Pre-school Theme Day
Letter “S” 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.
When I was a little girl I loved the “Sammy the Snake Song “on Sesame Street. Click here to watch it:
The obvious choice for letter days is the “the “ABCDEFG...” alphabet song that most of us learned in school- http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/a004.html
Many different Children’s Music Recordings have other alphabet songs (like Sharon, Lois and Bram’s “Alphabet Medley” from their Travellin’ Tunes album), check your children’s collections to see what you have on hand.
There are songs that emphasize the sound of each letter, too (The one that we know sounds like “Farmer in the Dell” but goes “S say sssss, S says ssss, every letter makes a sound, S says ssss).
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 S Little s” 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 S day emphasize the two main sounds “S” and “sssss”).
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 Sailor’s Alphabet, illustrated by Michael McCurdy, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998 – This book uses an alphabet sea chantey from the 1800’s and includes facts on each scratch-board illustrated page.
· Superhero ABC, by Bob McLeod, HarperCollins Publishers, 2006 – Comic-book illustrator, McLeod, creates a funny alphabet book featuring brand new superheroes with alphabetical names and crazy powers to match like “Bubble Man who blows bubbles at bullies.”
· Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC, written by June Sobel and illustrated by Henry Cole, Sandpiper, 2006 – The animal pirates in this story are sent on a quest to find the entire alphabet by their crocodile captain who is tired of saying “R” and instead wants some other letters to say.
· Miss Spider’s ABC, by David Kirk, Scholastic Press, 1998 – This colourful alphabet book with simple text showcases different insects as they prepare for Miss Spider’s surprise birthday party.
LETTER “S” COLLAGE:
Materials: A copy of my Ss worksheet, old magazines, child-safe scissors, washable glue stick, damp facecloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Look through old magazines with your child and search for things that start with the letter S.
Step 2: Help your child cut out the letter S pictures from the magazine to make a pile of pictures to glue on the Ss 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 S STICKER COLLAGE:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of things that start with the letter S (or of the letter S if you have 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 package of sequins (from a craft store), a copy of my Ss worksheet , white glue, a piece of coloured paper, glue stick, a damp cloth for dirty fingers, waxed paper.
Step 1: Have your child pick a sheet of coloured paper and using a glue stick paste the Ss worksheet on it.
Step 2: Remind your child that sequins start with the “ssss” sound.
Step 3: Put a blob of white glue on the waxed paper.
Step 4: Show your child how to dip sequins into the glue and then place it on the worksheet. Encourage your child to make his/her own design.
Step 4: Let the picture dry before displaying.
Much on some sunflower seeds or a sesame bar (if there are no allergies in your family) for a Letter S snack.
For a fruity letter S snack eat some strawberries or try some star fruit.
Salsa and corn chips would be a special treat for this theme day.
A dip made with sour cream or a spinach dip with fresh veggies or crackers makes a good snack as well.
Try some scones for a bakery treat on this theme day.
For a calcium packed snack serve a cheese string.
Soy milk or any soy type drink or snack could be served for Letter S Day.
A fruit smoothie is another Letter S treat for snack time.
For a special treat serve some soda for this theme day.
Soup and sandwiches are perfect for letter S day. Try a sandwich with Salami and Swiss cheese
A salad is another Letter S lunch choice.
Any type of stew is perfect for Letter S Day.
Spaghetti makes an easy “S” dinner.
Any type of stir fry but especially a “sweet and sour” stir fry would work for this theme day as well.
Cook some sausages or steak for Letter “S” day.
Beef stroganoff or Sloppy joe’s are two other choices for this theme day.
Make a savoury soufflé for a gourmet Letter S meal.
Try shellfish or salmon for a Letter S seafood supper.
For a more adventuresome dish try some sushi and spring rolls for an Asian inspired “S” dinner.
For a Greek inspired Letter S dish serve some spanokopita.
Serve a salad, spinach, string beans, Swiss chard, snow peas, squash or sweet potato on the side for this theme day.
Make some sugar cookies or shortbread cookies or any time of baked squares for a Letter S dessert.
Another Letter S would be a sponge cake.
Strawberry shortcake or anything with strawberries on it would be another Letter S treat.
Make an ice cream sundae or serve some fruit sorbet for a quicker dessert.
Make a campers favourite: s’mores!
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 R.
Step 2: Have your child colour the Cut-out Ss Card.
Step 3: Help your child cut the letter Ss Card out.
Step 4: Have your child apply glue to the back of the Ss 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 S 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 S.
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 S Day find things that start with S. 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.
S is for sunset
Photo: C Wright
Letter “S” Collage
Letter tracing in sugar
Photo: C Wright
S is for sea lion
S is for swan
Photo: C Wright
Letter “S” Sticker Collage