It all started with nap troubles. When Simon was born, Elias pretty much stopped napping. Well….he naps on average once or twice a week, but it seems like it is rare to never! We started implementing quiet time a bit before Simon was born, but needed it a lot more when Elias started giving up the nap. He’s only 2 and a half! He needs a bit of down time/rest time. Quiet time worked well for about 10-20 minutes, but I wanted him to be able to play, read, or rest quietly for at least 30 minutes. Then, we can work up to longer times when he is older. So I wanted to come up with something to help him stay engaged and focused in his room rather than laying on the floor kicking the wall or opening the door and tossing a stuffed animal out or getting everything out of the dresser drawers.
Letter of the week was born….in my brain anyway…I’m sure lots of other people have thought of it too. I started creating activities for Elias to do which would develop his letter/sound awareness since he already has the letter identification part down. Then it kind of turned into a bigger project.
Each week we will be focusing on one letter. I’ve decided just to go in order of the alphabet, so we started with A this week. For quiet time, I printed out some letter A books for Elias to read and look at. You can get them for free here or here. I also made him a letter A puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle has a picture of a word which starts with A. I made some other activities which I may share later with pictures and everything.
After quiet time, baby Simon is usually asleep so I created some activities for us to do together. Here is what we did this week for A:
Saturday: A is for Apple
We made an apple pie! Elias loves helping me make cookies, so I thought this would be a fun “next step.” He helped measure the ingredients, roll the crust, mix the insides…well pretty much every step in the process! He was so proud when we put it in the oven.
After we put the pie in the oven, I talked to Elias about the letter A. (I’ve chosen just to go with short A to reduce confusion). I sang him the letter A song which he loved and wanted me to sing over and over again. By the end of the day, he could tell me what sound A makes, but couldn’t answer when I asked him what words start with A.
Sunday: A is for apple (again)
Since it is our first time doing this, I decided to stick with A is for apple for the first two days. We did apple stamping. Elias loves art so this one was a big hit. At first he just wanted to spread the paint around with the apple, but once he realized that he could make a loud noise by “stamping” the apple instead, he got right to it.
Monday: A is for Ant
On Monday, I taught Elias “The Ants go Marching” song, and let him water color a picture that says “A is for Ant.” He still was not quite seeing the correlation between the letter and the sound, but I was not worried. We were having fun, and there are a lot of letters in the alphabet.
Tuesday: A is for Alligator
On Tuesday, I read Elias The Lady With the Alligator Purse. He loved it! He is still asking for me to read it over and over again. Then, we made an alligator card together. He decided that he wanted to give it to Baba so he decorated it, and I helped him write “baba” on the inside (he held the pen and I moved his hand).
Wednesday: A is for Astronaut
Elias did not know what an astronaut was before this. So I decided to check out some books from the library about astronauts for him to learn from. We read them together and talked about missions to outer space. I used I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton and Astronaut Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox. Before reading the stories, I told Elias that we were going to learn about astronauts, and asked him if he knew what letter the word astronaut started with. He said he didn’t know, so I said, A-A-A-A-Astronaut, and he said, “It starts with A”
Thursday: A is for Animals
Today Elias took a nap! It was amazing! While he was napping, I hid some of his bean bag animals around the room. When he woke up, I told him it was time to go on an animal hunt. He was a bit skeptical of the activity at first…but I think it was because he was tired. (You can see his amazing nap hair in the pictures below). But by the end, he was running around looking for animals, and ended up rehiding them all himself so that he could play again. Afterward, I asked Elias what letter he thought a-a-animal started with. He said A. So I started asking him other words. Does banana start with A? Does turtle start with A? I don’t know yet if this is really working to help him develop letter sound recognition, but it’s fun anyway!
Friday: A is for Adam
I’ve decided to have Fridays be a Bible related lesson so I chose A is for Adam, and tomorrow we will read about Adam and Eve from his Bible.