Monday, January 12, 2009

Alphabet School - "A"

Inspired by Mozi Esme and her momma, I have decided to start 2009 with some fun learning activities for Charlotte. It won't be anything drastic like long division or compound sentences, just simple alphabet crafts and such to introduce her further to the world of letters.

Last week, we started at the beginning of the alphabet. I found lots of printable coloring sheets and craft activities for her to do. Just like Esme, not all of it worked for Charlotte, who is 17 months old now. But that is okay with me. We had fun anyway, even if we did get a little messy!

We started with a simple finger painting activity on some letter coloring pages I printed off the internet (sources below). Charlotte seemed to enjoy getting icky with the gel finger paints, but I wasn't too found of the color. So I went out and bought some tempera paint for the rest of our projects.

We also did a field trip to the grocery store. I didn't take pictures there, but we did look at and smell all the different colors of apples. When we came home, I turned one of them into a stamp to make apple prints. A couple of the prints came out really looking like an apple, but then Charlotte decided finger painting was more fun.

One thing that didn't work, was squirting the paint out on a paper towel, in an attempt to make an ink pad. The paper towel would stick to the apple after a couple of uses and everything got really messy.

Another new fun discovery this week was sidewalk chalk. We made it outside a few times to draw and color. I tried to draw A shapes, like apples, angels, ants, and alligators. After I drew the basic shape, Charlotte colored them in, sort of. We are still working on the lines thing.

Since we were already outside and getting chalk all over our clothes and feet, I made up a new game called Big A, Little A. I drew boxes and wrote a big A or a little A in each of them, then asked  Charlotte to stand in certain boxes. She was pretty good at it, and liked moving back and forth on the boxes quickly.

Reading was also an important part of this week, as usual. We read a Sesame Street book about Big Bird that emphasized A careers like astronaut, actor, and athlete. We also read more of our Atlas from Ikea, focusing on the Africa and Asia pages.

Another fun activity we were able to participate in was the Lakeland Rodeo Parade. I am tieing it into our Alphabet School "A" week because it had animals in it! Charlotte had seen a parade before so we knew she would like it. She waved to EVERYONE in the parade, and made sure no one felt left out.

There are two crafts not pictured. One was an egg-carton ant. That was a finger painting thing as well. And the other was an apple tambourine. I cut out 2 apple shapes from paper plates and let Charlotte color them. After she was done, I placed 4 bells inside and stapled it shut. She had fun playing with her musical toy all week long.

I didn't get to do all of the craft ideas I planned, but that is okay. We still had fun learning new art skills this week. It was also a good start for me to see where she was in her fine motor skills. Overall, I am really looking forward to next week when we study the letter B at the Alphabet School.

I did some Google searches and also snaked some of Jane's sources, and these were the websites that helped us out. First School Apples 4 the Teacher Everything Preschool Enchanted Learning DLTK-Bible


  1. Yeah! The teacher in me is smiling big. And I especially love all of the sensory stuff you did, like the chalk drawing and finger painting. The Tongginator would love that since she's so sensory-seeking.

  2. I LOVE LOVE the dltk website. I use it ALL the time for everything.
    The only thing I can't find on it - my girls LOVE the sign language alphabet pages... but they don't have pages that have other sign language words... do you know of any sites that can teach some basic sign language on a coloring page form?

  3. Erica,
    I did some quick searches and found other ASL resources, but only a couple of them were coloring pages. Here are some links that you might find helpful.

    Shapes, Colors, & Numbers
    Sign Language Coloring Books, cost $8

    6 Coloring Books, $27

    I don't know exactly how you feel about kids watching tv, but I can't praise the Signing Time series enough. They are awesome and fun to watch for the whole family. Even my parents are learning ASL with Charlotte so they know what she is saying. They are worth the investment if you want your kids to learn a (3rd) language or at least work on their fine motor skills. And I bet Anna, Elizabeth, and Nate would all like them. They have broad appeal.

  4. thanks SO much for posting your alphabet activities that you are doing, I just started with my son, and your ideas have been wonderful for me! Hope you don't mind me "stealing" some! :)


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