Thursday, May 23, 2024

G is for Gumball


G is for Gumball is always a hit with my preschool kids. Supplies you will need for this day:

  • Gumballs - big, small and any you can find in between!  
  • Gumball Machine (I have THIS one from amazon, or there are other fun machines on amazon.) You can sometimes find little ones at the Dollar Store.  
  •  Food safe marker (or a sharpie, but make sure they don't eat the gumballs) 
  •  Butcher paper (or newsprint or a large piece of paper) 
  •  Colorful paper circles  (big)
  •  Print the last three pictures in this post

Gumball letter match

A fun interactive, lots of movement activity is matching paper gumballs to the giant paper gumball machine. If you have butcher paper or newsprint (find it at your local newspaper office), draw a big gumball machine and add uppercase and lower case G's all over inside. 

Cut paper circles of all different colors and write uppercase and lowercase G's on those. Lay the "gumballs" out on the floor and tell your preschooler/s to fill the gumball machine by matching the G and g's. (You could also mix this up and write all the letters of the alphabet in the machine and make gumballs to match).

When they're done, you should have a very colorful, filled gumball machine!!

Print these pages! 

1. Inside the gumball machine page, write uppercase G's and lowercase g's, similar to the giant gumball machine. Using the circle stickers, write G's and g's to match the amount in the gumball machine. Your preschooler will match uppercase G "gumballs" (stickers) to the G in the machine, and same with lowercase g's. (instead of G's, you could write the alphabet to match).

2. Write a-z and numbers 1-10 on gumballs, with a food safe marker, or a sharpie if you aren't planning on eating them. Use the actual gumball machine. After each gumball comes out, find it on the page and color it in (the color you use can match the color of the actual gumball!). 

3. Everyone LOVES putting pennies in the gumball machine and seeing what color comes out. Use it to your hearts content, but after each one comes out, mark it on the chart. Graph the colors that come out, or just mark each circle.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

DIY Pumpkin Manipulatives & Activities

Okay, here is a simple project you can do yourself to make fun, colorful pumpkin manipulatives! (DO NOT EAT!!)

*If you buy them AFTER Halloween they are typically half off, depending on where you go.

Buy a couple or a few bags of candy pumpkins, depending on how many you want to make. I used the basic colors of spray paint – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, and Black (I may need to make more in white, brown and grey colors).

I set out some newsprint (or butcher paper) in the garage, and be sure to open the doors/windows. Then you paint!

It really is such a simple project. I even painted the orange ones, just to make sure the kids didn’t ever try to sneak a little nibble, since these will be played with a lot and years old (YUCK!!)

Another option if you don't want to paint the pumpkins is to grab a sharpie. You can draw shapes, write numbers or letters, or dots on the bottom of the pumpkins. If you make 2 sets of each you can play memory and other matching games. EASY!!

Then play with them! Here are some ideas...

1. Sort by color 

2. Arrange them in rows

3. Use for any "find and cover" activities

4. Make letters or shape outlines using the pumpkins

5. Put in a sensory bin

6. Draw out of a bag or bin and graph it

7. Sing & act out “5 little pumpkins”

8. Pumpkin Counting

9. Line up in order of the alphabet

10. Line up, least to greatest & vice versa

11. Spell simple CVC words

12. Play memory match (with shapes or letters/numbers on the bottom)

13. Pick a number pumpkin and count that many colored pumpkins

          14.  Match numbers or letters

There are so many ways you can use these pumpkin manipulatives! 

Share in a comment how you have used them, or even how you plan to use them! Let me know if you make these or tag me on Instagram @preschoolalphabet.

*More Pumpkin preschool ideas can be found here


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Flower Graphing *reusable

For this *reusable* graphing activity you will need:

First, print as many graphs as you have kids/students. Laminate those graphs or put them in a sheet protector to make it reusable.

Next, with wet erase markers draw one flower at the bottom of each column. I used the 6 colors in the rainbow, to go with my spinner.

Then, get a spinner with rainbow colors. [I made mine, using the back of a spinner from a board game we have, a circle rainbow sticker (printed on sticker paper and cut out), then pulled the arrow spinner off the board and to put it on the back.]  Or you can google spinner printables and use a paper clip!

Last, play the game! *take turns spinning if you are playing with a group.

  • Spin the arrow to see which color you get.
  • Find that color flower, mark it on the graph with a dry erase marker (we drew F’s because it was during our letter F week)
  • Repeat, until one column is filled up.

When one column is filled, then you can ask questions about the graph:

  • Which color flower had the most spins?
  • Which color flower had the least?
  • Which two flowers had the same amount?
  • How many MORE red flowers are there than blue?
  • How many orange and green flowers are there together?
  • etc….

**You can use this graphing activity for ALL KINDS of
different themes (umbrellas, dogs, ants, kites, etc!!)

There are more flower activities HERE on the blog and you can watch more F week ideas HERE on Instagram.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

E is for Elmer the Elephant

E is for Elmer the Elephant!
To see these activities in action, watch them in my Instagram stories, saved under "Ee"

  • Elmer the Elephant Letter Roll and Decorate
          **Activity inspired by Katy @ PrekWolfPack
    • Using butcher paper or newsprint, draw a BIG Elmer the Elephant (use a sharpie, or I used a homemade India Ink bingo dauber inspired by Cassie Stephens). Be sure to add the grid lines!
    • What else you need:
      • Letter die – I used blank dice from the Dollar Tree (or there are lots of options here) and added the letters we are working on right now (B-G).
      • Square Letter Stickers [to match the letters on the die] – I made my own, using precut square stickers from Online Labels.
        *Usually I will use my Silhouette machine to make custom stickers, but Online Labels has a lot of simple shape sticker options with templates for easy printing (order a free sample to try them out!).
    • How to play:
      • Roll the letter die, recognize the letter
      • Find the matching letter sticker
      • Stick it on Elmer to make him a colorful patchwork elephant!

  • Elephant peanut Letter Find and Cover (or write)
    • Grab a bag of peanuts (with the shells on) at the Dollar Store or grocery store. With a sharpie, write one letter of the alphabet on each peanuts.
    • Toss those peanuts in a sensory bin (our go to is a rice/wheat bin) with some jumbo tweezers and letters in their name (we are always practicing spelling our names!)
    • Print this traceable alphabet (lowercase on one side, uppercase on the other side), laminate or put in a sheet protector to use with a dry erase marker.
      • Use the tweezers to find and pick a peanut out of the bin.
      • Recognize the letter on the peanut.
      • Find that letter on the traceable page and trace it.
        • **If your preschooler can write letters on their own, use lined paper or a blank page that they can write the letters they find.

  • Read Elmer’s Friends by David McKee
    • Have your preschooler/s bring their favorite stuffed ANIMAL.
    • This book talks about one of the best, or most obvious, things about that animal, ie: Polar Bear, you’re the whitest.
    • Look at the stuffed animals and work together to decide what is their favorite thing, or the best thing, or most obvious thing about their animal.
      • IE: Puppy Dog, you have the cutest bark.
              Unicorn, you have the pointiest horn.
    • Then have that same conversation about the kids! What is a special thing, or a favorite thing, or the best thing about them?
      • IE: Matt, you’re the silliest.
              Ellie, you have the darkest hair.

  • Feed the Elephants – capital and lowercase E sorting
      • What you need:
        • 2 Paper elephant heads, 1 with a capital E and 1 with a lowercase E. Cut out the nose!
        • 2 paper towel tubes (or long craft tubes), wrapped in matching gray paper.
        • Peanuts in the shell, with one letter E or e written on them.
        • Some kind of bin with a filler (rice, wheat, beans, dry oatmeal, etc).
        • 2 containers (I used quart mason jars)
      • Tape the craft tubes to the elephant heads, as though it is their trunk, sticking straight out. Then attach those heads to their own container.
      • Put the peanuts with the letter Es written on them in a bigger bin with a filler.
    • TO PLAY:
      • Grab one (or two!) peanuts.
      • Recognize the E, if it is capital or lowercase.
      • Feed the elephant that matches that E, by putting the peanut in the “truck” (craft tube).

**This activity can also be played by sorting numbers and letters (if you want to use the alphabet peanuts from the activity above, and write numbers on more peanuts).  Elephant head printables are available for free HERE.

    • Using the elephant masks, go on an elephant parade. During the parade, act like the animals…
      • stomp like an elephant
      • slither like a snake
      • jump like a kangaroo
      • fly like a bird
      • etc!

  • Elephant Snack time
    • Turn on youtube to watch the elephants (we watched the Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari) while you try some shelling peanuts and eating them.
    • Discuss what else elephants like to eat!
    • Watch the Elephants and what they do.

  • Draw an Elephant
    • Follow Art For Kids Hub's simple directions to draw your own elephant (Gerald from Piggie & Elephant)!!


Thursday, March 5, 2020

E is for Eyes

  • Eye color sorting
    • The dollar store has plastic eye balls, usually during Halloween time. Stock up! Try to get different colored eyes if possible!
    • Using paper craft rolls (or TP rolls) paint or color them colors to match the eyeball colors. AKA ‘sorting tubes’.
    • Tape them to a container, or wall, or other place that your preschooler can drop the eyes in and have them fall through. *we used a big plastic tub.
    • Make sorting a fun moving game. 
      • Put all the unsorted eyes in a bag, bowl or lay them on the floor on one side of the room and the sorting tubes on the other side. Have your preschooler/s run back and forth sorting.
      • Put the different sorting tubes in different places in the room, and the eyes in the middle. Have them pick one eyeball, run to that colored sorting tub and drop the eye in. Run back and get another.
      • Lay out the different colored eyeballs and tell your preschooler a color. They will find one eyeball that color and put it in the matching sorting tube. Come back and do it again.

  • Play I Spy
    • Using our eyes, we played a game of I spy!
      • 1 round – only spy a color
      • 2 round – only spy shapes
      • 3 round – only spy high or low
      • etc.

  • Circles & Eyeball drawing
    • With my Silhouette machine, I cut out TONS of different sized circles on different colored paper.
    • I laid them out on the table with some markers and let the kids get creative drawing eyeballs.
      • show them different kinds of eyes. Ie: cat eyes, human eyes, scary eyes, sad eyes, sleepy eyes, spider eyes, etc.
    • If your “E is for Eyes” preschool is during Halloween season, tape them all over as a decoration (we put ours on the garage door!)

**For more Eye preschool activities, click HERE**

Saturday, February 29, 2020

D is for Dogs

  • DIY Dog bone manipulatives
    1. I bought a box of dog bone treats at the Dollar Tree. At home I sprayed each of them with a clear coat spray paint (mainly to keep the kids from eating them, but also to keep them cleaner. I didnt want them crumbling or have our hands smell like dog treats!)
    2. After they dried, on 26 of them I wrote one letters of the alphabet on each bone with a sharpie. I also kept a bunch blank for math and counting.
      • OPTIONS: you could paint them different colors, not just clear.
      • Write numbers, shapes, or specific letters on the bones (vowels, just D’s and d’s), etc.)

  • Dog Bone Letter match
    • With our alphabet of dog bones, we matched them to lettered dog bones on paper
    • (you could also simply write the alphabet on a piece of paper and have them match the letters on the bones to the letters on the paper).

  • Dog Bone Alphabet sort
    • We also put the dog bones in order of the alphabet.
    • Then sang the ABCs while pointing to each letter on the bones.

  • Tally Counting Dogs
    • On a piece of paper, have your preschooler write DOGS at the top. Put the paper on a clipboard (or hard cover book).
    • Go on a walk around your neighborhood, and count the dogs your see.
    • As you count them, use the tally system for counting. Teach your preschooler/s when they get to 5, they use one line to cross out the other 4 tallies.
    • When your walk is over, count the tallies and write the total at the bottom.

  • Dog Bone Math
    • With a veggie tray (aka: sorting tray) and the blank dog bone treats, I wrote out numbers, tallies or simple equations and the answer in dog bones would go in the tray.

  • DIY Plastic Dog Manipulatives
    • At the Dollar Tree I found some packs of plastic cats and dogs (yes, they come together…save the cats for C week!). I pulled out the spray paint and painted each one a different color.
    • Let them dry, then use in sensory bins, with the next activity (Go, Dog, Go!) or any pretend play!

  • Read Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
           Lots of fun to be had with this book!
    • Use the spray painted dog manipulative toys from above, an updated colored tree and dog printable, and the book, particulary the page that says, “A red dog on a blue tree. A blue dog on a red tree. A green dog on a yellow tree.”
    • Options:
      • Copy the book and have your preschool put a red dog on the blue tree, a blue dog on the red tree, and a green dog on a yellow tree.
      • Tell your preschooler which dogs go in which tree.
      • Match the color of dog to the color of tree.
      • Have your preschool put any dog on any tree and have them tell you what color dog is on what color tree.
      • Roll two dice (with colors, not numbers). One is the dog color die, and the other is the tree color die. After they roll, put that color dog on that color tree.

  • Go, Dog, Go!” Opposites
    • I scanned the book and printed out cards of the opposite things the book talks about.
      • ie: Up & Down, In & Out, Dark & Light, etc
      • Play memory style to match the opposites
      • Hold up a card and have your preschooler tell you what it is and what the opposite it (or find the opposite card).

  • Read Dog’s Colorful Day” by Emma Dodd
    • I cant remember where I found these printables (google search "Dog's Colorful Day Preschool activities" and I'm sure you will find it! Let me know if you do!!)
      • You will need glue sticks, scissors, and dot stampers (or crayons/markers).

  • Dog Suncatcher
    • This is hit and miss at the Dollar Tree, but if you find a dog suncatcher, it is a great activity to talk about primary and secondary colors (as it only comes with primary colors).

**For more Dog activities click HERE, for more Letter D preschool ideas click HERE**

Thursday, February 27, 2020

C is for Carrots

C is for Carrot day!!!

  • Taste Test Carrots
    1. If you can, pick a carrot from the ground. Otherwise, buy all of them at the store.
    2. Let your preschooler peel a long carrot. Be careful!
    3. Adults: cut carrots lengthwise, slices, and baby carrots. Taste them, see if the different shapes make them taste different!
  • Make Playdoh Carrots
    1. With orange playdoh (or any color would work), roll it into a carrot like shape.
    2. Use a plastic knife, or butter knife, and a cutting board to practice cutting carrots.
    3. Repeat!
  • Carrot Sensory Bin
    1. I made polymer clay carrots (3 different sizes) and put them, along with carrot sprinkles, in a bin of kinetic sand.
    2. Have your preschool find and sort the carrots according to size, line them up in rows, just like in a garden.
    3. After counting how many carrots are in each row, use number cookie cutters to make imprints of the number they counted.
  • Read Too Many Carrots, by Katy Hudson
    1. I printed (and laminated) animals that are in the book – a bunny, beaver, bird, squirrel, and turtle. Then we talked about them and put them in order as they came up in the book. (They can play with these laminated animals in their sensory bin with the carrots too).
  •  Carrot Counting
    1. What you need:
      • Orange paper
      • Green paper
      • Brown paper
      • Scissors
      • Glue stick
    2. On the orange paper, draw triangles (in a zig zag) for your preschooler to cut. These will be the carrots.
      • number each triangle, for the next part of the project.
    3. Cut the green paper into strips. These are the green tops of the carrots.
    4. Have your preschooler glue the orange triangles to the brown paper (the dirt), in order of number.
    5. Whatever number is on the carrot, add that many green strips to the top (glue them on).
  • Carrot ABC matching
    1. Using the carrot sprinkles that you used in the sensory bin, write a letter of the alphabet on each carrot sprinkle. 
    2. Using the ABC Carrot Printable from School Time Snippets.
    3. As they find the carrot sprinkles in the sensory bin or just have them in a little bowl, match them ABC carrots.
      • You could also use her printable carrots, or scrabble pieces, or any ABC letters.

**For more letter C preschool activities, click HERE.  
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