Letter O Unit fell before Christmas and so we did do some seasonal-related learning with this unit. We also did some stuff with The Peaceful Preschool for Ox Cart Man and An Orange in January. For nature study we looked at owls and otters.
Open Eyes: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
We read the story of Saul’s conversion from The Jesus Storybook Bible (“A New Way To See”). No specific craft or activity other than a simple story interaction: I blindfolded the kids and we tested what that felt like, played around with giving and receiving instructions while not being able to see.
O is for Orange
O is for Ox
O is for Owl
O is for Otter
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
- Over the Big Moon Letter Identification sheets (pictured above)
- 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.
O IS FOR ORANGE
Count and sort 10 oranges: I had 5 navel oranges and 5 clementines.
We also (on a different day) since we looked at oranges and oranges trees (and orchards) — played our board game Orchard. This game is so wonderful — my kids (4 and 2) can both easily play and it’s cooperative so we either all win or all lose. This is easily one of my favorite games we own for the kids!
The kids hammered (with wood toy hammers) dried orange slices on to our Letter O printout using golf tees and a foam board. I like the incorporation of different elements like fine motor skills + play into our letter formation.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Make orange pomanders — The kids pierced holes in the orange peels with a toothpick first, and then added the whole cloves. The smell was AMAZING.
PRACTICAL LIFE SKILLS
Cut and juice oranges — and of course taste test everything!
ART SKILLS: OSAGE ORANGE
We used Osage oranges (or hedge apples) to roll in paint and make bumpy prints to look like sparkling lights on a Christmas tree. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate natural materials in to our art projects and play.
O IS FOR OX CART MAN
We talked about what comes from sheep: wool! I had some yarn so we pretended it came from sheep (it didn’t) and wrapped some pine cones for a simple fine motor skills + art project. We then used the yarn-wrapped pine cones for the following story interaction and play activity…
We set up a little “Ox-Cart Man” shop. We pretended the yarn, yarn-wrapped pine cones, and cotton balls were a variety of sheep-related farm products to sell. We had a shop owner and that person had to sort and count coins as we played (into this sorting tray) and went back and forth to the shop. So fun!
O IS FOR OTTER
We mainly just read books for O is for Otter and watched some videos of otters, but I did add in a couple printables from Simply Learning from her Do Unto Otters Preschool Pack. We did not read the book “Do Unto Otters” but rather did a more nature-study kind of focus. I wanted books that actually showed river otters in action and helped us all learn about them. It also worked out to see some river otters in the wild after this week: my husband took my son for a trip to a nearby National Wildlife Refuge to see them.
We used brown play dough to make little balls and fill in the gaps on to this printable from Simply Learning (linked above). Great for fine motor skills and just play.
Later we did some color theory with our Otter printable — how to make brown with our Dot Markers. Mix red & green, then blue & orange, and lastly purple & yellow. The red + green combination seemed to work best for making brown.
For some scissor skills we used the Do Unto Otters printable from Simply Learning (linked above).
Last but not least, my son and my husband got to see wild river otters! They visited Muscatatatuk National Wildlife Refuge together and made a day of it. So special and they both were so happy to finally spot some otters from afar. They talked a lot about the value of preserving land for wild animals.
NATURE STUDY: OWLS
An owl showed up in this giant beech tree on the camp property where we live this week and the kids adore this spot. They sing their owl hoots every time we walk by it. We LOVE owls so much in our house.
We looked at our Barred Owl feather and our owl footprint rock and a variety of books for our Nature Study.
- Owl Moon
- Nature Anatomy (Owl pages)
- The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs
- Over and Under the Snow
- Sibley birds guide
We also went to the All About Birds website to listen to a variety of owl sounds and watch a few videos. This website is AMAZING for all things birds!!
The kids did separate art projects: my son drew a Great Horned Owl (like in Owl Moon) with crayons, and my daughter made a Snowy Owl by gluing white feathers on to an outline I made on white paper.
Wreaths are in the shape of the Letter O so we had some fun Christmas crafting. I just set this up with a bunch of random things to glue on a cardboard shaped wreath.
O IS FOR ORNAMENT
ART SKILLS & FINE MOTOR SKILLS
We made a variety of ornaments with pipe cleaners and pony beads. My son had fun working on pattern making with red and white beads. Both kids had a blast with this! I wish I could bottle up their level of concentration and release it on those crazy can’t-sit-still kind of days!
We also made these handmade ornaments using our nature finds. I bought this white air-dry clay, the kids rolled & cut the clay into circles (and poked a hole for where the hook would go). Then my daughter painted some matte Mod Podge on top. I later added the bows and hooks when they dried.
O is for Ornament counting and subtraction-by-Grinch game. (1) Roll a 12-sided die & read the numeral. (2) Add that number of ornaments to the tree. (3) Mom plays the Grinch and steals an ornament one at a time. (4) Count down each time to zero. Then steal the tree of course!
We also made a simple paper chain countdown-to-Christmas — the chains look like little O’s so I thought this would fit.