Tory's been showing interest in learning letters of the alphabet. This coming from the girl who shouts "no, Mommy, no, no!" every time I sing the ABC's. I wasn't sure if she had something against the alphabet or my singing (ha!), so I'm glad to see her wheels turning.
So far, Tory can recognize the letters in her name (T-O-R-Y) and can draw the letter "O." I thought it might be fun to spend a little time each week talking about the alphabet while it peaks her interest, so I surfed the internet and put together a loose set of "lesson plans" for us to do together. I'm not trying to pressure her into any structured learning; she has many years of school ahead and she's still young, I realize. It's okay for a 2 1/2 year old not to know her alphabet. The lesson plan is more for me actually, to serve as a reminder to be more intentional in parenting when we're engaged in things we'd normally be doing. Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to share my format here, if for no other reason than it took me two nap times to pull this all together. (That's valuable Mama time!)
For each letter of the week, I'm following a format of Craft, Eat, Read, Play (I'll call it CERP, for short). Like I said, these are activities we do together during the week anyway, so it gives me fresh ideas and ways to talk about the alphabet while we do so. I used resources No Time for Flash Cards and letteroftheweek.com for most of my material ideas. Some activities and the CERP format itself I developed on my own.
Oh, and I'm probably the last person on Earth to figure this out, but I discovered a fantastic online request system through our local library. Clearly, I failed to learn the Dewey Decimal system in school because every time I go to the library I have such a difficult time finding specific books I want to read. When I was pregnant with Aden, for example, I wanted to check out a book about Big Sisters for Tory and the librarians were basically useless in helping me locate such books within their system. Since I discovered this online reservation / request system, it's super easy. I simply type in the name of a book I'm looking for, the library locates the book for me, calls when it's available for check-out and leaves it on a shelf for me to pick up. I don't even have to talk to anyone! Tory and I have already discovered some fun, new books to work into our reading time.
So, first up ...
Letter of the Week: "A"
Craft: Make an "A" alligator (source)
This was a fun little craft and easy enough for Tory to do most of the work by herself. I cut out the letter and we briefly talked about what sounds the letter "A" makes, then she transformed the letter into an alligator with a little prompting help from me. These crafts will be a big hit, I think, because now she points to every animal we see in a book and says in her cute little voice, "We tan make dat."
Eat: Have animal crackers for a snack
Read: Sleepy Little Alphabet, Amazing Airplanes and Alligator Alphabet books
Amazing Airplanes is one of Tory's favorite books, so it was a no-brainer to pull it out of the closet and read it a few times. I picked up Sleepy Little Alphabet and Alligator Alphabet from the library and they were both very cute reads which covered all letters of the alphabet. I'd recommend all three of these books.
Play: Visit the SeaLife aquarium at Mall of America
I'd planned this activity for Tory and I's date day together last Thursday, but Mother Nature decided to dump a boat-load of snow on the Twin Cities and cease all travel in the area. Guess we'll save this fun activity for another day.