- Education and Science
"G" Is For Gumball-Letter "G" Activities For Kids
Grandma And Gumballs
Learning the entire alphabet is overwhelming for a young tot, so breaking each letter down into fun recognition activities trumps ho-hum memorization techniques.
We introduced the letter "G" with our usual cut and paste activity. These worksheets are great because the letters to trace are very large for young learners who are struggling to hold writing utensils properly. Children should be exposed to a variety of writing mediums, so change up this weekly activity by using pencils, markers, crayons, Crayola Twistables, or even finger paint to practice tracing the letter. One thing kindergarten teachers will tell you is many children enter school with very little practice cutting. Kindergartners spend a great deal of time coloring, cutting, pasting, and following directions, so this worksheet supports all of those learning outcomes. Younger children do better with glue sticks for this activity, but older kids can use regular glue to practice judging the amount they need to complete the task. Believe it or not, that's a skill we take for granted! Give a young child a glue bottle, and his worksheet will become a white, murky mote!
Kids LOVE play-doh, so use it whenever you can. We practiced rolling play-doh into a snake and then forming it into upper and lowercase "Gs." If this is too hard initially, use the same worksheet referenced above as a template to lay the play-doh on so they can envision the correct "G" formation more easily.
Our first "G" book of the week wasHow to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan. If you prefer, the author also has a sequel entitled, How to Babysit a Grandpa. These books are darling and remind your little ones of all the fun they have with grandma and grandpa. If your child is old enough to draw, ask them to draw a picture of their favorite activity to do with grandma or grandpa.
If your preschooler is a boy who loves cars, print a highway G for him to race his cars on--the creator has provided a free link to all of the ABCs for this activity.
While you're driving on the ABC freeway, introduce a new shape with the same highway theme. We learned the crescent shape this week, but the site provide free highway pages for several shapes.
Even though I'm a stickler about books that use letters with the correct phonetic sound we are studying, I couldn't resist reading the fun book, Giraffes Can't Dance. We focused on letter recognition of "G" rather than the sound with this book (since it sounds like "J" instead). The main character in this story is Gerald, another "G" word. At the end of the book, we used a free giraffe template to draw dancing legs on our own giraffe. For more ideas on things to discuss before, during, and after reading this book, click here.
For craft time, we made gumball machines. Just follow the link for instructions and the free template. Here's how ours turned out:
Again, this craft teaches valuable skills essential for kindergarten--tracing, cutting, pasting, judgment of spacing, and the fine motor skill of placing pom-poms.
Finally, to wrap things up with a quick letter and number review, we used these car alphabet cards and car number cards. Print on cardstock and laminate, and you have two great sets of flashcards for your cars fan!
Modeling reading and emphasizing the importance of reading are two of the building blocks of literacy. Research has proven that the more books you include in your child's home library, the better their language development, which will boost academic achievement and even future career success. In fact, children with 500 or more books at their disposal will demonstrate significantly greater success during the course of their education. In this technological age, books are being removed from classrooms, schools are creating bookless libraries, and textbooks are being replaced with iPads. More than ever, it's critical for you to keep books in your child's hands and in your students' hands. Cradling a book in hand, thumbing through pages, pouring over text and pictures is a literary symphony that cannot be replicated through a screen. Put books in the hands of the next generation. Books like the ones listed below--How to Babysit a Grandma and Giraffes Can't Dance--are fun and engaging stories that will help your learners cultivate a love for reading.