We typically have been spending 2 weeks per letter unit, but for Letter N we spent only 1 week. We followed a little bit of The Peaceful Preschool, but I also found some ways to incorporate some Christmas-themed learning in to the Letter N. I skipped over N is for Noah with The Peaceful Preschool because we had already covered that back at Letter I and it felt necessary to skip some of the curriculum so as not to do too much in one week.
As always, I focus our Bible lessons on The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can view all our Bible Lessons by A-Z on this page. I update the page as we move through each Letter Unit.
N is for Night and Nativity
We have been reading the Nativity story a lot from our Jesus Storybook Bible lately and interacting with our peg doll set, but this week we also added in A Baby Born in Bethlehem — a beautifully illustrated book.
We focused on the stars in the sky (N is for Night) and I cut a letter N out of black cardstock and the kids added star stickers.
We also made little mangers to put babies to bed (night time). I had the kids use scissors to cut a pile of pine needles and then place them in our color sorting tray (I made this). We added the color-matched babies. Baby Jesus has his own special manger.
The kids then paired Nativity cards with our peg doll set. I made these Nativity cards by taking photos of The Jesus Storybook Bible, so unfortunately I cannot legally share these with you!
We also yarn wrapped a star that I made by hot-glueing craft sticks together. Yarn wrapping is a fun and simple craft project that combines art skills with fine motor skills!
N is for Night
N is for Nativity
N is for Nutcracker
PHONICS & LETTER FORMATION
As usual, here are my go-to resources & activities for every Letter Unit for phonics & letter formation:
- Letter Unit 3-Part Cards
- Click here for a lengthy post on how I use 3-Part Cards
- Jolly Phonics 42 letter sounds and actions
- Handwriting Without Tears letter formation chart
- Salt tray letter formation
- Glitter glue letters (via The Peaceful Preschool)
- Forming letters with natural materials or play dough
- Sandpaper card letter tracings
- Dry erase write and wipe pouches
- Chalkboard write and wipe
- B is for Breakdancing Bear letter activities
- Stamp it! Write it! Poke it! from Simply Learning
- Letter Unit item basket
This list is LONG! I never feel like this is a checklist where I have to complete all of this or somehow I’ve failed OR that my son isn’t learning enough. It’s OKAY if we don’t do it all.
N IS FOR NUMBERS
N is for Numbers. My son spread glue on each number (cards via The Peaceful Preschool) and sprinkled glitter on top. Then, he peeled & counted little circle stickers to add to the little dot counters on each card. Yes, I realize you can buy glitter glue tubes but we have tried those with little success. The kids get frustrated & don’t like them so I tried a different route. Doing it this way my son sat through creating all 10 numbers!! With the glitter glue tubes he won’t even finish one letter.
Number identification & formation, fine motor skills, counting, and art skills all in one single activity.
N IS FOR NIGHT
I cut a letter N out of black cardstock and the kids added star stickers.
ART PROJECT: CONSTELLATIONS
We talked about how constellations are shapes of stars in the sky and the kids made their own by placing little white circle stickers on to black paper, then drawing lines between the dots with a white crayon.
N is for Nocturnal Animals!
We have been taking night time walks lately, discussing what animals do at night (and what animals do to prepare for winter).
We read night time books and played with these glow-in-the-dark Flashlight rocks I hand-painted. The kids like hiding them in a dark room and hunting for them with flashlights. If I get my act together I would love to sell something similar to this in my Etsy shop soon!
STORYTELLING & FINE MOTOR SKILLS
In Night Tree the family decorates an evergreen tree in the forest to leave food for wild animals. We made some bird feeders to hang in our yard, in that same spirit. The kids used fine motor skills to wedge fresh cranberries in a pine cone. We also made pine cone feeders with peanut butter and black-oil sunflower seed.
N IS FOR NUTCRACKER
The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
There are many versions of this book, but this one was recommended by Read Aloud Revival so I went with that. When we read this book, though, we replace the girl’s name Marie with Clara, since I always knew her as Clara.
We of course listened to the music from The Nutcracker all week — it’s cool to have the kids start to recognize the songs and ask for specific parts in the story.
I found a simple Nutcracker coloring page on this site, and this was a HUGE hit! My kids wanted to do this over and over again.
We hung our snowflake ballerinas in the window and made it snow!
I created these Nut 3-Part Cards (link to PDF) so we sorted & learned the names for a variety of nuts (also looked at Food Anatomy). I put some nuts in a zip-loc bag and the kids just hammered them to oblivion. The kids also used their fingers to try to crack open shelled peanuts & pistachios — simple fine motor skill work! We also made a simple nut bar cookie together with our cracked mixed nuts.
INVITATION TO PLAY
This is our “Land of Sweets” play — we made a basic play dough and made it brown and added cinnamon & ginger to make it smell like gingerbread. We cut paper straws to look like peppermint. All of the wood dolls & trees & mountains were hand painted by me.
N IS FOR NUTHATCH
We have had a number of Nuthatches showing up to our bird feeder so we did a simple nature study: watch them, look at them in our books, and talk about what they like to eat and how we can help feed them in the winter.
N IS FOR NEST
We found a hornet nest and investigated it a little bit with pictures and videos of hornets online. I did not feel like doing an entire N is for Nest study as a part of our Letter N unit because it did not feel seasonally appropriate, and we did a lot of that already with our B is for Bird unit — you can visit that page for a couple favorite books about nests!