Themes > Alphabet Activities and Crafts
Suggestions for using the
activity worksheets and companion alphabet
mini-books are meant to be
used as part of a 3 to 5-day program of activities (5-15 minutes each), not a
cut-and-paste one day activity. The activities can be spaced out over
a period of time to review the alphabet letter.
These materials are also available in Spanish.
|Alphabet Activity Worksheet and Companion Mini book elements:|
Block Mini-Book View:
Page 1 | Page 2
Page 1 | Page 2
- Letter recognition using activities that involve the five senses.
- Building vocabulary and general knowledge related to words for each letter.
- Include arts & crafts, music, nutrition, literature, to name a few, in the process of "having fun with the letter__."
- Pre-Writing: Children 3+ can start to trace the letters on the right upper tracer and filling the large letter images in Standard block or D'Nealian writing format. The mini-books and printable related activities will offer additional opportunities to practice tracing and pre-writing skills.
Present "HAVING FUN WITH A LETTER-A-WEEK" or "LETTER__ FUN," or come up with a fun name for the letter activity.
Learning with our senses: All activities suggested will involve as many of the five senses as possible: seeing the letter (literature, activity pages, printable display materials-posters, real items that represent the letter, etc.), touching the letter (arts & crafts, finger plays, decorating/ painting letters, touching items that represent the letter), smelling the letter (foods, nature items, spices), hearing the letter (music, songs, read-aloud activities, nursery rhymes)
For a general idea of an activity plan visit this Impact Poster Letter A Activity and/or Letter S Activity.
MAKE AN IMPRESSION: LETTER DISPLAY
For each letter prepare some type of simple display that captures the children's attention. At home or family childcare facility (limited space): use any wall area, door, refrigerator door to prepare a display with colorful images for the letter. Another idea is to purchase a standard "22 x 28" poster board (very light and portable under $2) and prepare the display (tape a large manila envelope in the back to file other materials for the activities). I prefer the poster board because it allows me to move the presentation to any place where crafting or other activity may be taking place (like sail boats in the bathtub...) or even outdoors. The letter activity links will provide you with all the printable materials you'll need to make the display.
At larger facilities the use of a bulletin board (at children's eye level), easel, felt boards are great places to make a display.
- Large Letter Image: Each large letter image demonstrates with numbered arrows the writing process, trace with finger first (count the steps if you feel this is helpful-this will aid with counting skills as well). Use paints, crayons, finger paints, colored pencils or any method that motivates the children. Encourage children to color the large upper case letter first. Use different coloring methods for each letter: sponging, stamping, fingerprinting, etc. After the letter is "traced and filled," add other elements: apple printing on letter A for example, or pasting some bandages or beans for letter B, on the letter or around the letter, use stickers related to the letter. Focus on upper case first and revisit to practice lower case.
- Letter Images (Stickers)
bottom of activity page:
*Define and identify: Each activity page has four to five images (stickers) associated with the beginning sound (except letter X). Ask children to identify those images that are familiar to them. Elicit prior knowledge. Be ready to give a simple definition of the unfamiliar ones and this can start a dialogue about learning about that particular image in a fun way. With a large group review all images to make sure everyone gets a basic definition.
*Image activities: When working with only one or two children, ask which image he/she is most interested about. Proceed to do an activity (ONE PER DAY ONLY) - refer to each letter link for activities related to each image. Activities can be very simple: an easy craft, online or offline literature, eating a food -- 5 to 15 minutes.For larger groups, you may want to do a fun drawing, placing a set of the letter images in a bag to see which image will be addressed first, second and so forth.
*Sticker Fun: After completing an activity cut out the sticker related to the activity performed- and have children paste it over or around the large letter in the activity page or use the sticker with the matching alphabet mini-books and then suggest they color it. If you have completed a printable craft, you can also paste the small image provided on the template to decorate the large letter activity worksheet or fill the corresponding mini-book. View this craft template to see an example of the small image on the left upper corner that can be used as a sticker. The small craft image will be a nice way to keep track of the crafts completed as well for each alphabet letter.
- Letter Tracer and Handwriting Practice: There is a letter tracer in the upper right corner of the worksheet. This activity can be conducted at any time with pencil, crayons or markers. Many of the related activities, as well as the matching mini-book, will provide additional opportunities to master tracing and writing the letter with large and appealing images.
- Assess and Record: Log progress and impressions on the back of the activity page from observations and ask children what they've enjoyed of the activities performed. Make photographs or video occasionally to help assess and keep memories of the activities. Exhibit any artwork in a place of honor. At home, involve other members of the family in the process: example -- an older sibling, or grandparent could go with the child to collect leaves for letter L for Leaf.
- Flexibility and Motivation:
*These activities do not have to be done in one week, the activities may be done over a period of time, different seasons and holidays to avoid boredom and to reinforce learning over time.
*If children are not interested in a particular image(s)/theme featured in the activity page-- suggest another image or theme to complete the program. If the children are very interested in a preschool TV program or video, then by all means use that as the motivation.Watch a program or video together, discuss and take it from there - for TV/Movie and book characters' educational materials visit DLTK's Favorite Friends for Preschoolers. What is important is to help the children find a fun and educational association with each letter.
*Include activities related to upcoming holidays or special days instead of, or in addition to the images in the activity page.
- Print the activity page on sturdy paper or cardstock if using paints.
- To make the activity pages more appealing, print on colorful light pastel color paper/paper stock or light colored construction paper (resize to fit the printer) -- for example, colors can also be addressed this way, when doing letter B, print the activity page on light blue paper to address B is for Blue, or light orange paper for letter O is for Orange. Print the mini-books in same matching color.
- Scrapbook/Portfolio: Consider creating a special First ABC Scrapbook (Portfolio) - accordion folders are quite suitable, for completing all the Alphabet Activities and include photos, crafts, etc. This can be a great tool to revisit the letter, add new activities and additional stickers, and for assessment of progress. Children can revisit the scrapbook to review their valued and special work.
- Rewards & Recognition for Achievement: When a child can recognize a letter by sight
and words associated with that letter it is SO EXCITING for the child (and
for the educator too!) Make that moment meaningful and memorable for
each letter mastered! Here are some ideas:
DLTK-Cards.com provides FREE custom printable tools to create: personalized award certificates (this feature allows for you to load your own images too!), bookmarks, a congratulations greeting card -- all you need is a printer and paper. These custom printables are available in color or black and white format, there are many generic, seasonal and holidays themes to choose from, so children can continue to have fun coloring and decorating!
Keep it simple, enjoy and you'll be surprised how much fun and new things you will learn together with the children as you re-discover the alphabet all over again, and again!