Letters of the Alphabet Toddler Activity

We began getting familiar with the letters of the alphabet when my daughter was 2 (she is now 3). And that is exactly what it is-getting familiar!!!! In my opinion there is no right or wrong time to introduce literacy to children, the earlier the better! While they may not recite the letters, or even associate upper case letters with lower case letters, the idea is to let the visual opportuniy be available to them. That way they will start becoming familiar with the formation of the letters and with the sound and pronounciation too, thereby paving the way for reading later on.

When we do our activities I say the letter and I do the sound a few times. I like her to repeat after me, but even if she doesnt its ok. When we move on to the next letter, we revise the old ones that are up on our wall. Id like to again add that even if she doesnt repeat it, I am quite satisfied that she is receiving the visual and oral stimuli.

I have introduced mixed media to my little one, it provides the sensory stimulation, I allow her to get messy and feel and experience each items unique attributes. We are using poster paints, acrylic pva, finger paints, do-a-dot paints, watercolours, oil pastels, wax crayons, glitter, stickers, appliques and embelishments, stamp markers and much much more as we go along.

We used wax twisters and embellishments.

We used do-a-dot paint bottles

We used oil pastels for the letter Cc and do-a-dot paint, stamp markers and stickers for Dd

We used poster paints, a peg and pompom

Using a glue stick and some glitter

Using heart stickers to paste on top of the big hearts and circles for the small hearts

For our letter Hh we are using multi coloured dot stickers for a good fine motor workout

Some foam stampers and poster paints for the letter Ii

All our letter of the alphabet printables can be found at Kim Lifeovercs.

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Flowers and Paint Stamping

We had quite a few flowers remaining after our dyed flowers experiment, so we decided to get creative with some flower and paint stamping. 

I offered my little girl 3 colors of paint and 3 flowers to stamp to her hearts delight.

We used poster paints from Woolworths. And the same white sprays we used in our dye experiment. 

It started out neat…

And turned into a beautiful mess…

Giant Perler Bead Fine Motor Activity

Giant Perler Beads and Design Plate

I absolutely love the creativity sparked from Perler Beads. We bought some pretty designs for my older kids. Although i found the beads to be too little in size for my toddler until i came accross what i refer to as Giant Perler Beads available from Dischem, smaller bead sets for older kids available at PerlerBeads.co.za

I chose the heart design specifically because i assumed my toddler wouldn’t necessarily want to fill the design plate according to the pattern card that is underneath. Toddlers are rather random little characters. The other patterns were: puppy, kitty and pony and i thought that they would deserve some conformity to the pattern guide.

So anyway we went with the heart.

Set up as an activity tray for my toddler

This is the design plate with blunt spikes to hold the allocated beads. This particular one is for the smaller Perler Beads

Basically the design plate is made up of little blunt spikes on top of which u place the beads. It is necessary to fill the entire plate with beads. However for older kids who want to create smaller different patterns(which can be googled for some very interesting designs and ideas) it would be necessary to make sure that all the beads are adjacent to each other-the reason for this is that the final step is to infact iron over the design. This causes the beads to melt on contact with the heat from the iron and join to the adjacent bead thereby forming a single unit. If however there are any gaps the bead will not have anything to stick to.

Randomly placing beads on the heart shaped design plate

So basically once your little ones design is complete, turn on your iron, place the ironing sheet(or some wax or baking paper) over to cover the entire plate and rub the warm iron over. You may want to gently lift the baking paper to peek underneath and see that the beads have infact joined each other. If they haven’t then turn up the heat and stroke over with the iron again. Repeating the step until the entire design is one unit.

This is how the beads look once they start melting. I may have added too much heat to the lower part of this as you can see they have melted a bit too much

It is now safe to lift the design off the plate so that u can iron the other side. Remeber to again place the ironing sheet over the design otherwise the beads will end up melting and sticking to the iron. 
We have kept our designs to use as suncatchers(by threading a string through and hanging it in an area that gets a good amount of sun, u can put them outside too) and other designs saved as little creations in the girls trinket boxes. You can also thread them onto a string so the girls could wear them as necklaces.

Completed Perler Bead Mermaid design

Purchased in themed sets or available as a bucket of beads which can be used creatively or by following designs that can be found on the internet

Snail Tissue Paper Art

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We loved getting our hand muscles working in this activity.

Preparation:
You will need:
Tissue paper cut into 5cm x 5cm squares (3 colours)
Cardstock or canvas to work on
All purpose glue
Pencil
Some googly eyes

I penciled in a snail on the cardboard but you can really do this craft with any drawing, butterfly, caterpillar, simple shapes etc

The little ones then squashed the tissue paper into “balls”, and started glueing them onto the board.

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Wonderful fine motor experience and a beautiful art achievement at the end.

I then cut out the snail and pasted it onto the family tree we painted on our garage wall.

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Mixed Media Art

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Mixed Media Art by my 6 year old.
We used different mediums to create this work of art.

1. Mummy drew some clouds on a piece of contact paper and 6year old cut them out and pasted them onto some paper.
2. We mixed some powder paint and threw in some glitter and she got painting. After which we removed the contact paper (you can see we didnt press down firmly to begin with-hence the smudges)
3. We cut some plain white cardboard into 3 rectangles and colored with brown oil pastels for the baskets.
4. I drew some balloons on coloured cardstock and she cut these out and pasted it above.