When Travis was two years old, I embarked on an ambitious Letter of the Week curriculum that took us on a journey from Z to A (yes, we went in reverse) full of activities, games, and field trips each week. I have beautiful memories of it, but it’s far too ambitious a project for child #2! That said, Veronika is very into letters right now and I want her to be able to devote a week to each letter, even if not in so immersive a fashion.
I was thrilled, therefore, to find this activity-a-day program at Hands on As We Grow, and this week Veronika tested it out on letter A with a few adaptations for her young age.
Monday: Letter Poster
I started the week printing a picture of an item corresponding to the letter (in this case an apple picture for A), then gluing it to a piece of construction paper and writing out “A is for Apple, a is for apple”. I then wrote a few capital and lower case A/a along the bottom edge of the paper and encouraged Veronika to add a paper clip to each for some fine motor skills.
If your child is older, you can hide those As among other letters to make it more of a search. Veronika finished by coloring in the apple, then we hung the poster on the wall to serve as a reference point all week. I was so happy that she already recognized A, tentatively naming it for me when I asked.
Now that we had established A as the Letter of the Week, it was on to…
Tuesday: Stomp Obstacle Course
Monday was fine motor skills and Tuesday was for gross motor skills, specifically: stomping! I wrote A and a on post-it notes (I used seven, but you can go wild and do lots) and placed them around the house. Veronika’s job was to tap them if they were against the wall or stomp them with her feet if down low. She loved dancing on the floor ones, and racing to the door to tap these two:
As she found each A, I asked her if it was upper case or lower case, a great way to help learn both versions of a letter. Once she had collected them all, we put them on the coffee table for a table stomp, normally a no-no (you can see that big grin!)
Wednesday: Write in Shaving Cream
This was Veronika’s least favorite of the week, though I thought she would love it! I squirted a thin layer of shaving cream onto a craft tray and then wrote out A and a. My intention was for her to trace over these since she’s too young to form the letters herself. But she was surprisingly squeamish about it and only briefly traced them with a paintbrush instead.
Thursday: Follow the Letter Grid
I wrote out a series of As (using only capital letters this time) on a long sheet of butcher paper, then added a few “false” trails of other letters off to the side. You can make this increasingly harder depending on your child’s age. Kids can either walk along the maze, tape along it with painter’s tape, or (in Veronika’s case), drive cars along it. She immediately recognized the A and loved scooting her cars on the “road”.
Friday: Chalk Letter Search
This last activity was perfect when we got a burst of early spring weather! We headed out to the back patio and I wrote several As hidden among other capital letters. “Can you find an A?” I asked Veronika. “A!” she said proudly, pointing.
I wondered if she could circle it with a second color of chalk, and then had to laugh when she took my suggestion to “put green on it” literally.
Note: If it’s not warm enough for chalk outside, you can do this activity on an indoor chalkboard, or even black poster board with white crayon in a pinch!
We played that version recently to help her find V for Veronika among a sea of other letters.
Hands On suggested a few other letter activities like Bubble Wrap Pop or Follow the Tape Maze, making the full suite of activities take 7 days instead of 5. But Veronika is on the young side for those options, and I like that this set gives her the weekend off.
Will we keep this up for all 26 letters moving forward? I may simplify things, but overall this is a great and doable plan with a young toddler!