Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “H” 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 “H says hah, H says hah, every letter makes a sound, H says hah and hah”).
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 H Little h” 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 H day emphasize the sounds “hah” ).
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:
· The Handmade Alphabet, by Laura Rankin, Dial books, 1991 – This is a neat alphabet book because the illustrations are of hands in each position for the American Sign Language from for each letter along with something else that starts with the same letter.
· Heidi’s Zoo: An Un-alphabet Book, by Heidi Goennel, Tambourine Books, 1993 – Instead of offering an alphabetical look at the letters this animal book offers a different animal and an object (each starting with a different letter and not in order) on every two pages.
· Helen Oxenbury’s ABC of Things, Delacorte Press, 1971 – This older book has a simple format of listing 2 to 3 words for each letter along with a fun illustration.
· H is for Homerun: A Baseball Alphabet, written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Melanie Rose, Sleeping bear press, 2004 – With great paintings and rhyming text this book looks at all things baseball while teaching the alphabet (D is for diamond, F is for fly ball, G is for grand slam). As well, each page has additional information about baseball along the side.
· The Hullabaloo ABC, by Beverly Cleary and illustrated by Ted Rand, Morrow Junior Books, 1998 – Three children go through the alphabet by showing the different sounds and actions that can be made with each letter as they explore a farm.
· The Human Alphabet, photographs by John Kane, Roaring Brook Press, 2005 – The Dance Company Pilobolus create each letter of the alphabet with their bodies along with an illustration of something starting with each letter for the read to guess (answers at the back).
Letter H Collage:
Materials: A copy of my Hh 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 H.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter H pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Hh 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 H Sticker Collage:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter H (or of the letter H 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 and let him/her stick them to the coloured paper however he/she wants.
Handprint Paint Picture:
Materials: Washable/non-toxic paint, a copy of my Hh worksheet , newspaper or plastic for covering the table, old t-shirts or art smocks .
Step 1: Have your child pick the colour(s) of paint he/she wants to use.
Step 2: Remind your child that the word hand starts with the “hah” sound.
Step 3: Show your child how to paint his/her hand with paint and then press it to the worksheet to make a picture with lots of handprints.
Step 4: Let your child squeeze glitter glue all over the worksheet.
Step 5: Let it dry (it takes a long time to dry) and then display.
Honey on toast or crackers is a sweet snack for Letter H day.
For a fruity snack that starts with the letter H try honeydew melon.
If there are no peanut or sesame allergies in your house try hummus and crackers or pita for a different snack.
Hot chocolate is a special drink perfect for letter H day.
Ham sandwiches or hot dogs work for a letter H lunch.
Have some hamburgers with hash browns instead of fries for a letter H supper.
If your child likes fish serve up some halibut.
Make some hot fudge sundaes for a yummy letter H dessert.
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 Hh 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 Letters A to G
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Hh Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Hh card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Hh 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 H 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: 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 H.
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 H Day find things that start with H. 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
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright
H is for horse
Letter “H” Collage
Letter “H” Sticker Collage
Letter tracing in sugar
H is for hopscotch
H is for hippo