Friday, October 4, 2013

Learning the alphabet: The letter A

Ladybug seems to have the alphabet song down pat now and can recognise and point to some letters. She has always loved reading and enjoys 'writing' in notebooks, so now that she is 2 I want to focus on this area and encourage further learning for her so I have decided to go through the alphabet, focusing on one letter per week (or however long it takes, I'm easy, the learning is paced by her) Petal (who we see 2 days a week only) can also come along for the ride. She is 4 so the activities involved may vary with age appropriateness!

First up I bought the girls a folder each and filled it with plastic sleeves. This will be to store all their activities and will eventually create their own little alphabet book.

Lets start at the very beginning! 

The letter A 

During this week we completed several activities involving the alphabet and the letter A. Here is a list of what we did: 

- We played with letters on the light box, identifying jumbled letters as well as laying out the alphabet and writing our names. This activity is always a fave as Ladybug loves the light box 

- We ate apples for morning tea! 

- The girls used animal stickers to decorate a stencil (our printer isn't working so I drew the A freehand, so no links, sorry!) while doing this we talked about word 'animal' beginning with the letter A. We drew the letter A with our finger inside the stencil and we talked about capitals and lower case letters.

- We sung the alphabet song and listened/watched it on Youtube 

- I drew out some letter tracing stencils for the girls (again, freehand, no links!) Ladybug is only 2 so this was a bit out of her scope right now, but I held my hand over hers and helped her to trace the first few so she could get a feel for it. She then did her own 'tracing' on top. In the pic below you can see Petal doing her lovely tracing. She actually asked to do this one as soon as she saw it. 

- We read some of Ladybug's favourite books and identified the A's along the way. I noticed that Ladybug finds it much easier to identify capital A's rather than small a's so we talked a bit about capitals and small letters (it must be so confusing for kids sometimes!)

- The girls learnt the Auslan sign for A which is made by holding the fingers of one hand splayed and using your other hand to point to your thumb - Auslan sign for A

- The girls did some apple printing using a halved apple, paint and paper. So easy and pretty! 

- We took the magnifying glass outside and looked at some ants. We couldn't find any at first so we left some food out on the pavers and kept checking back til we found some. I mentioned that ant starts with A and then we talked a bit about ants and watched how they communicated about the food.

- We talked about other words that start with A including apes, art, animal, achoo (the girls then had fun pretending to sneeze), arms, ankles and armpits (which we pointed out as we named them)

- The girls made an alien using a paper plate, paint, a pipe cleaner and some facial feature cut outs (Ladybug was particularly taken by the 'poking out tongue' mouth, hehe)

- We did some A stamping on paper (the alphabet stamps we have are actually from a Swedish stationary store (Kikki K) so included 3 different A's including ones with umlauts) so we used all 3 A stamps and spoke about the different ones being from another language.

- A is for aeroplane too! I found these cardboard aeroplane cutouts in the craft drawers. Both girls are good at spotting aeroplanes in the sky. In fact 'aeroplane' was one of the first ever signs Ladybug did when she was an infant. You can make the Auslan sign for aeroplane by making a fist and holding your thumb and pinky out to the sides, then fly your hand above your head like an aeroplane zooming past. 

Some other ideas for the letter A:

- Astronaut
- Ape
- Doing some apple cooking (mmm, apple crumble comes to mind!)
- Baking an A shaped cake 
- Studying a country beginning with A (Australia!!!)
- Visiting the airport to do some aeroplane spotting
- Almonds
- Finding some fruit and vege at the shops to cook and eat (asparagus, apple, artichoke, etc)

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