Y and Z!

Ziti Z (4).JPG

Travis’s 3-D models for the last two letters of the alphabet were so simple I decided to combine them into one post. First he traced the penultimate and final letter, and then made the following.

Upper case Y from three crayons:

Y and Z (3)

Lower case y from two socks; make sure to use 1 long and 1 short:

Y and Z (2)

Note: This was the first time he really noticed you need three strokes to form Y but only two to make y.


Upper case Z from three strips of paper; be sure to fold or cut all three so they are the same size:

Ziti Z (1)

This was definitely good practice to think about Z spatially, with no line to trace. He had to think hard about which direction the zigs and zags should go.

Ziti Z (2)

Finally, lower case z from pasta… ziti of course!

Ziti Z (3)

Again, he thought carefully about the directions of each line, and was finally able to line up the ziti pieces correctly. Someone is feeling just about kindergarten ready!

X X-ing

X Xing (3).JPG

Travis traced X today (we’re so near the end of the alphabet!) and then crossed (x’d) two items to make big X and little x.

For the first, he stood up tall and crossed his arms. No x-ing here!

X X-ing.JPG

Next, I gave him two carrot sticks (stix?) and he crossed them into a little x.

X Xing (2)

Short and sweet today!

Wonderful W

Wonderful W (2).JPG

Ok, we didn’t make W with any materials that begin with the letter, but Travis had good fun tracing and crafting this letter-of-the-day.

He loved discovering that double-u actually is more of a double-v. As he traced, we said, “down, up, down, up,” which served as a good reminder once the tracing line was removed.

This verbal cue also helped once we set out to make 3-D versions of the letter.

First up was markers! He positioned them as two v’s (down, up, down up) and so was able to see how the four markers should come together.

Wonderful W (1)

Next, we used two pairs of pants, as we did a few weeks back for the letter M.

Wonderful W (3)

Again thinking about “down, up, down up”, he was able to position them correctly.

Wonderful W (4)

Violet V

Violet V (4).JPG

Here are two very quick ways to form a V after your child traces the letter.

After tracing upper case V, I simply asked Travis to form one with his hands.

Violet V (1)

Easy! Plus you can give a quick lesson on how this V can mean victory or peace.

Violet V (2)

Next he traced lower case v using a violet crayon. I handed him a second crayon in a close shade of purple, and asked him to make them into a v. Voila!

Violet V (3)

“U Pick” U

U Pick (2)

After some easy tracing of letter U, I gave Travis a little spin on making our three-D versions today: “u pick” the material from our craft bin!

U Pick (3)

This led to some excitement, since he feels important whenever he’s allowed to dig through the materials in here. First he fashioned a very straightforward U from yarn.

U Pick (1)Next he decided he wanted to try dowels! I knew these would be too rigid, but wanted him to figure it out for himself. So the package of dowels was opened and fiddled with, but then discarded.

U Pick (4)

Aha! He discovered that pipe cleaners were a bit bendier. In no time at all, we had lower case u as well.

U Pick (5)

Tie a T

Twig T (3).JPG

Travis loves the letter T; because it’s the first letter of his name, it’s the one he’s most familiar with and gives him no trouble. So he was able to trace it this morning and then was interested to see what we would make it out of.

First we found a two twigs in the yard. I asked him to think which part of the T needed to be the longer twig and which shorter.

“I know,” he announced, and formed the letter in moments.

Twig T (1)

Two ties for lower case t were a bit tougher, only because they had to be folded. But with some folding help, he tackled this one, too.

Twig T (2)

Shoe String S

Shoelace S (3).JPG

S was a speedy letter for Travis’s tracing today. With an ‘s’ at the end of his name, he has worked hard on this one over the past year, initially tending to write it backwards but now a pro.

He polished off his tracing and then was intrigued when I pulled out a shoestring to form the letter on the ground.

Shoelace S (1)

I thought he might need some guidance with all those loops and curves but…

Shoelace S (2)


Rock R


Travis traced the letter R today and then we found three materials beginning with R to make our 3-D models.

First up was upper case R, using a ruler and rope (ok, ours was more string, but perhaps you could call it a thin rope).

He placed the ruler straight, and then had to ponder how the rope could twist in such a way that he ended up with R. He remembered that first you make a loop so it looks like a P…

Rock R (1).JPG

…then just needed to angle the final bit of rope out.

Rock R (3)

For lower case r, we headed outside to the driveway and found a few small rocks.


“I can do this!” Travis said with confidence, since r is in his name. In no time, our rocks were in an r.

Quarter Q


Quarter Q (5).JPG

Travis is back to tracing a latter of the day after a brief hiatus, and today he tackled Q.

After tracing, I dumped out a big pile of quarters. I was impressed with how readily he could see how to form both the upper and lower case versions of the letter.

Quarter Q (1)

A big circle for Q got an extra line at the bottom.

Quarter Q (2)

A little circle for q had a line that arched down, and then he correctly identified which direction it needed to hook at the bottom – a key skill to avoid mixing up q and g!

Quarter Q (4)

Quite well done!

Quarter Q (3)

Pillowcase P

Pillow P (3).JPG

Travis traced a few quick upper and lower case Ps today, and then put together these quick silly versions of the letter.

For upper case, we used pieces of licorice (actually: fruit chews from Clif Kids since I couldn’t find string licorice). Use a full piece of the fruit chew for the stem of the P, then uncoil one strand to make the loop.

Pillow P (1)

Next I gave Travis two empty pillowcases and challenged him to design a p. He actually had the shapes correct in moments…

Pillow P (2)

…just needed a little adjusting to twist the pillowcases tighter for a clearer result.