Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “B” Day
To help my 3 year old son learn that the alphabet was more than just a song, we had letter days. Having them individually helped him to recognize that each letter is different just like each shape is different. After our theme day we’d review that letter for the week until the next theme day.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
The obvious choice for letter days is the “ABCD...” alphabet song - http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/a004.html
Many different Children’s Music Recordings have other alphabet songs (like Sharon, Lois and Bram), check your children’s collections to see what you have on hand.
There are songs that emphasize the sound of each letter, too (One sounds like “Farmer in the Dell” but says “B says ba, B says ba, every letter makes a sound, B says ba”).
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Alphabet Coloring Pages ” (you can often find alphabet pages with favourite characters on them too like the Sesame Street Characters) or print out my “Big B Little b” Colouring Page.
While colouring the page, emphasize the shape by helping your child trace it with his/her finger and emphasize the sound (for Letter B day emphasize the sounds “ba ba beee”).
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any alphabet books.
Go to the library with your child to find some alphabet books.
Go to the library on your own to find alphabet books to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “alphabet” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Try to find some of these fun alphabet books:
· Alphababies, by Kim Golding, A DK INK Book, 1998 – using a mixture of photographs and bright illustration this book is fun for little ones as it shows the letters and babies in funny poses with various things starting with all the letters of the alphabet.
· Alphabears: An ABC Book, by Kathleen Hague and illustrated by Michael Hague, Henry hold and company, 1984 – This book has paintings of old fashioned teddy bears and shows the alphabet via the names of the bear.
· Alphabeasts: A Hide and Seek Alphabet Book, by Durga Bernhard, HOLIDAY House, 1993 – An ape, a bear, a caterpillar etc. are camouflaged in each illustration, making this a fun book to review letter.
· Alphabeasts, by Wallace Edwards, Kids Can Press, 2002 – This book has beautiful illustrations of twenty six different animals doing unusual things throughout a house.
· Alphabetter, story by Dan Bar-el and illustrations by Graham Ross, Orca Book Publishers, 2006 – A unique alphabet book in that the children on each page (who have names starting with all the letters of the alphabet) have the wrong objects for the tasks they wish to do, but the child of the next letter has what is needed. By the end of the alphabet they each go back and help each other out.
· B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC, by June Sobel and illustrated by Melissa Iwai, Gulliver Books, 2003 – This book was perfect for my little construction fan who loves diggers and bulldozers, as it illustrates the story of builders constructing an amusement park with tools etc. that begin with each letter of the alphabet.
· My Beastie Book of ABC, rhymes and woodcuts by David Frampton, Harper Collins, 2002 – The whimsical illustrations and funny rhymes make this a fun alphabet book.
· So Many Bunnies: A Bedtime ABC and Counting Book, by Rick Walton and illustrated by Paige Miglio, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1998 – Old Mother Rabbit puts her 26 bunnies to bed in spots that rhyme with their alphabetical names (like Abel on the table and Blair in a chair).
Letter B Collage:
Materials: A copy of my Bb worksheet, old magazines, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and together look for things that start with the letter B.
· Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter B pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Bb worksheet.
· Step 3: Show your child how to glue the pictures onto the collage and then let him/her glue the pictures on the paper however he/she likes.
· Step 4: When the collage is dry display (fridge, bulletin board, child’s door) or glue into Family Theme Scrapbook.
Letter B Sticker Collage:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter B (or of the letter B if you can find some alphabet stickers).
· Step 1: Have your child pick the colour of paper to use for the background
· Step 2: Give your child the stickers or cut outs and let him/her stick or glue them to the coloured paper however he/she wants.
Bubble Wrap Stamps:
Materials: a small piece of bubble wrap, a copy of my Bb worksheet , scrap paper, paint, waxed paper, face cloth for dirty fingers, newspaper or plastic for covering the table, old t-shirts or art smocks .
· Step 1: Have your child pick the colour of paint he/she wants to use.
· Step 2: Remind your child that bubble starts with the “bah” sound.
· Step 3: Show your child how to press the bubble wrap in the paint and press it onto the worksheet to leave a print or circles (you may need to press it on scrap paper to rid the bubble wrap of excess paint).
· Step 4: Let your child stamp the bubble wrap in the paint and on the worksheet.
· Step 5: Let the paint dry and then display or glue into the Family Theme Day scrapbook.
Beads and Glue:
Materials: assorted coloured beads, a copy of my Bb worksheet , coloured paper, glue stick, damp cloth for dirty fingers, newspaper or plastic for covering the table, old t-shirts or art smocks .
· Step 1: Have your child glue the Bb worksheet to a piece of coloured paper using a glue stick.
· Step 2: Remind your child that bead starts with the letter B.
· Step 3: either show your child how to drip white glue on the Bb worksheet, or put some white glue on some waxed paper for dipping, or you can put globs of white glue all over the worksheet yourself for you child.
· Step 4: Let your child press the beads in the white glue on the worksheet.
· Step 5: Let the craft dry (usually over night) and then display.
Chopped bananas and blueberries mixed together make a letter B fruit salad.
Bran muffins with butter (bake them together for some fun in the kitchen – look online or in your favourite cookbook for an easy recipe).
Bread and butter makes an easy B snack.
Bacon/ BLT sandwich: crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato make a different sandwich for lunch
Bagel with your child’s favourite toppings would make an easy B lunch.
Beef and Barley soup is a perfect letter B soup.
Beef and broccoli can be served for a letter B dinner.
Burgers on buns is another letter B supper.
Serve beans, beets or baked potatoes on the side for some more B foods.
Buy or bake a Bundt cake, brownies, or banana loaf for a letter B treat.
Materials: A copy of my Alphabet Chart (from Letter A day displayed on your fridge or on a bulletin board), a copy of the Cut-out Bb Card, markers or crayons, child-safe scissors, glue-stick, face cloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Lead your child to the Alphabet Chart on your fridge, bulletin board or taped to a wall and review the Letter A.
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Bb Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Bb card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Bb card and glue it on the Alphabet Chart (or you can have your child use tape) in the appropriate spot.
Step 5: Review what letter it is and what sound it is throughout the week by pointing to the chart.
Fill a pie plate with sand, sugar or salt and teach your child how to trace the letter B in the sand. When you are finished tracing dump the sand in a re-sealable bag to use on another day.
Review the entire alphabet by using a set of flash cards (found at book stores, educational stores, even craft stores) or make your own by writing each letter on an individual index card.
There are many different websites that offer games for preschoolers. You can find them by looking up your child’s favourite television characters. Here are two from the Sesame Street website:
Big Bird’s Letters is a simple game because it only involves your child pressing any letter on the keyboard and then the letter appears along with a picture that starts with that letter:
Letters to Big Bird is another alphabet game to play together. In this game Big Bird literally receives a letter in his mail box and your chid has to click on something on his shelf that starts with that letter: http://www.sesamestreet.org/game_player?p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_id=gamePlayer_WAR_sesameportlets4369&p_p_uid=bf02fb88-163e-11dd-98c7-b9f43dcf5330
Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” only trying to find things that start with the letter B.
This is similar to “I Spy” in that you walk around your neighbourhood and try to find things that start with different letters of the alphabet. For Letter B Day find things that start with B. You can also do this while in a car or bus etc..
If you have an alphabet puzzle this theme day is the perfect time to play with it together.
Play with any other educational toys that focus on the alphabet.
If it’s a nice day blow some bubbles outside or give your child a bubble bath before bed. Remind your child that bubbles start with the “Bah” sound.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with a focus on teaching the alphabet.
Try to find these titles:
· Blue’s Room: Alphabet Power, Viacom International Inc., 2005 – This DVD has two episodes of blue’s Room and two of Blue’s Clues. The first two shows deal with the alphabet and the last two more with writing and reading.
· Pocket Snails: Letter Adventure, Soaring Star Productions, 2004 – These two simple shows are about three snails who live in a little boy’s pocket who help him learn the alphabet by taking photos of them in Letter Land. One show highlights the Upper Case letters and the other is identical except it showcases the Lower Case letter. There is no focus on the phonetic sounds of the alphabet in these shows but the repetition makes it a good show to reinforce letter recognition.
· Rock n’ Learn: Alphabet Exercise, Rock ‘N Learn, Inc., 2005 – this show has a song for every letter of the alphabet that also incorporates movement like S for Spin and T for Twist.
· Sesame Street: All-Start Alphabet – There’s So Much to See Between A and Z!, Sesame Workshop, 2005 – This fun DVD has capital A and Z interviewing people at a mall about the alphabet while also highlighting each letter with individual skits from the show Sesame Street. Adults might enjoy it because it includes segments with Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, and the Dixie Chicks to name a few of the celebrities featured.
· Sesame Street: Learning About Letters, Children’s Television Workshop, 1986 – This is a great video using classic clips (that I remember as a child) throughout as Big Bird and friends search for things that start with each letter of the alphabet.
· Sharon, Lois & Bram ABC’s: alphabet sing & dance-along, elephant Records, 2003 – this one reviews the alphabet using different songs about things that start with different letters.
B is for bells
The Children’s Bell Tower Memorial
Bodega Bay, California
Letter “B” Collage
Letter “B” Sticker Collage
Bubble Wrap Stamps
Letter tracing in sugar
B is for boats
B is for Beads
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright