Welcome to the first of what I’m sure will be many ongoing crafting projects. Mateo’s got a basic grasp of counting. Rudimentary, but functional. I would caution you against letting him handle your banking but I wouldn’t rule out asking him to bring you five cheerios.
The alphabet, on the other hand, is is still eluding him. He’s got the tune down for the ABC song and he’s really quite good at letters A through C. Ask him what A stands for and you’ll get “apple” 9 times out of ten. Ask him what C stands for and you’ll get “cat” 6 times out of ten. Ask him to sing past E and you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Ask him which animals live on the farm, in the ocean or in the jungle and you’ll get the correct answers almost every time. Thus, we are building on what he knows to fill in some blanks for him by creating an animal alphabet train. The plan is to create two-three letters a week and hang them around the perimeter of his room (with a train up front, obviously). This week we tackled letters A through C and had a good ol’ time doing so. To start the craft, we practiced the ABC song a couple times and then worked on the animals. I spread this out over an hour and a half or so. We did the letter A before lunch and then the letter B while taking a break from eating (because it’s apparently exhausting to be asked to consume food) and finished the letter C a little after lunch. Doing so like this allowed him to focus on each letter without getting distracted by the next one and allowed us to spread the crafting fun out over an entire morning.
- Construction paper and card stock paper
- Cotton balls
- Googly eyes for each of the animals
- Glue (I used both Elmer’s Liquid Glue and a Glue Stick – depending on which item was being glued)
- Letter Stickers
- To prep: Cut out the following:
- A block letter A from a piece of green construction paper.
- 6 teeth for your alligator
- White and pink half ovals for the ears to your bunny. The pink half ovals should be a bit smaller than the whites.
- 9 circles (I chose green and yellow for mine but this is up to you)
- Gather letter stickers for each of the three letters (entirely optional)
- To prep: Draw the letter B on one piece of card stock and the letter C on another. This will allow you to instruct your little one to place the cotton balls and circles along the line that’s already drawn.
- Arrange the items you’ll need for each animal. Two eyes for each. Ears and cotton balls for the bunny. And eyes and circles for the Caterpillar.
- For the letter A:
- Have your child glue the letter to a piece of card stock.
- Ask him or her where the teeth should go and then guide him in gluing them in their appropriate places.
- Glue the eyes to the top of the letter.
- Ask him to place the corresponding letter sticker above the alligator.
- For the letter B:
- Have your child trace the letter with a glue stick. This provides a sticky base to adhere the cotton balls to and is easiest way I’ve found to get them glued around the entire letter. Depending on how quickly your little one works, you may have to reapply glue periodically (as was the case with us).
- Once the outline is covered in cotton balls, glue the ears on top. I asked Mateo what the bunny was missing and he said ears. Worked perfectly as a transition.
- Glue the eyes in the appropriate places. Again, I asked Mateo what the bunny’s face was missing and he said a tongue. I agreed that he needed a tongue and asked what else he might need to help him see. Mateo started to catch on and said eyes.
- Lastly, draw on the nose and mouth and have your little one add the letter stickers to the paper.
- For the letter C:
- Explain that you two will be making a caterpillar and that these circles make up his belly. Ask your little one to glue the circles over the outline of the letter while alternating colors. Clearly, you can see that alternating colors went a little awry in our craft. Pick your battles.
- Once the outline is covered in circles, add eyes to the top circle and add four legs to each of the circles that make up the insect.
- Finally, let your little one add the letter stickers and display the three letters on their wall.
Stay tuned for more letters next week!