bird.

-Glue on feathers for wings and a tail.

-Add googly eyes and a beak and now you have a bird.

BIRD MOVEMENTS

Any time we get to use our imaginations, is a lot of fun. My son and I thought of bird activities and had a blast pretending to be birds. Here’s what we came up with:

-Make bird sounds — Can you tweet like a little bird? Caw like a crow? Quack like a duck? Coo like pigeon? Squawk like a parrot? Cock-a-doodle-doo like a rooster?

-Soar your arms out like an eagle

-Flap your “wings” really fast like a hummingbird

-Hop like a little bird

-Peck like a chicken

-Can you stand on one leg like a flamingo?

-Waddle like a penguin

Can you think of any other bird activities? Let me know 🙂

Animals

Summer Time

Summer is just around the corner! For my family, living in southern California, summer = beach. My son can’t wait to splash in the ocean and dig in the sand. With work schedules and school in still in session until the end of the June, we have to be content with reading about the beach and ocean animals.

Some of our favorite beach and ocean books are:

The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor– based on the “House that Jack Built” story, this is a cute book about a little girl’s beach day. In this great example of teamwork, Lola and her new friends work together to make a sandcastle for mermaids. Fantastic pictures and rhyming text make this book a winner!

I’m a huge advocate of libraries and want everyone to visit theirs, so head down to your local library and check out a copy of The Sandcastle that Lola Built. Or, you can always buy your own copy on Amazon here.

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery — my 4 year old loves this book! It is a true story about an octopus named Inky, who escapes from an aquarium in Australia and makes its way back to the ocean. We learned a lot about octopuses from this picture book, and we were fascinated by Inky’s journey. There are other books written about Inky, but this one is our favorite. Sy Montgomery is a gifted storyteller and we were absolutely fascinated by this amazing octopus. I check out lots of library books for my son and I to read together, but this is one book that we felt that we needed to own because we truly love this story and read it over-and-over again.

Your library should have a copy of Inky’s Amazing Escape (it’s pretty famous in the book world), but you can always buy your own copy through Amazon here.

Shark Kiss, Octopus Hug by Lynn Rowe Reed — a super cute picture book about a shark and an octopus looking for some love. You will giggle your way through the story reading the silly ideas these two come up with to get the beachgoers to give them hugs and kisses.

Click here to get in on Amazon.

The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen — this is fun rhyming story with great pictures. It’s written sing-songy and in our house, we really get into this story, with the whole family singing the refrain and acting out the “blubs.”

The Pout Pout Fish has many sequels. The original is our favorite 🙂

Check your local library for the Pout Pout Fish, or buy it on Amazon here.

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s affiliate program, which pays advertising fees to sites that advertise and link to Amazon’s products. So if you buy the book through my site, I get a small percent from the sale.

CRAFTS:

TOILET PAPER ROLL OCTOPUS:

My son loves Inky’s story so much, that we decided to make an octopus craft.

Supplies needed are an empty toilet paper roll, washable paint, paintbrush, kid safety scissors, googly eyes, and a marker.

-First we painted the toilet paper roll red. (use whatever color you want). And then we let it dry.

-After it dried, my son made cuts in the bottom of the toilet paper roll to make 8 legs. Then he gently pulled each leg up so that they legs splayed out and his octopus could stand.

-Then he attached the googly eyes and drew a mouth, and our cute little octopus was ready to explore our house!

PAPER PLATE FISH:

Supplies needed are paper plate, scissors, stapler, glue stick, tissue paper squares (about 1 inch x 1 inch), and large googly eyes (optional glitter glue).

-To make your fish, have your child cut out a triangle from the paper plate. This makes it look like the fish’s mouth is open. My son loves being able to use scissors, so he liked this craft.

-Staple the triangle to the back of fish to make a tail.

-Now it’s time to decorate the fish! Using the glue stick, glue tissue squares all over the plate to make the fish’s scales.

-Finish your fish by adding googly eyes.

My son thought it needed some sparkle, so he added blue glitter-glue polka dots to his fish.