Each year about this time, kids across the country are preparing to go back to school. At KinderCare children are getting a jumpstart on learning by doing some fun summer activities to prepare for kindergarten. Some of these activities include reviewing the letters of the alphabet. The review encourages school readiness for children who are starting kindergarten in September.
At the KinderCare centers, children will spend two weeks in August reviewing alphabet letters and sounds through a series of fun learning activities using music, read-alouds, outdoor activities, dramatic play, and more. Even if the children are already familiar with the alphabet, reviewing it will make them feel confident and competent so they’re ready to take on the new school year.
This is a great activity for children who love to learn through movement and active games.
Use sidewalk chalk to write three sets of letters—like D, E, and F—on the sidewalk. You can mix upper and lowercase letters if you like. Make the first set of letters about 12 inches tall; the second set about 18 inches; and the third, largest, set about 24 inches tall. Leave some space between the letters. It should look something like this:
Then invite your child to leap over the letters. Begin with the smallest letter set, and call out a letter, “E!” for your child to jump over. Encourage your child to repeat the letter name and then make the letter sound as he leaps; and when he lands, he can say the letter name again. Demonstrate this for your child, if needed. Continue drawing new sets of letters and leaping over them.
When my sons were little they loved drawing with sidewalk chalk. I wish I had known about this activity when they were learning their letters because it sounds like it would be so much fun for a young child!
Heading to the park? This activity turns the outing into an alphabet adventure!
With your child’s help, write uppercase and lowercase letters on separate sheets of paper—like j, J, k, K, and l, L. Now bring the papers outdoors or to the park with you. Let your child pick a letter sheet and invite your child to use natural materials, like twigs, bark, leaves, sand, or rocks, to cover the outline of the letter. When he is finished, ask your child to name his letter and make the letter’s sound.
You could make this activity like a scavenger hunt! Have your child hunt for the natural materials and then use them to make the outline of the letters. How fun!
Get creative! This is a great project that the whole family can work on together.
A journal or large notebook
Drawing and Writing tools
(To make your own: fold drawing paper inside a sheet of construction paper and staple along the side to bind the pages together.)
Working over a few weeks, create a family alphabet book together! You may wish to focus on one or two letters a day.
On the left-hand side of the page, have your child write the letters, assisting as needed. Leave the right-hand side blank. This is where your family can create magazine collages of pictures that begin with the letter, or draw pictures, write words, names, or places you want to visit. Get creative!
When your book is complete, read through it, identifying letters and illustrations together. Ask your child to imagine a title and write it on the first page of the book. Below the title, write “written and illustrated by” and invite your child to sign his or her name.
I love activities that involve the entire family! Something like this will be a precious keepsake for when your child grows up.
Activities like these are both fun and educational. Your child will love to take part and may not even realize he or she is learning. For more activities and to learn about KinderCare Centers or to find one in your area visit – adventureahead.kindercare.com.