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Preschool Activities: Use Snacks And Crafts To Teach ABCs

Everyone knows that it is important to teach children the letters of the alphabet. After all, it is clearly an important building block for learning to read and other early education milestones.

Even children who know their alphabet need to be regularly reminded and challenged with the letters in various order.

The challenge is finding a way to teach preschoolers that is both effective and fun. Most early childhood educators do not recommend buying flashcards or expensive educational tools. Effective preschool education makes learning fun and friendly.

There are three simple methods you need to employ for effective preschool learning and these can be done with things you already have in your own home. Young children learn best if you use these three simple methods: see it, say it, experience it.

This means that in order to teach your preschooler the alphabet you need to let them see the letters -- both in order and out of order. Then you must say the letter and the child must also say it. Finally, in order for the child to really understand the letters of the alphabet he must also experience it. This means employing the senses.

You can use food and crafts to help your child experience the letters of the alphabet by seeing the shape and creating the shape in three-dimensions as well as eating food that either starts with the chosen "letter" or is in the shape of the letter.

For example, why not have your child munch on carrots and candy corn while gluing cotton balls into the shape of the letter "C"? Or perhaps blow bubbles, glue beans in the shape of a "B", and then eat banana splits?

Some other ideas include:

W snacks like waffles, whipped cream, and watermelon; Y snacks like yogurt, yellow cake, and yeast rolls; and Z snacks like zucchini bread, Zesta crackers, and zwieback toast.

Making three dimensional art projects using kite strings and kidney beans for "K"; leaves, lace, lima beans, lids, letter stamps, and shoe laces for "L"; and play money, material, macaroni, and moon shapes for "M".

Be creative and let your child's imagination roam free in your kitchen and with your craft supplies. Once you start looking around your home (and grocery store) for alphabet teaching "tools" you might be surprised at how many ways you can teach your child the alphabet.

While teaching your child the alphabet is an important part of teaching your child to read and preparing for their education, it does not need to be difficult, boring, or expensive for you or your child. It can be fun and easy if you use the world around you and foods and crafts you have in your home.

Deanna Mascle shares many ABC learning activities and ABC Games at her blog

Preschool Crafts FAQ

Question: Preschool crafts?
Hi I wondering what kind of back to school projects or crafts I can do with my preschool? The easier the better.

Answer: Have them paint school house cut out (You know the red ones with a bell on top.) && make them paint the school and put their picture where the door is suppose to get the idea.

Question: What are some good preschool crafts and activities that I can do with my students?
I teach in an inclusive preschool that has both typical students and students with special needs between the ages of 2.5 and 5. I am looking for some activities or crafts that focus on the letter C or D. Any ideas from projects that your children have done in preschool are welcome. Thanks.

Answer: clay (work with clay to build fine motor skills)
collages (let the kids rip tissue paper, cut pictures, etc)
candy catchers (take jolly rancher hard candy and put them in a zip-pie bag. one for each child. let the kids crush them with a small mallet. put a cookie cutter on a piece of wax paper and let the child fill with candy. bake until the candy has melted. glue a string to the back. sun-catchers!!)
cookies (let the kids add the ingredients and mix, then bake)

draw with crayons, markers, chalk
dance to music
decorate something (baby food jar: cut small pieces of tissue paper. water down some glue and let the kids paint on the pieces of tissue. overlap them. looks like stained glass. great for presents)
decorate a hat (have each child bring a hat (or white shirt) from home to decorate with fabric paints, sequins, etc.

Question: What to make at a preschool craft morning that is purple?
I need a craft for a preschool story morning that has to be on the theme "purple". It needs to be fairly straight forward as they are all under 4. I have some ideas, but other than coloring a bunch of grapes I'm a little stuck, so any help and ideas are greatly appreciated.

Answer: get a pieces of paper and give one to each child. let them decorate it as they choose eg purple paper, paint, crayons, pencils, glitter cellophane (all purple) and then set them up to dry (attach a piece of sting to make a cape.. later on, like at the end of the day they can all take their "royal cloaks" home and be kings and queens etc.

Royalty was the first thing i thought of when you said purple... actually... crowns would work better.. use the same concept though. =]

Question: I am a preschool teacher and looking for Valentine crafts for my class. I want great keepsakes for the parent
I would love to incorporate handprints or footprints along with a poem on something like a claypot, apron, kitchen towel, etc.

Answer: Pictures say a thousand words... I am a huge fan of pictures of the children, especially with holiday gifts and crafts. You can use iron-on transfers (which print from your printer onto a piece of a paper then you iron it onto a fabric surface) or even simply have the children draw a picture of themselves or their family if they can do so.

My favorite poem (and I confess, I love it so much I probably over use it!):

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls

But every day I'm growing --
I'll be grown some day
And all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away

So here's a little handprint
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small

Question: What are some preschool age crafts I can do with dried noodles - some with holes, others without :)?

Answer: I used to teach preschool. These were some of my favs and the kids' too. Pasta with holes can be used for jewelry. Wagon wheels and macaroni can be fashioned into human-like characters and glued to cardboard or paper. Make a farm diorama: speghetti straw, wagon wheel wheels for vehicles (start with a cardboard base), macaroni animals. Faces... rotini makes great hair. Teeny tiny pastas (like stars) can be soaked in food color- alcohol solution; use lots of colors then let children sort and create rainbows to glue to paper. Also kids can arrange different types, glued them to cardboard, paint them, then they can create pasta frames for their art.

Question: Any ideas for VBS preschool crafts?
The theme is missions. How to serve your family, neighbors, community, friends and Jesus. Any suggestions would be appreciated

Answer: here's a suggestion but you need an adult for the iron...let the children cut out pictures of flowers, animals whatever. then the teacher or an assistant helps them to design them in a pattern you take the pictures and cut wax paper, the size of place mats, put the pictures in the middle, have some one press these between the wax paper, they make cute little mats, i let them add typed bible verses that i prepared before hand they looked really cute, and you can make them with colored peace symbols, crosses, etc...good luck with being crafty!!

Question: Does anyone have any simple preschool craft ideas?
I'm having a birthday party for my son who is turning 4. I don't want to send the usual boring goody bag with junk that is going to be forgotten 5 minutes after they get home. I want to send them home with a simple inexpensive but fun homemade craft including everything they need. Any ideas?

Answer: Well, when I was 5, I remember that the very first woodworking project I did was to "build" a boat to float on a pond. I actually found the appropriate shaped piece of excess wood in my father's shop cast-offs, and managed to attach a "mast" to it and make a sail out of paper.

Maybe you could put the already cut and shaped pieces of wood into goody bags, with glue and paper and some poster paint to personalize the sail. I'd suggest including instructions for the parents to follow to help their sons put their boats together.

Question: Arts and crafts idea for preschool?
I am taking a child development class right now in high school and i need to come up with a creative activity to do with my 2-5 year olds... any ideass?

Answer: Popcicle sticks,buttons,feathers make picture frames.

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