Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Letter of the Week

Let's talk about ACTIVITY TIME. I think it's the best thing I've ever done, but I also know it can sound overwhelming. Here's some answers to common questions:

I almost never prepare the night before. I do keep an "art cabinet" filled with basic supplies (funny, it started out as a "Fancy Nancy bucket," but now its a cabinet). I always do activity time in the morning, with the kids that are at home. We do activity time every day, but it does NOT always include a crafty craft. We count library trips, our local museum, walks, etc. as activity time together. Sometimes the days I plan the most are the days that fall apart immediately and I've learned to LET GO and follow what my kids want to do, even if it's just jumping on the trampoline with me until I pee my pants. I go through the alphabet, focusing on one letter a week, but sometimes we go two or three weeks on the same letter, depending on how many fun things we want to do with that letter. I introduce the letter on Monday, we go to the library on Tuesday and find books that are about that letter, and go from there. It totally works for me, and hopefully you can find some helpful tips here that will work for you.

Starting a Letter of the Week schedule was one of the best things I ever did for activity time with my kids. It's simple, easy to track, and gives a nice backbone to the limitless things I want to teach my kids. We just finished our second time through the alphabet the week before Charlotte started Kindergarten and it felt so good to celebrate her big step into school with that much anticipated letter Z. The whole thing was bittersweet to me, but the best part was knowing that I had been the one to introduce all 26 letters in fun, interactive ways. And it really felt good when she would randomly say, "H-H-Horse! That starts with an H!" and I knew I taught her that.

Even if you have your child enrolled in a preschool, doing Letter of the Week activities is a great way to play with them and teach them all kinds of new things, all the while reinforcing those basic building blocks of our language.

With that said, we are starting over now with my three (almost four) year old, Eloise, and my two year old, Edison. I will be posting weekly about our Letter of the Week activities, so come check it out if you need ideas and want to follow along. My greatest resources for our activities are Alison McDonald's No Time for Flashcards, Pinterest, and my local library. I will post our activities on my Instagram as well.

Tomorrow I'll be posting what we've done this week for the Letter A. Has a little to do with ants and a LOT to do with alligators...

Meanwhile, here's a funny video of Edison today (best part is at the end):

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