This week we began home preschool again. I LOVE doing preschool at home with my kids. It is a time for fun, learning, and laughing together. If you haven’t seen my quick tips for getting started with successful home preschool, check THIS out. This year is Little #3’s turn for preschool, and I am excited to share my lesson plans with you! This is the first in our Alphabet Lesson Plan Series. Feel free to use and share these plans to talk, sing, read, write, and play your way through the alphabet. You can use our full lesson plans, or, of course, pick individual activities to do with the Littles in your life. I am also a budget-friendly Mama, so no worries there: our activities are always easy on the pocketbook. So, without further ado, let’s start at the very beginning…
I always like to start preschool with the same routine. Ours is to gather on the floor for circle time and start with a welcome song. There are many welcome songs out there, but when my daughter came home from school singing Hello to All the Children of the World, I knew it was our welcome song for this year!
Little #3 had a great time trying hello in the different languages. He says he’s really good at “Konichiwa!” While this song takes some practice to get all the words, don’t worry about getting it perfect the first day. We listened to the song once, practiced the hello words, and then listened again and tried to sing along when we could.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is the classic book I chose to introduce the alphabet for this lesson. A few of the following activities are centered on it as well. The bold pictures and fun, simple prose make this book a favorite of adults and kids. If you don’t have it, I’m pretty sure it can be found at every library.
After reading the book, we looked at all the letters on the last page. We talked about how there are 26 letters in the alphabet. Little #3 pointed out some that he already knows. We talked about how they each have a big letter (capital or uppercase) and small letter (lowercase). We talked about how each letter makes a certain sound or two. I introduced that we would have a letter of the day for each preschool day and that today’s was the letter A!
I gave Little #3 several straight and curvy items and challenged him to make a big “A” and a little “a”. Examples of straight items include toothpicks, markers, or crayons. Curvy items include rubber bands, pipe cleaners, or tie-ties. He also noticed how close the big A is to a triangle and made lots of triangles.
We thought of lots of words that begin with the A sound. One of those was Alphabet! We sang the alphabet song with sign language.
Rhythm sticks are a really fun way to help kids begin to feel beats and follow patterns. Rhythm patterns can start really simple and get more and more complex as kids grow into it. We practiced two simple patterns, each with four counts. Tap, tap, click, click and tap, click, tap, click. Tap is hitting the end of the sticks on the ground, and click is knocking the two sticks together. If you don’t have actual rhythm sticks, fat markers work just as well. Check out this video for a fun example of using rhythm sticks.
After practicing the beats for a bit, we turned on this video of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and tried to keep the beat. We used the first pattern, switched to the second pattern, rub the two sticks together for skit skat skoodle oot, then repeat.
Guess what? Those letters climbed the coconut tree again and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! They all fell into the ocean!! Do you think you can help fish them out?
We used the magnetic letters from our fridge, our couch as a dock, and a sand bucket to put the caught letters into. Some yarn tied around a pencil with a paper clip attached to the other end of the yarn was the fishing pole. We have two sets of magnetic letters. One is the fabulous and famous Leap Frog set and the other is from the dollar store. Both worked great! The dollar store letters did better with a magnet attached to the paper clip for bait. 🙂
I didn’t know how long this activity would last, but it was definitely longer than I thought. He loved it! At first he wanted me to catch letters with him, but then he wanted to catch all of them, so I laid on the dock with him and did the excited, “Which one did you catch this time?” He even had to hold his breath a few times and swim down there to check things out. 🙂
Next, we did a simple color, cut, and paste activity. Little #3 is working on cutting round edges, so I made this simple coconut tree with coconuts for him to cut and paste. We also talked about how many coconuts there were (six), which was the biggest and smallest, and different ways to add up to six. For example, if you have already colored two coconuts, how many do you have left? Here is a Free Printable of the Coconut Tree Activity, or you could quickly sketch your own.
I also had a traceable alphabet printed and ready in case we had time, but the coconuts were enough for his “sit and concentrate at the table” time. We’ll save the tracing for another day! I like to make a cumulative book of the alphabet throughout preschool time. This activity will go nicely in the book, but if our craft on other days is not a book-type/paper page, we’ll do a different letter activity during the week that will go into the book.
PLAY- I Spy the Alphabet:
We brought our bucket of caught letters back to circle time. Using our DIY magnetic whiteboard (white paper in a page protector on a baking sheet), we played I Spy the Alphabet. I wasn’t planning on doing the whole alphabet, but he wanted to find them all in order, and I couldn’t say no! 😉 When we got to a letter he didn’t know, I would write it with the dry erase pen. He liked covering my writing with the matching letter.
We kept a few letters on the pan and talked about how the sounds come together to make words. We practiced spelling a few simple words with “a” in the middle and trading the beginning and ending sounds. For example, BAT can become BAD by changing the ending sound. We spelled a few rhyming words. We talked about how amazing it will be to know all the letters and be able to write and read anything we want!
Just like we start with a song, I like to end with a song too. We use the London Bridge is falling down tune and sing “Everybody say goodbye, say goodbye, say goodbye. Everybody say goodbye. We’ll see you next week!”
EAT: No preschool is complete without a themed snack! I usually have the snack ready and then see how our tummies are feeling as we go. If we get hungry, we’ll eat a snack in the middle. This time, neither of us even thought about food until after we were finished. I guess we were too excited for the big starting day! Good “A” snacks include alphabet crackers, Cheez-It scrabble letters, animal crackers, apple slices, and apricots. Alphabet soup would make a good lunch.
Well, Little #3 and I had a great time with “A is for Alphabet!” I hope some of these ideas are helpful for you. Coming up, I’ll share what I have found to build the foundation of reading readiness and a lesson plan for “B is for Bear.” One of those Bears will probably be eating Berries with a little Boy…One of my favorite Books! (Oh how I love the letter B!:) Let me know how your home preschool adventures are going!
This post may be shared at some or all of these link parties that I love.