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.

Easy no-cook Playdough

Playdough creations using the recipe below

Recipe:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbps cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Food color (i use cakeflora gel colors)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup boiling water (add 1 cup and mix and then add the balance)

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Add the oil
  • Add some food color
  • Add 1 of the 1 & 1/2 cups of boiling water on top of the food colour (this helps to dilute it so it colors easily) and then mix
  • Add the balance 1/2 cup of water slowly to the dough until the desired feel is achieved (you may notice that you dont use all of the 1/2 cup)
  • Knead well and store in airtight plastic or containers.

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…

Baby On-the-Go Family Album 0-2 yrs

On-the-Go baby photo album joined by a key ring and some teething links

I made this sweet little baby family photo album when my now toddler was around 11 months old. She was absolutely fascinated to see pictures of herself. In fact she was simply fascinated to see pictures of all of us.

To make one of these (and i promise it is worth it) you will need:

  • Everyday Photo paper
  • Printer
  • Laminator and laminating pouch
  • Key ring
  • Some teething links

Select the pictures you would like to use and paste each one into a word document (preferrably each one on its own page). I used 3 pictures of my toddler and 1 of each of the other family members (mum, dad, grandma and siblings).

Add in a text box under the picture with each persons name and relationship e.g My Sister – Iman underneath Imans photo.

I then proceeded to print on some everyday photo paper. 

These sheets are A4 in size and i chose to print 4 pictures on each page. So basically each picture with caption resulted in being A6 in size perfect for little hands to hold comfortably. I laminated the pictures before cutting them. And then punched a single hole in the top left corner. Put them onto a key ring and then attached the teething links. I clipped the end onto her stroller while we were out and about.

This very same album can be made for older kids too by continually adding favourite photos to the key ring. 

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

Yellow Tinker Tray and Playdough Invitation to Play

Yellow Tinker Tray and Playdough

After learning a particular concept like colours, shapes, animals etc i like to reinforce my tots knowledge and understanding by setting up trays that combine a number of learnt concepts into one. Today we focussed on the colour yellow, the square, rectangle and circle shapes and of course our little duck which she is all too familiar with but since its yellow i thought it gave me the opportunity to question her about its colour.

The playdough (like playdough always is) was a fun fine motor exercise. The suction beads also offered a good workout on the little hand muscles and the rectangular links worked great for some hand eye coordination. We are paving the way for some handwriting to come.

Tiny little finger muscles getting a workout

Sealife and Playdough Invitation to Play

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Sea animals, seashells and pebbles cpupled with playdough make the perfect invitation to play

I love the vibrance and educational benefit that Invitation trays offer toddlers. It gives them a constructive opportunity to explore, create and play.

♡It is a wonderful tool to build their imagination.
♡Playdough offers a great fine motor workout for their tiny fingers
♡They are given the opportunity to explore new ‘little’ worlds through themed trays (like the seaworld one above)
♡Great vocabulary builders (i love the opportunity to talk to my little tot about sealife and introduce her to new sea animals like the octopus, seahorse and turtle)
♡Builds concentration span

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Homemade playdough recipe can be found under search item ‘playdough’.

Flower Planter Sensory Activity

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I set up this sensory planter for my toddler today. I placed the big flower water sprinkler into a pot plant filled with riversand. I then invited her to come and plant the other little flowers. I am sure you can tell that we are trying to soak up as much of summer as we can before winter sets in. I am now going to attach the waterhose to the flower sprinkler for some fun in the sun.

Little Blue Truck

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Little Blue Truck - by Alice Schertle

|The Little Blue Truck – by Alice Schertle|
Storyline: This book is about a kind Little Blue Truck who is always helpful and assists a hasty big Dump Truck from getting out of trouble.
Learning areas: lifeskills (kindness, friendliness and helpfullness), animals and their sounds
Read aloud story
Age group: 2-5 years old
Activities: @simplylearning
See: Simply Learning Kids
Available from: Readers Warehouse South Africa

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Sneak preview of the inside

DIY Chalk Paint

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Today we made chalkpaint. I didnt have the usual ingredients for it so we made a compromised version:
2 parts water
1 part cornflour
Foodcolour (Although i added more conflour about a tablespoon extra because i found it too runny)
This paint is super awesome if filled in squeeze bottles like in the picture above. Offers a good amount of hand-muscle work and is loads of fun too.

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When using it on your sidewalk it will turn white when dry. You need to only spray some water to clean up.