Letter Unit Activities

Letter F Preschool Unit

OVERVIEW

blog postWe spent several weeks on Letter F because our F is for Farm activities were so engaging that we spent two weeks on Farm learning & play. You can see all those learning activities over at this blog post.

The following is mostly inspired by The Peaceful Preschool Letter F Unit as well as my own activities. I’m not going to share too much detail from The Peaceful Preschool because you can just buy the curriculum and get much better detail there if you are interested.

BOOKS

*A Fish Out of Water and Ten Little Fish are from The Peaceful Preschool curriculum

SONGS

BIBLE LESSON

IMG_8798.jpg “Let’s go!” story from The Jesus Storybook Bible and “A Wish for Fish” from The Rhyme Bible. For more details regarding our Bible lessons see this blog post.

POETRY TEA TIME READINGS

We started poetry tea times in the afternoons this week and it was such a HIT! I was so happy to gather suggested poetry books and find lovely fish-themed poems to enjoy.

IMG_8920.jpg “The Silver Fish” from Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends

“Down By The Pond” by A.A. Milne from Now We Are Six

“Gollum’s Song” from Poems from The Lord of the Rings

“June 30” from When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

“The Days of the Week” by Elsa Beskow from Around the Year

LEARNING ACTIVITIES & PLAY

IMG_8879.jpg Fishing for 3-Part Cards

Phonics, play, large motor skills

Supplies:

  • Fishing pole: stick + string + magnet
  • Cut fish shapes from construction paper
  • Paperclips (for the mouth of the fish)
  • Letter F 3-Part Cards via Treehouse Schoolhouse
IMG_8856.jpg Water beads sensory bin & sea creature counting

We hid sea creatures in a water bead bin, fished for them and counted as we went (matching numbers to numerals). And: we just played a ton! We all loved these water beads so much — though be warned that they *bounce* around! I put towels down to catch them as they fell.

Supplies:

IMG_8855.jpg Blow goldfish crackers off the table with a straw (one kid) and catch them with a bucket (second kid). Take turns.

Fine motor skills, concentration, and strengthening muscles in the mouth (for speech).

I can’t even explain how hilarious we all found this to be! Such a fun and simple game!! Do it immediately.

IMG_8784.jpg FISH story reenactment.

Phonics, play, fine motor skills

Fish by Walsh is this lovely wordless picture book — I was surprised by how much my son was taken with this story. He loved it so much that *he* had the idea to reenact the story using Duplos. I helped find pieces to create the letters and then he reenacted the story. For the record: Duplos are one of our favorite toys. So many possibilities for imaginative play!

IMG_8982.jpg Round sticker fish bubble counting activity printable via Simply Learning

Counting skills & fine motor skills.

Two great books for Fish-themed counting: Ten Little Fish (Wood) and Fish Eyes (Ehlert).

IMG_9016.jpg Ice fishing & bubble-making sensory play

Sensory play, color identification & mixing, science

Note we did end up pouring in just straight warm water to make the fish melt faster towards the end of their play.

Supplies:

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Stamping activities

Stamp It! Write It! Poke It! via Simply Learning

Stamping Swimmy art piece

 

IMG_9100.jpg Art project

Stamping The Rainbow Fish art piece with cut celery pieces (for fish scales). We LOVE this story and read it a ton this week!

I had my son help cut the celery pieces with our Nylon knife set

Paint from IKEA

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How Animals Move sorting activity & nature study: Feathers, Feet, Fins

Idea adapted from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready

I made the three sorting cards which are available as a PDF here if you’d like them.

Supplies:

  • 3 plastic bins
  • Blue rice for sky + shaving cream clouds
  • Dirt bin (black beans, pinto beans, brown rice)
  • Water dyed blue (liquid food coloring)
  • Small animal figurines (birds, land animals, sea animals) — I placed roughy a dozen of each kind in one tray for my son to sort after we read Fish is Fish and acted out how animals move.

This also brought about a larger conversation about animals that *don’t* fit nicely into these 3 categories: ducks, frogs, flamingos, alligators, etc. So fun!!

IMG_8919.jpg Play dough letter F formation & A Fish Out of Water play. Phonics, play, storytelling.

Supplies:

IMG_9233.jpg Dry erase write and wipe F and f

Supplies:

IMG_9234.jpg Chalkboard write and wipe F and f

Supplies:

IMG_9173.jpg 3-Part Cards matching  

I place all of the whole cards in the pocket chart, then supply him with the picture cards and word cards. He then matches the separated words with the pictures on the table (using the whole cards as a guide). This has to be one our favorite ways to work with the 3-Part Cards. I was hesitant at first to buy this Tabletop Pocket Chart, but it’s really been such a huge part of our letter learning that I don’t regret buying it at all!

Supplies:

NATURE STUDY

IMG_9249.jpg Explore freshwater fish & look for fish at the lake on our nature walks

Books used:

IMG_9250.jpg Swimming with the fishies at the lake
IMG_9235.jpg Fishing at the lake
IMG_9015.jpg Fish at the pet store visit
Letter Unit Activities · Uncategorized

F is for Farm Preschool Activities

DETAILS

IMG_7108.jpgI decided to do multiple weeks of F is for Farm learning activities & play before doing the Letter F Unit from The Peaceful Preschool because it worked out that we could attend the Indiana State Fair during this time frame. Below is a detailed account all of the activities & resources from our F is for Farm unit with referral links. Hope you find something useful!

FARM TOYS

I’m providing a list of farm toys you’ll be seeing in the pictures but please know that I do NOT advocate for spending lots of money on toys! Less is more. Don’t feel like you need the “perfect” item to tell a specific story: kids are so open and creative. Reading books, looking at real-life pictures & interacting with things in person is just as (if not more) meaningful as having the perfect toy or learning resource.

BOOKS

SONGS & GAMES

Singing and Movement games from Games Children Sing and Play. I got this recently but it is now our our list of books we use every week. I love it so much!

  • “Hunt the Cows”
  • “Here We Come On Our Ponies”

Finger Puppet Song: “When Cows Wake Up In the Morning”

  • You can find a video example of this via YouTube. We do this song at our library story time so I got out some farm animals and had the kids pick which animal would wake up next. You could also use farm finger puppets.

Wee Sing Mother Goose Farm themed songs (for in the car):

  • Mary Had a Little Lamb
  • A Boy in the Barn
  • Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen
  • Donkey, Donkey
  • To Market, to Market
  • This Little Pig Went to Market
  • Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
  • Little Bo-peep

Of course “Farmer In the Dell” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” are other favorites.

PHONICS

IMG_7192 Sensory tray letter formation. I first demonstrated how to write letter F using our Didax Educational Resources sandpaper cards and then I placed oats in a wood tray and had my son form the letters using his finger. Little sister got a tray of oats just to play with.
IMG_7212 Letter F out of grains. I have both my kids spread glue with a Q-tip (holding it like a pencil) on to the letter before adding “grain” materials. They either sprinkle & spread the material with their hands, or place it in the sensory tray and shake the tray of materials over the glue-covered paper.
IMG_7457 A to Z Farm-related items scavenger hunt. Super simple: Lay out A-Z cards and go on a scavenger hunt to find items that begin with each letter. We used this book and this book as guides.
IMG_7961 Farm animal letter match.  The cards are a free printable you can get here. I had my son first match the animal toy to the card and then use our movable alphabet to make the farm animal word.

COUNTING ACTIVITIES

I will also note that the book 1001 Things to Spot on the Farm has SO MANY excellent counting opportunities!

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Kitchen Scale Weighing Grains

Measure & weight out various “grains”: whatever you have around the house (In our case–oats, popcorn kernels, lentils, rice). This is our kitchen scale. I had my son measure out 2 Tbsp of each item into the bowl on the scale. We read the number together & wrote it down. I had my son pour the item into one cavity of a 6-cup muffin tin. Repeat. At the end, we compared the numbers and talked about which one was heaviest, and which was the lightest.

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Red Barn Window Matching Game

Red barn counting and numeral match activity: matching the number of items to the corresponding numeral. I cut up pieces of a cardboard box into the barn shapes, painted them red and then used my Uni-posca medium paint pens to do the white part. The number cards pictured are via The Peaceful Preschool.

SENSORY PLAY & ART

IMG_7160 Farm animal feeding station using hay and various grains
IMG_7371 Little Blue Truck themed farm animal washing station
IMG_7906.jpg Corn print painting. Roll some corn in some paint, and roll it across paper. We did this on the floor. And then painted with our feet!
IMG_7902.jpg Corn husk scarecrow: follow the instructions on making a corn husk doll in Farm Anatomy, except add a stick after you put the arms under the husks and hot glue that stick to a base at the end.

NATURE STUDY & PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITIES

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Farm animal products sorting activity

Make separate squares on a large sheet of paper (or 4 separate sheets) for cow, pig, sheep, and chicken. Free printable here for the farm animal product cards (print on cardstock & laminate). Book: The Farm by Alain Gree

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Fruits & vegetables sorting activity

Simply sorting activity. Free printable here for the fruits and vegetables (print on cardstock & laminate). Book: The Farm.

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Baby Farm animals matching & naming

Farm families free printable from The Pinay Homeschooler

The book Baby Farm Animals is also helpful

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Food, Animal, Tool sorting activity

I cut in half our The Little Farm vintage Association Dominoes for this activity. Try eBay for the game or you could make your own flashcards.

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Chicken Study: Lifecycle, terms, & egg sampler

Chicken lifecycle free printable from Treehouse Schoolhouse. Toys: Schleich chicken coop. We also cooked eggs for a sampler: fried, scrambled, hard-boiled (I had my son peel & crack the various eggs). Books: Farm Anatomy & Food Anatomy.

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Cow study: Dairy products

We put heavy cream in a small jar & took turns shaking it to make whipped cream, then did it again to make butter. Book: The Farm by Alain Gree

IMG_7443.jpg Practical life: making seasonal-ingredient ice cream

Sweet corn flavored ice cream with a blackberry swirl

Recipe found in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

FIELD TRIPS

The following are some real-world experiences we had during this unit:

IMG_7320 Farmer’s Market

Interact with farmers, observe what produce is in season.

IMG_7321 Orchard

Observe what fruit is in season & see fruit trees.

IMG_7789.JPG Indiana State Fair

Pretend to farm, interact with a wide variety of animals, pretend to drive tractors, visit a Pioneer Village and see farming without modern technology.

IMG_7498.jpg Horse Barn

To see live horses and how they are kept.

The picture is of a 150+ year old corn crib on the camp property where we live.

IMG_7812.JPG Homestead

To pair with our visit to the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair — witness how farmer’s in the 19th century lived & worked.