Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “D” 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 “D says dah, D says dah, every letter makes a sound, D says dah”).
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Alphabet Coloring Pages ” or print out my “Big D Little d” 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 D day emphasize the sounds “dah”).
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:
· D is for Dancing Dragon: A China Alphabet, by Carol Crane and illustrated by Zong-shou Wang, Sleeping bear press, 2006 –This alphabet book explores Chinese culture with rhyming text for each letter, beautiful illustrations and educational information expanding on each idea for each letter on the side of each page.
· D is For Dinosaur: A prehistoric alphabet, by Todd Chapman and Lita Judge and illustrated by Lita Judge, Sleeping Bear Press, 2007 – Dinosaur lovers will enjoy this book as it looks at the ABC’s of all things prehistoric (H is for Herbivores, J is for Jurassic, P is for Palaeontologist...) with rhyming text and educational information along the sides of each page.
· Dogabet, by Dianna Bonder, Walrus Books, 2007 – Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a dog breed with an alliterative humours text (and the focuses letter highlighted in colour) and busy illustrations full of surprises (there is even a list of hidden objects at the end of the book to make it into a game).
· Dog’s ABC: A Silly Story about the Alphabet, by Emma Dodd, Dutton Children’s Books, 2000 - Emma Dodd’s character Dog has wants an adventure and as he journeys throughout the day he makes his way through the alphabet.
· My “d” Sound Box, by Jane Belk Moncure and illustrated by Colin King, The Child’s World, 2001 - A girl named Little “d” finds things that start with the “d” sound to put in her sound box.
Letter D Collage:
Materials: Copy of my Dd 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 D and for large letter D’s and d’s as well.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter D pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Dd 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 D Sticker Collage:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter D (or of the letter D 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.
Bingo Dabber Stamps:
Materials: Bottle of Bingo Dabbers (from a dollar store), a copy of my Dd worksheet , 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 Bingo Dabber he/she wants to use first.
Step 2: Remind your child that dabber starts with the “dah” sound for the letter D
Step 3: Show your child how to press the Bingo Dabber onto the worksheet to leave a dot.
Step 4: Let your child stamp the dabber on the worksheet.
Dip served with your child’s favourite veggies make for a healthy letter D snack.
Donuts or a danish would be not so healthy choices for a letter D snack.
Make some devilled eggs for another snack.
Dried dates would be another snack.
A Dagwood Sandwich:
This is basically a large sandwich with as many toppings as your child desires (turkey, ham, pepperoni, bacon, roast beef, pastrami, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, provolone cheese, monetary jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, relish, mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish...) with as many slices of bread as needed to stack.
Hot Dogs would work, too, for this theme day.
Dim Sum (found in the frozen appetizer section) with rice and stir fried veggies would make a letter D dinner.
Any type of dumplings would work as well.
A salad with dressing is another option for letter D day.
Really any dessert would work for this theme day because dessert starts with the letter D.
For a frozen treat try some Drumsticks.
Materials: Copy of my Alphabet Chart (from Letter A day displayed on your fridge or on a bulletin board), a copy of the Cut-out Dd 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, B and C.
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Dd Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Dd card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Dd card and glue it on the Alphabet Chart (or you can have your child use tape).
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 D 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: http://www.sesamestreet.org/game_player?p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_id=gamePlayer_WAR_sesameportlets4369&p_p_uid=dd838f23-486b-11dd-bf7b-df62be721a24
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:
Play “I Spy With My Little Eye” only trying to find things that start with the letter D.
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 D Day find things that start with D. 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.
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.
Photo: C Wright
D is for dog
Letter “D” Collage
Letter “D” Sticker Collage
Letter tracing in sugar
D is for duck
D is for desert
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright