Blog Archives

Wall Writing

My daughter is finally into writing!  I am so excited, as I have tried for many years to get her to love writing, finally she is into it.  To help her with her sight words I had a sheet made with the alphabet and blew it up to the size of her door and then laminated it.  She loves to think of new Ll words that we can add to her board and she feels proud of herself when she learns a new word.  This is a great tool to use while getting ready for school in the morning or bed at night to really encourage writing and reading along with learning new sight words.  I also added pictures to some of the board.  This helps her remember what word she is reading.  For example a picture of her cousin next to her name.  Happy learning!

Alphabet Books

We made this book when my son was two.  So long ago!  It is a basic ABC book, each page a different letter.  We cut out pictures of family members, pictures out of magazines, used stickers, etc.  My kids both loved to read it over and over and see their favorite characters with their letter.

Secret Message

This is a quick and easy way to put a smile on your kids faces.  Isaiah is really into secret codes and missions, so I made him a secret message.  It is really simple and easy, but fun to do.  Get a white sheet of paper and a white crayon.  Write a message to your child on the paper with the white crayon and have him or her color over it with marker.  This is a great way to get them excited about reading and writing too!  We did this over and over and over…

It didn't show up great on this picture, but the message is really there!

Homemade Letter Pretzels

This month I am in charge of snacks for Isaiah’s kindergarten class, so I thought it would be fun to make homemade letter pretzels.  This was our first attempt, and I am proud to say, they turned out great.  Both kids enjoyed rolling the dough and shaping it into letters, snacks, dogs, etc.

Ingredients for Soft Pretzels:

1 Tablespoon of Yeast
1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
1 1/4 Cup of Warm Water
– Let it sit for a few min to activate the yeast.
5 Cups of Flour (we used half white, half whole wheat)
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Oil
– Knead together well. The dough will be very stiff for a bread dough. After it has been kneaded and is semi-elastic, let the dough sit for an hour to an hour and a half.
1/2 Cup of Baking Soda
4 Cups of Hot Water

Grab some dough and roll it into a snake. We made one letter at time, but rolling out many snakes the same length will ensure they will cook the same. Shape them into letters, dip the letters into the hot baking soda water (I used a spatula to dip them, since with tongs they’d fall apart), set them on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 min at 375 degrees.

I am proud for our first attempt, they were no Auntie Anne’s (Mine and my Mother-in-law’s favorite), but they were simply yummy.  My advice is to set aside a good amount of time to do this, make several snakes to make sure they are the same size for even cooking, and eat at least one right out of the over!

Letter of the Week

To ensure my daughter knows all her letters by next fall, I began doing a letter of the week with her.  I do a few basic things each week.

1. Make a cardboard letter out of a cereal or cracker box.  Then make the letter into something.  Last week it was Dd, so we made it into a duck. This idea I got from http://www.notimeforflashcards.com.  It is a great learning website that I recently came across.

2. We have a guessing jar I fill with items that begin with the letter of the week, mixing a little math in!  This week we have dimes, dolls, dinosaurs, and dominos.

3.  Practice writing the letter.  We have done this several ways, sand or salt-box, shaving cream or pudding, wipe board or chalkboard, bath tub crayons, etc.

Those are the main things we have been doing.  I think it would also be fun to do a poem about each letter or a homemade book.  You could also do a letter hunt with books or around the house.  Also brainstorming all the words you can think of that begin with the letter and drawing a picture of them along with the word could be helpful.   Happy learning and playing!

Learning Girly Style

My son has always enjoyed learning.  When he was young, we would sit and do crafts and I would teach him how to write his letters, numbers, and talk about what letter sounds are, etc.  He was easy in this because he truly loves learning.  Now my with my daughter is has been a lot more difficult.  She doesn’t want to be taught, although she is very bright.  She is way more verbal (typical) so she will sit for hours and read and monologue with herself, and I secretly love to listen to her!

With preschool on the horizon for next year, I decided it was time to “teach” her some letters.  I made a princess castle out of large butcher paper and put all the letters of the alphabet on it.  I then printed off several princess and fairy pictures to go along with the letters.  We made a game out of it and she matched the letters with the pictures of the princesses.  It was a lot of fun for both of us, and she knew way more than I gave her credit for.  The only letter she didn’t recognize was an X.  She knew most of the sounds and was able to match them (although Cinderella was quite tricky).  So not only was this a fun game for her, it was a great way for me to see all she already knows!  I was very proud of her, and she has come around to want to work on writing the letters even, WOW!!!

My son really like that so I ended up making him a superhero cape with the different heros saying various sayings.  It has helped him pick up a few more sight words, and he has enjoyed looking at all the superhero’s too!