Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pre-School Letter "a" Activities and Free Printable {Homeschool Delights}

Cupcake and I started Pre-school last week! We did lower case letter "a," short-vowel sound. (If you missed the overall plan for my curriculum, you can find it here.) These activities were done over two days, about 20 minutes per activity, give or take.

I also have a free apple shape sorting printable to share with you! To skip straight to the printable, download here.

Sandpaper Letter
I demonstrated how to trace the letter "a" with my finger on the sandpaper letter three times, saying the short "a" sound each time. Cupcake was not too interested in tracing the letter, but she did pick up on the sound quickly. I tried helping her trace, but she didn't really want to, so I didn't push it. She is only 2 and a half, so I am not going to push too much!

She did feel it a little though. :-) I did this activity both days.

 Letter "a" Play Area
I collected all of her toys that begin with the short vowel "a" sound. We were out of town, so I just put them on the coffee table of the house where we were staying.

(ambulances, apples, alligators, letter a block)

I had her name all the objects and I repeated her, emphasizing the short a sound. Then I just let her play with the toys for a while.

Letter "a" Alphabet Box Drawer
 I got the wonderful idea of doing an alphabet box from Counting Coconuts. I was intrigued by the idea because I love miniature things, but Cupcake also likes to play with small objects and inspect them, so I knew it would be a hit.

I've seen others do alphabet boxes using large utility boxes. I don't have room for that, so I bought an inexpensive 16-drawer craft storage box at Hobby Lobby and doubled up with some of the letters. I like this box because the drawers are long, so you can fit a lot of small objects in there.

Because Cupcake just began learning, how I used the box this week is I took out all the "a" objects and laid them out on a piece of felt.

(apple, ambulance, antelope, ant)
I found acrylic lower case letters at Michael's, so I decided to add them to the box too as a visual reminder of what the letter looks like.

I named each object with her, emphasizing the "a" sound and then let her play with the objects.
When she learns more sounds, we will do sorting activities with the objects.

Letter Collage Sheet
I had Cupcake color the letter "a" and then find stickers in our stash that begin with the short a sound and adhere them.

I got these fabulous lower case collage sheets for free from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has upper case ones too!

I hung her finished product on the fridge, so she could look at it all week.

Counting Bears
I set out apples with numbers on it and had her count the bears. I let her play with the bears first because she likes to make them dance around. :-)

  I helped her with this activity and we only went up to five because she got bored after that. 

Apple Tree Game
Cupcake liked this one a lot. I used a free cut and paste printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler to create this game. I punched the apples out with a circle punch and glued them on wood discs so she could grab them better. 

We played the game two ways. She rolled the die and put that many apples on the tree. I bought the foam cube at a teacher store and wrote the numbers on it. You can buy foam dice with the numbers printed on, but they only go up to 10. I planned for the future. :-)

I also placed some on the tree and had her count how many apples were on the tree.

We did this one both days because she really liked it.

 For color sorting, I made Cupcake a color sorting sticker book from free paint cards from Home Depot. I will post in more detail about this on Monday.

She went through our sticker stash and found stickers for each color and placed them on the correct pages. She is pretty good with colors, but because she is so little, I went through each color with her one at a time and had her name the color. She looked for that color on the sticker sheet and I corrected her if she tried to place it on the wrong color (she would sometimes get distracted and just want to stick it anywhere). I wouldn't tell her it was wrong, but ask something like, "Does that yellow owl belong on the blue?"

I made this shape-sorting sheet myself and had Cupcake sort button shapes on it (found the buttons at Hobby Lobby).

Download Here

Confessions of a Homeschooler, if you can't tell already, has awesome printables! I used her apple sizing printable to help Cupcake learn to size from large to small.

I started out with four this time because it was her first time sizing anything other than stacking blocks.

Art & Music
 We only got to one craft this week. As I mentioned before, I don't prefer copycat crafts, unless they enforce another skill, like fine motor skills. So, that's just what I did this week. Cupcake made an Applejacks bracelet from Applejacks and a shoestring.

She wore her bracelet for about 30 seconds before eating it!

For music, we sang "Alice the Camel" and "The Ants Go Marching." She loved both AND she loved banging on her drums during music time too.

Snacks & Storytime
 For snacks, we had applejacks one day and ants on a log the other-ants on a log MY way because I don't like celery. We used fat pretzel sticks.

 These are the books we read, beginning with the short "a" sound:

  Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray
Cupcake and I love this story. It's an ABC book that in just a few words tells the story of a mischievous little dog's quest for apple pie.
The Animals' Song by David L. Harrison
A bunch of animals join a parade and "sing" along-Cupcake loved this one because of all the silly noise sounds.
Aunt Lucy Went to Buy a Hat by Alice Low
A silly story about absent-minded aunt Lucy who loses her hat, so she goes out to buy a new one, but ends up coming home with much more.
Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza by Holly Clifton-Brown
This one was OK-I didn't love it, but I'm including it because Cupcake requested it over and over. I think she liked the owl and the bright pictures.
Ant and Honey Bee, What a Pair! by Megan McDonald
Best friends, Ant and Honey Bee, plan fantastic pairs costumes for a party, but a little rain complicates things. Not the best written book, but cute.
All the Awake Animals are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon
(Yep, that's for real the author's name.) This is actually an ABC sounds book, but it is an excellent tool for teaching letter sounds for ALL letters and the illustrations are beautiful.
Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Holabird
Love this classic story about a tiny dancer!

Bible Time
I am using the book Because God is Awesome by Brad and Kathy Bright which goes through attributes of God. Cupcake is a little young for the dg4kids activities, but I am going through each attribute with her, repeating the important concepts with her.

Last week, we went through the "God is All-Powerful" section of the book. We listened to and sang the "a" scripture song from Songs for Saplings: ABC, which was "Keep me as the apple of your eye." Psalm 17:8. Cupcake LOVES these scripture songs and she learned the verse after the first few listens.

Sensory Activity
 This was an easy, $2 sensory activity: Ants in the Salt Tray. I got the idea from Teach Preschool, but instead of using plastic ants, which I didn't have, I used black beans from the Dollar Tree. Cupcake liked pretending they were ants, so it was a win!

I gave her tweezers, a spoon, and a measuring cup for playing in the salt. Instead of a tray, I used a baking pan, which worked well.

She needed help with the tweezers, but she enjoyed using the cup to scoop.

And then she accidentally dumped a 3/4 cup full on my head. I had salt stuck on my scalp all day!

Her favorite part was feeling the sand in her hands and picking out "the ants."

Delightfully Pre-Schooling,
Linking To
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  1. Hi, visiting from Homeschool Creations Preschool and Kindergarten Community Link-Up. It looks like she had a fun, learning week! I love the apple theme and I will have to look for an organizer like the one you pictured. I discovered there's a Hobby Lobby near where we just moved to! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a fun collection of activities!


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