I use coloring pages in the lesson plans every week because it’s always been hard to get my oldest to stay on track and be interested with lessons. She always wants to do her own thing her own way. Therefore I keep the coloring pages simple so she can draw in her own images however she wants, as she reads the words. By saying hey lets color together she doesn’t feel as pressured by it, and begins to cut up the pages however she wants working on scissor skills as well.
My daughter’s and I finished our apple tree theme coloring pages for the month of September last week. I try to use simple sentences to help my oldest practice her reading skills on most the reading coloring pages. This set I decided I wanted to throw in a little bit of shape recognition for my youngest therefore I made a simple tree using shapes and labeled everything for my oldest to look at the words.
If interested in checking out more apple theme learning ideas and activities click the images below.
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My daughter recognizes and is able to recall the letters of the alphabet although at times she gets mixed up and it takes her time to remember each letter right away. Therefore I’ve been trying to come up with ways to add in alphabet activities throughout the day that are fun and entertaining for her.
With October about a week away I decided to make a zombie theme game for alphabet recognition. I try to switch out the games monthly or every few months to keep it new and interesting by implementing a new theme.
Save the Brains: Zombie Theme Alphabet Recognition Game. (Scroll towards bottom of page for free printable.)
Brain Tokens: Are used to make the game go a little faster. Especially when using both the lowercase and uppercase decks at the same time. When a player runs out of brain tokens the game is over and each player can begin to count the number of people cards in their house. Boy cards are lowercase. Lower case Zombies I chose to use letters that kids often get mixed up the most for example lowercase b, d, are tricky and often are mistaken for each other. Girl cards are uppercase. For uppercase Zombie cards I chose to use the back portion of the alphabet kids tend to receive more exposure to uppercase A B C D therefore I wanted to give extra attention to the letters further back in the alphabet.
Game setup. -Each player gets a house game board to place the people cards they collect. -Pass out an even number of brains to each player. -Shuffle the cards and lay them face down.
Objective of the game is to get as many people to safety as possible. At end of game work on simple counting skills by counting up all your people cards on game board. Whomever has the most wins.
Game Play Youngest player goes first. Draw a card from the game deck. Person card: Read the letter on the card out loud. For extra game play ask the child to name the letter sound as well. When finished the player places that card in their house. If the child gets the letter wrong depending on their age and where they are in their alphabet learning journey you can allow them to place it in their house anyways, or tell them to place the card back in the game deck to try again later. Zombie Card: If the child gets the letter wrong they lose a brain token. If they say the letter correctly they can steal another players brain to feed to the zombie. If you get a zombie card you can challenge your child to a race down the hallway in a circle etc. If you win the race you get one of their brain tokens. If you lose the zombie eats your brain token.
The first time we played the game I used only the uppercase letter cards to quiz her in a way that didn’t feel like a quiz in order to find out which if any uppercase letters she needed extra help with. She was able to name each one, a few of them she needed help with the letters sound. Therefore I wrote that down in order for more review later. She asked me why there weren’t any boy cards, I explained to her I made all the uppercase letters girls, and all lower case letter boys and that eventually we’d mix both decks together. I chose to do all upper case girls and all lowercase boys in order to be able to quickly sort the cards whenever needed to easily pull out upper or lower case cards.
In the upper case pack I made a y and z zombie because I had 24 people squares to work with. The rest of the zombies I used letters at the end of the alphabet because the first several letters A-D kids are introduced to often through early learning toys and things like that.
We played the game the next day with lowercase letters (boy cards) in order to test her knowledge on lower case letters. The font I used threw her off when it came to the letter q so we talked about how each letter can look a little bit different depending on fonts. Besides that she was able to name each one. She still needs more practice in order to recognize each letter instantly sometimes it takes her a minute staring at the letter before she calls out the correct name other times she’ll say the abc’s in alphabetical order out loud till she comes to the correct letter.
My husband, oldest daughter, and I all colored in our own game boards after I laminated each for durability.
Books above are fun Halloween themed books my daughter’s enjoy reading with me.
P is for Princess is a book my daughters read with me often and enjoy flipping all the flaps. The magnetic letter board is a toy both my daughter’s enjoy playing with and has helped my oldest work on writing letters of the alphabet.
Please remember all activities found on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are meant to be done with adult supervision and are for personal use only. (I am a participant in Amazon Affiliates program and any qualifying purchases made through Amazon affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
Apples and apple trees are the main theme I chose to go with for the month of September. Last week I made and printed off these five apple themed coloring pages for my daughters. Each coloring page contains simple sentences to help my oldest work on her reading skills in a fun less lesson based way.
For more apple themed ideas and activities click the images below.
Please remember anything found on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com is meant to be done with adult supervision and all printable activities coloring pages etc. are for personal use only. (I am a participant in Amazon Affiliates Program and any qualifying purchases made through Amazon Affiliated links I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
My daughter chose the continent of Europe as our focus continent for the month of September. She picked it out on her puzzle globe. We had started studying a new country each week before summer as summer approached I decided to take a break and start back up during school time.
I had difficulty finding child level videos to introduce my children to the Croatian language therefore I don’t have a link to share. My oldest daughter is interested in castles and since Croatia is known for Castles I made several simple reading coloring pages with a castle theme.
The puzzle globe we have is neat and both my daughters enjoy taking off the pieces and making a mess of it, that’s the issue though since it’s more of a toy concept it’s sometimes hard to follow as far as getting the information of continents and where countries are located to sink into my kids heads. Therefore I recently bought a set of two posters one being a map of the world, and the other a map of the United States because that’s where we live. I hung them on our living room wall with velcro command strips that we can take them down whenever we want to look at and talk about continents and countries.
Please remember any activities found on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are meant to be done with adult supervision. Also any printable activities are for personal use only. (I am a participant in Amazon Affiliates program and any qualifying purchases made through Amazon links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
My oldest daughter started online Kindergarten this week. It helped that we had set a foundation during our homeschool preschool lessons, although it wasn’t always an easy time to get her to follow through with lessons I had planned. Her having a real teacher this year rather than just me I think will help get her to follow through with her lessons because she can’t use the excuse this isn’t even real school, as she often did over the years during our homeschool preschool lessons and play time. This week I’ve been able to explain to her this is what your teacher expects you to do, and the extra stuff we do is all suggested and expected by your teacher in order for you to be promoted to First Grade.
Below are some of the simple things we did throughout the week to reinforce learning in fun ways.
In addition to the lesson plans provided by my daughter’s teacher I made coloring pages for the week for both my daughters to do together. I kept in line with our personal theme of the month apple trees and used that to reinforce key concepts from her school lessons.
In art my oldest daughter learned about the key elements of art therefore I decided to create an additional art activity to reinforce the concept further. We made apple trees with construction paper together, the night before I made the sample in order to explain and point out the key elements and how they’re used within the apple tree construction paper picture. We used construction paper and glue for extra fine motor and scissor practice.
Materials we used to make the apple tree art. –Blue construction paper to glue everything onto. (Blue sky background.) –Green construction paper for the grass and the tree top. for the grass I drew a curved wavy line in sharpie for my daughter to follow and cut out. I drew a curvy line with a straight line at the bottom for my daughter to cut out the tree top. –Brown construction paper cut into a rectangle for the trees trunk. I drew an outline of a rectangle in sharpie onto a brown piece of paper. –Orange and white construction paper. For the sun I drew a circle on white paper, that I glued onto orange paper. On orange paper I drew angled lines around the white circle and then cut it out following the angled lines resulting in the sun. –Red construction paper for the apples or red dots which ever is preferred. –Sharpie –Glue
I made five different coloring pages the idea is to do a different coloring page each day, some days we end up doing two and none the next depending on my kids moods. I use the coloring pages to provide more simple reading into my daughters day outside of her reading lesson time. Coloring pages are a great way to include my youngest daughter although she often just grabs her sisters coloring pictures and makes a mess. At her age it’s just about exposing her to crayons and prewriting skills.
Please remember that all activities on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are meant to be done with adult supervision. Also any printable activities on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are meant for personal use only.
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Click images below for more apple tree themed fun ideas.
For the last few years I’ve been focused on preparing my oldest daughter for Kindergarten which meant I spent most our time working on letter recognition, numbers, shapes, colors, talking about emotions, trying to cover all the basics. Something I often overlooked was the importance of exposing her to other cultures and languages. I believe the more exposure a person has, the more likely they will have an open mind and respect for other people and cultures. Most rudeness and disrespect happens due to ignorance. Therefore a few months ago my husband and I began briefly introducing another country to our children weekly. In order to learn new information, become culturally evolved and begin to explore the concept that English isn’t the only language spoken.
We took a break over the summer, and started up last week. This time the plan is to pick four countries a month from the same continent. My daughter chose Europe. I just continued where we left off which brought us to week 8.
Continent: Europe Week 8 Belgium Week 9 Croatia Week 10 Iceland Week 11 Sweden
Since the week we studied Belgium was my oldest daughters last week before starting school, I kept the lessons short and simple. I started off by reading off a simple culture sheet about Belgium.
On Friday at the end of the week, I gave my daughters five Belgium themed coloring pages to color together that my oldest daughter could read for an additional reading lesson. I choose any facts or foods or anything that my daughter can relate to that corresponds with the country.
Since this was my oldest daughters last week before starting Kindergarten we kept it simple yet informative. I started off the week by using the apple tree life cycle unit I posted previously. I figured for the month of September it’ll be all about apple trees. My youngest will be turning 2 in November therefore I try to give her information, without making it way to informative because she’s still really young.
For a fun craft activity my daughters and I made simple apple trees out of toilet paper and paper towel rolls. We used toilet paper rolls to represent dwarf trees, and the paper towel roll to represent a standard size apple tree. My youngest daughter enjoyed grabbing the dot stickers, giving her an opportunity to work on fine motor skills.
Using two sizes allowed me to talk more about the concept of big and small with my youngest.
What we used to make the apple trees… -toilet paper roll (dwarf tree) -paper towel roll (standard size tree) -dot stickers for the apples you could also use construction paper instead. -duct tape or glue -green construction paper for top of the tree, cut in the shape of a bush. -scissors
We tried gluing the construction paper to the toilet paper and paper towel rolls, we couldn’t get it to stick fully so we ended up pulling out the duct tape. It’s my oldest daughters favorite, and that worked to keep the construction paper attached to the empty rolls.
Each day we colored a coloring page. The pages represent each stage of an apple trees life cycle in simple sentences to incorporate reading in a fun way for my oldest daughter. She is at the age in which I’m exposing her to as much reading as possible. The coloring pages I used for this week are the same ones I shared in the apple tree life cycle unit.
Please remember any printable activities found on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are for personal use only, and are meant to be done with adult supervision. (I am a participant in Amazon Affiliates Program and any qualifying purchases made though Amazon links I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
Teaching my daughter the alphabet wasn’t a quick simple process. It took a few years of mixed strategies to get the alphabet to stick inside her brain. I never concentrated on teaching her the ABC song because I didn’t want her to only remember the sequence of letters I wanted to make sure she actually recognized the letters themselves. We did the letter of the week concept several times before it actually sunk in with her.
Now about two years since we began our alphabet journey she knows her letters and their letter sounds. It took practice and constant repetition. After we completed a letter of the week practice a few times through she then began her learning to read journey. In which my husband and I bought a 50 first sight words box set.
In order to motivate her and get her excited about learning the letters of the alphabet and their sounds I made weekly letter of the week goodie bags.
Goodie bag ideas… -temporary tattoos beginning with the letter of the week -alphabet stamps -alphabet acorns -dot stickers with the corresponding letter written on them
At the time my oldest daughter received her alphabet goodie bags my youngest was less than a year old, although she was real young I wanted to include her in the learning fun therefore my husband and I bought her alphabet cloth tiles to give her a new one each week as her special alphabet surprise.
For a good letter of the week foundation you don’t really need to do anything fancy you don’t even have to be all that creative about it. Each week you can draw a letter on a piece of paper and have them trace it with finger paint, markers, a paint brush, whatever they want to use. Talk to them about the sound of the letter, and mention words that start with that letter. Ask them what words they can think of.
If you want to do something a little more fancy then just tracing basic letters, you can turn letters into simple animals, foods, whatever you and your child can think of. My daughter decided to draw a cat for the letter C. Just have fun and remember it’s not about being perfect it’s just about exposing children to letters and beginning sounds often because the more exposure the better chance they will remember it.
Below are books that my daughter enjoyed reading, in which really helped her to recognize letters.
Below are posters my husband and I recently bought to help promote additional letter recognition practice and to focus in on learning sight words and vowels.
Below are games and tools I used to help keep my daughter’s interest.
My daughter enjoyed the alphabet bean bags, sometimes we would throw them in a laundry basket or a little bucket as she would call out the letter. Other times she would make us an alphabet road we both had to follow and avoid touching the floor.
Another activity that kept her interest involved placing alphabet magnets into a small container and fishing them out using a toy magnetic fishing pole. Sometimes we would use alphabet cards she had to read off and match different pictures and letters to. In the beginning I only placed 4-8 letters in the pretend ocean at a time.
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I’m always trying to come up with more ways to reinforce letter sounds and alphabet recognition in ways that are fun and feel more game like rather than an actual learning lesson. I have been promising my oldest a garden themed game for awhile.
Build a Scarecrow: Alphabet Garden
Whomever builds their scarecrow first wins. Pick a card from the garden if it is a clothing piece for example a shirt pick out the colored shirt you want and place it on your scarecrow.
If a player chooses the seeds card then they get to pick two more cards from the garden.
If a player chooses the crow card then they lose a clothing piece, if they do not have a clothing piece place the crow back into the garden.
If a player chooses a vegetable, fruit, plant, or flower card, place that card on the correct sorting mat to add additional learning fun. Say the card out loud, name the beginning letter and sound.
Remove the crow and seed cards and instead focus on picking cards out of the garden and emphasizing on each beginning sound. Sort the vegetable, fruits, plants, and flowers onto their correct sorting mats. Every time a player gets a clothing piece place it on the scarecrow to build a scarecrow or scarecrows together. (Depending on how many you choose to print out.)
During game time we stick all of our garden cards inside of an old Halloween pumpkin bucket and pick from there. Originally I had planned on writing the letter of each playing card on the back of the card for a better visual of the beginning letter for my youngest. I forgot to do so before laminating all the cards, it still works because the picture side of the card does have the beginning letters and the written word on it.
When we start the game we stick all the playing cards into the bucket, and leave out all the scarecrow clothing pieces on a garden mat I made out of felt to go along with the game. As we pull out the scarecrow clothing cards from the bucket, we then leave those on the mat making it our discard pile, that way the pieces don’t end up back in the bucket.
The image above is the scarecrow template I made. I printed it out and laminated the image. I cut the scarecrow out.
I made 4 sorting mats to add to the learning fun. -Plants and Flowers -Fruits -Vegetables -Vegetables that are also Fruits
I have a hard time remembering the best ways to explain concepts to my daughters. Therefore I made brief definition sheets to cover key talking points during the game I could add in to add more educational value. The sheets explain what fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers are, and also give brief description of each alphabet card organized within their categories (plants and flowers, fruits, vegetables, and vegetables that are fruits.)
I laminated the parts of the flower sheet for durability, I thought it was fitting to go along with everything else. A simple description of what the parts of a flower does, to go along with the garden theme.
I’ve been temporarily storing the pieces within a pocket folder, I’ve recently bought them in bulk for my oldest daughter to help stay organized for school. (I am a participant in Amazon Affiliates and any qualifying purchases through links I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)
Please remember any printable activities found on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com are for personal use only and are not to be redistributed or altered. All activities are meant to be done with adult supervision. Thanks for visiting LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com.
Recently I have been trying to plan ahead for preschool, rather than just doing activities on a whim. Recently I’ve been trying to make activities and lesson plans for the month of September in order to hold me accountable with my youngest daughter. To make sure I’m constantly talking about colors, numbers, shapes, math, and science. I know when my oldest starts online Kindergarten in September it will take up much of mine and my husbands time keeping her on track with her assigned lesson plans by her teacher. It’s been hard keeping her on track with her reading lessons, let alone an entire course curriculum. By planning ahead, I’ll have readily available lesson plans to make sure we stay on point with our youngest daughter as well.
My plan has been to create preschool lesson plans with a monthly theme. That covers the basics. September I chose apple trees. In this post I’m going to share themed activities that go along with the life cycle of an apple tree.
I made printable life cycle cards that can be cut out and laminated to be re-used throughout the month as a simple sequencing activity to lightly discuss the concept of what comes first, what happens last, etc.
I made an apple counting activity with Nana Hedgehog. In which I used four different colors of apples; red, green, yellow, and pink. I laminated the activity for durability and I wanted to be able to change the number of apples to feed Nana Hedgehog. I wanted a counting activity that went along with the month theme that we could use often and would hold my daughter’s interest.
I also made five coloring pages to go along with the Life Cycle of an Apple Tree. The plan is to color and cut up one coloring page a day, that way I’m sure my youngest is exposed to crayons and a simply coloring/drawing activity daily. I try to design the coloring pages to have empty space, to allow my daughters to draw what they want on the pages. Most coloring pages have simple sentences designed to help my oldest get reading time in without feeling as if its work.
I will have more apple themed coloring pages and or activities within the upcoming weeks available for download.
Any printable activities on LearningWithNanaHedgehog.com is for personal use only. All activities are meant to be done with adult supervision. (I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program and any qualifying purchases through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no extra cost to you.)