This idea came from Ada’s three (brilliant, loving and fun!) teachers. They suggested we try this as a way to help her start making connections between words and objects over the summer. Ada would have us read to her 24 hours a day if she could, so we have encouraged her to learn more about the letters as she shows interest. We are so excited for her to explore books on her own when she is ready. She will devour them! We used markers and card stock to make big labels around our house. Painter’s tape looped on the back makes them easy to remove from the walls. It feels a bit like an ESL classroom around here, but she seems to love it.
I made these felt letters for Ada when she was just learning her alphabet. They have strong magnets sewn inside so they can be stuck on the fridge. Spelling out the letters of a child’s name also makes a nice gift. You will need:
*Felt. We used various colors of wool felt from Woolfeltcentral.com
*Embroidery Floss in contrasting color
*Two or three Magnets per letter. We used Tiny Mighties
*Paper to make the patterns
1. Type out the alphabet in a simple font and enlarge to desired size. Our letters are 3″ tall. Print letters and cut out.
2.Lay paper letter pattern on top of felt and carefully cut along edges of paper to make the letter. *You will need two- front and back for each letter.
3. Glue magnets onto the inside of the back half of the letter. Space out and use more for longer letters such as ‘M’ and fewer magnets for simple letters like ‘I’. The magnets will be stitched inside the felt, so you don’t need much glue.
4. Place a little stuffing on top of magnets, between the two felt letter halves. You can adjust stuffing position as you sew, and the stuffing will help prevent the strong magnets from sticking to each other.
5. Blanket stitch the two letter halves together, making sure the magnets are in the back and the face of the letter is not backwards. Push any stray stuffing inside as you sew.
6. Allow glue to dry and then put them on the fridge!
If you aren’t feeling crafty you can buy some similar magnets here on Etsy.
This alphabet book is one of my favorite projects for preschoolers. We started about a year ago and add to it as we get catalogs or magazines to cut up. Each letter has a page or two where we paste in different fonts as well as pictures of things that start with the letter. (P for Peanut, Popsicle, Parrot). You will need:
*Big notebook. We used this one by Art Alternatives, but any large blank book will work. I like the spiral because it makes room for bulky pages.
*Scissors. (I initially cut out the pictures, but now Ada likes to use the scissors).
*Recycled magazines, catalogs, grocery circulars, stickers, etc. We LOVE these Eyelike sticker books because smaller kids can help without the use of glue or scissors. The Eyelike images are amazingly detailed and the stickers are reusable.
This book is a great way to make learning letters and the initial concepts of reading more like a treasure hunt. I love the collage aesthetic and that one of the books Ada likes to look at on her shelf was made by her.