For our grand finale of Mommy & Me class, spring 2013, we devoted a day to the alphabet! We tried to come up with some activities that could be altered to fit almost any age of the preschool years. I was inspired by two things: alphabet mail by “no time for flashcards” and chalkboard boxes by “laughing kids learn.”
CRAFT/ACTIVITY: Alphabet mail with chalkboard paint mailboxes
Three coats of chalkboard paint is recommended, letting each coat dry between re-applying, but I got away with two thick coats. Painting all the sides, then the top, leaving the bottom dry, seemed to work easiest for me (be sure to stir the paint before starting!).
Instead of finding bits of paper and envelopes around my house – which is totally do-able for making one of these, but since I was planning for 10, I went ahead and bought this great set at Target. This box contained 200 note cards (just a single side, no fold) and 200 envelopes, in a rainbow of colors – perfect for having a color matching option for this activity as well!
So, I chose one of each color to spell out my little girl’s name. Then, in upper case, I wrote the one letter on the outside of each envelope. For the card inside, I wrote a word (starting with the envelope’s letter) on one side and a picture illustration of it on the flip side. I went for as many animals as possible, and just used her name for the first letter. One day, I’ll glue a photo of her on the flip side of her name card.
For any difficult words, I simply googled something like “octopus cartoon” to get a visual to copy onto my notecard. I’m pretty proud of how they turned out 🙂 Another tip, after our first playtime with these, I reinforced the envelopes with some packing tape so Pen Elaine didn’t keep just ripping the envelope apart instead of pulling out the notecard, leaving envelope intact…the tape worked great!
This actually ended up as a great potty-training treat. She would go sit on the potty readily if I promised a piece of mail to open! She does not know many letters yet, but it was also fun to play with these as a color matching game, to get the cards back in the correct envelopes. I keep a piece of chalk inside of the mailbox, too, so she gets some color creative time in with this set too, which she thought was really fun.
We also had a fun time of “stamping” the envelopes with stickers and putting on “return address” labels.
Of course, the alphabet song, but also, if you haven’t checked out zoophonics, my 1.5-year-old randomly repeated “a-a-alligator” so many times after watching a few of the renditions of them on youtube just one day, ha!
There are tons of books out there with the alphabet – from just about any series that you like! Fancy Nancy, Dr. Seuss, Arthur, Veggie Tales, etc. all have ABC books, so any that interests your kid would do the trick. We have an Arthur goes to school book that has the alphabet in “lift-the-flaps” which is pretty fun.