Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “P” 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 of song 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 “P says pah, p says pah, every letter makes a sound, P says pah”).
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 P Little p” 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 P day emphasize the sound “pah” ).
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:
· ABC POP!, by Rachel Isadora, Viking, 1999 – This simple alphabet book uses pop art style for the illustrations.
· A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play, by Ida Pearle, Harcourt inc., 2008 – Using cut-paper collage illustrations this book has one word per page showing an action that a child can do.
· Patty’s Pumpkin Patch, by Teri Sloat, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999 – This is both a story (with rhyming text) that shows Patty in her garden from spring to winter but is also an alphabet book because at the bottom of each page it shows the alphabet and things that can be found around the pumpkin patch (ant, beetle, crow) that start with each letter.
· Penguins ABC, by Kevin Schafer, NorthWord Press, 2002 – using photographs and one word per letter this book showcases different breeds of penguins plus other words associated with them like “A is for Antarctica” and “D is for dive.”
· Picture a Letter, by Brad Sneed, Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2002 – This is a book of fabulous and unique alphabet pictures with the background in pencil and the main focus in colour which forms the letter (for instance the acrobat is doing a summersault in the air that forms him into the letter A).
· P is for Putt: A Golf Alphabet, written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Bruce Langton, Sleeping Bear Press, 2005 – This book showcases many different elements of gold with lovely painted illustrations and rhyming alphabetical text plus has additional information on the side of each page giving facts and history.
· Twenty-six Princesses, by Dave Horowitz, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008 – Prince Frog invites 26 princesses to his castle for a party, each page with fun cut-out illustrations shows a different princess (who starts with a different letter of the alphabet of course) and has a rhymed text.
LETTER “P” COLLAGE:
Materials: A copy of my Pp 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 P.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter P pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Pp 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 Day Scrapbook.
LETTER “P” STICKER COLLAGE:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter O (or of the letter O from 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.
Materials: A copy of my Pp worksheet , one bell pepper cut in half (with seeds and core removed), paints, waxed paper, a scrap sheet of paper, a face cloth for sticky fingers, newspaper or plastic to spread over work table, art smock or old clothes to wear and protect clothes.
Step 1: Put some glue on the waxed paper (let your child choose the colour).
Step 2: Remind your child that pepper starts with the ‘”pah” sound and show your child how to gently press the pepper into the paint (cut side down).
Step 3: Press the pepper on a scrap piece of paper to remove excess paint and then show your child how to press the paper onto the worksheet to leave a pepper stamp.
Step 4: Let your child dip and stamp.
Step 5: Let it dry and then display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
If there are no peanut allergies in your family serve a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast on this theme day.
Make some pancakes for this theme day.
Another breakfast for Letter P day could be poached eggs.
If there are no peanut allergies in your family serve some peanuts or pistachios for a Letter P snack.
There are many fruity choices for this theme day like peaches, plums, prunes, pears or pineapple.
Serve up some bell peppers in various colours (and dip if you child prefers) for a veggie snack on Letter P day.
Make some popcorn for a special treat on this theme day.
For a tangy snack give your child a pickle!
Make a pastrami sandwich for lunch and try some pumpkin soup on Letter P day.
Pasta makes an easy Letter P dinner and don't’ forget to sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over it.
Pepperoni pizza (or whatever type of pizza your child likes) is perfect for Letter P day.
Pork could also be served on this theme day.
Serve some green peas or pea pods with dinner on this theme day or if your child is more daring serve up some parsnips as a different vegetable. Other side dishes could include some potatoes with dinner or some pinto beans for something different on this theme day.
Potstickers could also be served on this theme day.
Serve some peach cobbler or peach pie for dessert or any type of pie.
Make some pudding for another Letter P treat.
An easy Letter P dessert on a hot day would be a popsicle.
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 Pp 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 O.
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Pp Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Pp card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Pp 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 makes 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 P in the sand/sugar. When you are finished tracing dump the sand/sugar 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 child 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 P.
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 P Day find things that start with P. 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 and 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.
P is for platypus
Photo: C Wright
Letter “P” Collage
Letter “P” Sticker Collage
Letter tracing in sugar
P is for police car
Photo: C Wright
P is for pelican
Photo: C Wright