Today is the start of my weekly Wednesday post on making your very own preschooler alphabet book. Yesterday we worked on the letters A & B.
A is for APPLES! It is September and seeing how we are planning a family trip to an orchard this week I thought it fitting.
The books we read for the letter A: The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons and Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington. You may remember my review of Apple Farmer Annie from last year. We loved The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree as well. It went through each season, how apples start with a bud, then a flower, then green apples ripen into big red apples. In the meantime Arnold spends time with his tree, putting in a swing and tree house. It is a wonderful book and the boys loved it.
I found a cute craft on No Time for Flash Cards. You get an apple and cut in in half and then let your kid dip the half of an apple in red (or green or yellow) paint and make apple prints on a page. You can also make little leaf prints by dipping your little preschooler’s fingers into green paint and letting them print the top of the apples. I also added a stem using the non-brush end of my paint brush.
Once your apples dry you can cut them out. You then cut the middle out of a paper plate and glue the apples around the outside. Be sure to save an apple for your alphabet page!
I decided I am going to do a square book. So I took a regular 8.5 x 11 heavy weight page and let the boys paint it how they wanted and then let it dry. I then cut 2 inches off the long side so it was 8.5 x 9 (leaving a half inch for the binding). I then free-handed a capitol and lowercase letters A, placed my favorite apple print and stuck it down with some scrapbook adhesive and then used scrapbook lettering to spell out “Apple”. If you do not feel that your free-hand is good enough, feel free to do a stencil or do a large print out on the computer and then cut it out and paste it on the page. I figure, let personality show (and I couldn’t find my stencil!).
B is for BUGS! I have boys what can I say?
For the letter B we read: I Love Bugs! by Philemon Sturges and Bugs Close Up by Diane Swanson. I Love Bugs! was much better suited for preschoolers than Bugs Close Up. I Love Bugs! is illustrated and has fun wording that is simple and easy for preschoolers to repeat. “Bugs, bugs, bugs! I like bugs. Bugs that creep, bugs that crawl.” You can then find the bugs that creep or crawl on the page. Bugs Close Up is for older kids with a lot of detail of what the different parts of the bugs are. The photographs are fun to look at and identify but really it is for older kids.
My friend Jamie recently did this with her toddler group. We made some bug treats! Well actually spider cookies and then we ate some gummy worms. I bought Oreos, Red Vines, M&M’s and frosting. I cut up the Red Vines into a bunch of little stripes. I put frosting (or you could use peanut butter) on the top of the Oreo, mainly around the “front” and sides of the top, placing M&M’s at the front for eyes and Red Vines or pretzels on the sides for legs. The boys loved this activity. I would have used peanut butter for adhesive however my son’s friend is allergic, hence the frosting, and I think pretzels are a healthier option to Red Vines (but who doesn’t love Red Vines?!)
To keep the boys focused on making rather than eating their spiders I let them eat some M&M’s and pretzels while they created their masterpieces.
Again I let the boys paint their own page for the letter B. While they painted I hustled and cut out some bug figures out of construction paper. I made worms (fast AND easy) and also bees by cutting out 2 black circles, and yellow stripes and some roundish wings. I put them all together rather quickly. The construction paper I have also came with a stencil of several different kinds of shapes, one of which was a butterfly. So I cut out a butterfly as well. I gave the boys the option of painting their bugs as well but they didn’t. I then free-handed a capitol and lowercase letters B, had the boys place their bugs where they wanted them and then used scrapbook lettering to spell out “Bugs”. Again, if you do not feel that your free-hand is good enough, feel free to do a stencil or do a large print out on the computer and then cut it out and paste it on the page.
DO NOT FORGET while you are placing your bugs and apples and your stencil about where you want your binding to be! Do you want to start the book with an open spread of A &B? Or just have a cover page and then a spread with your kid’s name and the letter A? I am starting with an A & B spread, this is why. I plan to make a cover page with the boys, but I want the first spread to be a picture of the boy with their name and a little summery about them at this point in their lives. So I’ll have my son’s name, a cute picture, and that he is 3 years old and loves being a big brother, fighting bad guys and pretending his is going to work like his daddy. I will probably add a few other things like how he always requests me to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star first before bed, etc. The great thing about doing these is that you can make them as personal, their very own book, or impersonal, one for all the kids in the family to use, as you want.
Well I really wish I could post pictures with this, because I took them, but as I have mentioned before my computer and I seem to be fighting each other recently and I can’t get my pictures to upload! So good luck and remember it’s all about having fun!