Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Take your alphabet to the extreme by introducing an Activity Table for each letter! Not only will the preschoolers in your class or playgroup have a blast, but they will also be experiencing letter fun. Here is an example of ideas for the letter A:
1. Make an apple using a round paper plate (small size-dessert), red paint, green leaves and a brown stem cut from construction paper. You can even vary the paint colors to apples that are green, yellow and pink-red. Students will paint their apples and once dried they can glue on the leaves and the stem.
2. Set up an ant farm for scientific observations. Students can draw pictures of the ants in a journal/book. They can write, if able, simple sentences or even words to describe the ants behavior.
3. Have an easel set up near the activity table. Feature an artist, showing a large picture of one of their works. Ask students to note the style of the artist, and try to create a picture in a similar fashion. You can also discuss the artist(s) with your students during circle time, giving a brief biography of the artist. A fantastic book to use for this is Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning) by MaryAnn F. Kohl. Not only does this book offer beautiful, clear pictures of artist's works, but it also gives supplies needed for similar projects, as well as websites full of additional resources.
4. Make a simple paper airplane. Fun & Easy Paper Airplanes by Andrew Dewar
has a great book with easy fold planes. Perhaps read a story about airplanes, like Amazing Airplanes (Amazing Machines) by Tony Mitton. Before introducing the paper airplane activity read and discuss one of the suggested stories and create a paper plane as an example for the children. Once students have had an opportunity to fold an easy plane, you can take everyone outdoors to fly their creations.
5. Make an apple jack necklace. Stringing apple jacks through heavy ribbon or string makes for super small muscle practice. Plus, students get a colorful and tasty gift to bring home.