Tuesday, January 28, 2014

C is for Continents - Letter Activities

This week we're learning all about the letter C. In addition to learning about continents, we're exploring the shape and sound of the letter C and words that start with C.

We started with our sandpaper letters. M traced the letter C with her fingers while saying its sound ("cuh").

Next, she explored our Letter C Sound Bag. I had dumped the contents of the sound bag (just a ziplock bag at this point) into a small bin on her tray. She took each of the objects out of the tray one by one and named them. We talked about how each object started with the "cuh" sound (castle cookie cutter, candle, crayon, car, crab, and corn).

Finally, I gave her the new DIY movable alphabet letters and we worked together to spell some simple C words (car, cat, can, corn). I wasn't sure how she would do with this activity, but she really enjoyed it and wanted to spell more words! She was surprisingly good at sounding out the names of the objects and figuring out what letters were making the sounds.

Later that morning M wanted to practice writing, so I took out her DIY salt box to practice writing letters. She started with the letter C, but wanted to practice other letters too, so I took out her box of sandpaper letters so she could choose whatever letter she wanted. She traced the sandpaper letter with her fingers first, then tried to replicate them in the salt.

When she got bored with the salt box, I offered a marker and a small notebook for her to try writing the letters on paper. She was having some trouble with that, so I offered to give her a tracing sheet instead. She traced a few of the C's, but mostly wanted to draw circles and other shapes on the sheet.

She told me that she wanted to write words (as opposed to single letters), so I took out a dry erase sentence strip and we practiced writing some C words. I wrote each word on the sentence strip first, and she copied my letters (or tried to).

Later in the week we decided to start a sensory alphabet book. I was inspired by this textured alphabet craft (Meaningful Mama) and the sensory alphabet from Growing a Jeweled Rose. I gave M a small container of coffee grounds. She smelled them, touched them, and then sprinkled them over a glue "C." We poured off the excess grounds when she was finished.

She liked it so much that she requested to make a second letter (she chose b, which she "traced" with buttons). I'm planning to hole punch the pages and bind them into a small alphabet book for her.

I also wanted to try the magical appearing letters (like this activity from Hands on as We Grow). I wrote a few short "c" words and M's name in white crayon on white paper. I gave her several mini glasses filled with different colors of water to squirt onto the paper with a pipette. I should have tested this first - I gave her collage paper, which is thicker and kind of glossy, so the colored water sort of beaded up on the paper. She thought it was a lot of fun, and enjoyed squeezing the pipette and mixing drops of color on her paper, but the letters I wrote didn't show up very well.

While she played, I wrote a bunch of c's on a regular slip of white paper and gave that to her next. The letters showed up much more clearly, and she liked finding all of the c's on the paper.

M has been reading her Dr. Seuss's ABC book and Sesame Street Animal Alphabet quite a bit since we have been talking about letters. I thought it would be fun for her to make her own alphabet book. We have a set of blank books, so we decided to create a kind of alphabet scrapbook. M put a capital letter sticker at the top of each page, then cut and glued the matching lower case letters that I had printed onto the pages. She was in a cutting mood, so I grabbed a couple of old magazines and let her flip through and cut out pictures that she liked. She chose a picture of a car for the C page, an ice skater for the I page, and a watch for the W page. After that she just wanted to cut the pages into lots of tiny pieces. I let her cut until she got bored - we'll revisit the rest of the pages another time. :)

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We are having so much fun learning about letters and the world around us! I hope you'll continue to follow us on our Journey Around the World!

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