Think back to a time when you had to study for a test. To learn the material, you probably had to use flashcards, take practice tests, have a friend ask you questions, and so on. You needed to be actively doing something to learn, and when toddlers are learning the alphabet, they are no exception.
Toddlers need fun, age-appropriate activities to learn new topics. Art Across the Alphabet: Over 100 Art Experiences that Enrich Early Literacy by Kelly Justus Campbell aids in teaching toddlers the alphabet letter by letter. The art-centered activities dedicated to each letter of the alphabet will help toddlers by reinforcing their alphabet recognition, developing their phonemic awareness and pre-reading skills, and helping them associate reading with fun.
As a taste of the letter-recognition activities this book holds, use these two activities to introduce the letter “A” to children.
- Roll paper
- Fat, black marker
- Thick cardboard
- Clothespins, optional
- Tempera paint
- Styrofoam trays or paper plates
- Tacky glue
The Creative Process
- Cut a 2’ x 3’ sheet from the roll paper. Using a fat, black marker, draw the letter “A” in large block form, filling the entire sheet.
- Cut the felt into apple shapes of various sizes.
- Glue the apple shapes onto thick cardboard. The cardboard creates a sturdy backing for printing. You may also wish to glue a clothespin to the back of each “apple stamp” in an upright position for the children to hold onto as they print. Allow the glue to dry.
- Pour a small amount of paint into Styrofoam trays or onto plates.
- Show the children how to dip the apple shapes into the paint or paint it with a paintbrush. Then, press the apple onto the paper.
- Encourage the children to make apple prints in the large letter “A”.
- Designate an area of the room to be the Alphabet Gallery. Hang the letter on the wall using tacky glue.
The Creative Process
- Cut out elongated ovals from the poster board, two for each child.
- Using the hole punch, punch two holes in the top and bottom of each side of the wings. Encourage the children to paint the wings as desired. Allow them to dry.
- Cut strips of yarn. Thread the yarn through the holes in the wings and tie them onto the children’s arms.
- The children can fly around the room together to music.