When I participated in a preschool co-op several years ago, we decided that the easiest way to organize it would be to follow the letters of the alphabet. Learning the alphabet is a building block of reading, and it roughly matched the number of weeks we would be meeting during the school year. Creating a letter of the week preschool curriculum is easy and fun! Here are some ideas based on our experiences.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the Kidloland app for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.
Creating a Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum
We found that it was easiest to have set sections for our preschool curriculum, so that the children knew what to expect and it was easy for us to plan ahead. We always started with circle time (which included a welcome song and review of the calendar) before starting with our Letter of the Week activities. Below are some Letter activities to consider for your preschool curriculum. These balance interactive activities with those where the children practice being quiet and listening. Those activities that you do not have time to include in your class you could suggest that parents do at home.
Bulletin Board: Create a Letter of the Week bulletin board, decorated with that week’s letter at the top. Children can then take turns pinning either flashcards or photos from magazines of objects that start with that letter. This is a great way to start off the lesson, so that children get a sense right away of how the letter sounds and where it can be found.
Alligator: To reinforce the vocabulary, we borrowed this super cute alphabet alligator, but rather than having children pull out letter cards, we had them pull out objects that started with that letter (sometimes including letter cards or foam letters). So for “C” you might have a toy car and a cup, for example. To make it even more interactive, we asked that each child bring several objects from home to contribute to the alligator that week.
Story: This was always my favorite! Choose a story that showcases a word starting with the letter of the week. Choose your story carefully so it is clear which word and letter are being featured.
Song: Oh wait, this was my favorite! I loved doing the songs with them about something starting with the letter of the week. Include movement, if possible, especially if you are doing the song right after story time. So for example, we pretended to be elephants balancing on a string for this fun elephant song (in English and Spanish!)
Activity/Game: As the mother of two active boys, I feel strongly about including at least one game or activity in the preschool curriculum, such as a letter scavenger hunt (where you hide foam letters) or this letter D game. We did this just before our break, as it often ended in the kids running around the room! We would then let them run off some of their energy while we prepared snack, and the food was usually enough of a draw to bring them to the table to settle back down.
Sensory: Another great way to help kids re-focus is to do a sensory activity, like a sensory bin with objects or letter shapes hidden inside or writing the letter in sand or shaving cream. Kids love it, and it’s great for pre-writing skills and letter recognition.
Craft: Of course, you have to include a craft! There are so many cute alphabet crafts and coloring pages to explore. I especially love ones that incorporate the letter itself, such as making a letter “Z” that is striped like a zebra. Be aware that you may have to adjust the craft for different levels of interest. We had several girls in our group that adored crafts. We made sure to have plenty of supplies so they could be as elaborate as they wanted (and often to do extra crafts), while keeping the main idea simple enough that the wiggly ones in our group could finish before they absolutely could not sit at the table any longer.
Any of the above could also be continued at home, as well as activities like doing a letter hunt around the house or neighborhood. Another easy way to reinforce the lessons is with this great educational app from Kidloland. It is a real powerhouse, with more than 575 interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories and educational activities.
It is aimed at children 5 and under (though my 6 year old enjoyed it as well), which means that it is intuitive enough that even young children can play on their own. When I sat down with my four year old to try it out, I expected to have to help him at first, as I have to do with many apps, but he jumped in right away and started playing without any help from me!
I love that Kidloland includes a wide range of learning songs and games, and often each game itself contains a mix, so that kids are never bored! The graphics are super cute and engaging, and everything is easy for even young children to do. They can learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more with Kidloland. This app contains so many activities that it is hard to imagine running out of things to do! It’s a great way to let your child play and learn at the same time.
Best of all for me as a parent – no ads! I cannot tell you how much this bothers me, especially in apps for young children. I also love that we can download all of the materials directly to our device so that my son can play offline. This is especially for times when we are traveling and don’t have wi-fi.
Find out more about the Kidloland app, available for iOS, on Google Play or at the Amazon App Store. While they have made many games available for free, you get even more amazing content with a paid subscription!
After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.
I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!
So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!
Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!
31 Days of ABC
Teaching the ABCs – October 1
A – October 2
B – October 3
C – October 4
D – October 5
E – October 6
F – October 7
G – October 8
H – October 9
I – October 10
J – October 11
K – October 12
L – October 13
M – October 14
N – October 15
O – October 16
P – October 17
Q – October 18
R – October 19
S – October 20
T – October 21
U – October 22
V – October 23
W – October 24
X – October 25
Y – October 26
Z – October 27
123’s – October 28
Prewriting – October 29
Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30
Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31
Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!
Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally!
3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!
The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)