20 Eric Carle Craft Projects for Kids

 

We are in love with the author Eric Carle, so I thought it would be fun to put together 20 Eric Carle craft projects for kids that go with his books.

Literacy is a very important part of our toddler and preschool curriculum. We read several books each day and often will invite the children to create a craft that connects to one of them. Our 3 year olds also enjoy circle time activities that go with the books, and we will also extend related activities to other areas of our classroom, such as the light table and writing table. We even add literacy to our block corner. Our goal is to set a firm foundation for the love of books that will stay with our students their entire lives.

 

Eric Carle Crafts

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

20 Eric Carle Craft Projects for Kids:

 

More resources:

 

More activities that go with books:

kids cooking      Water Activity for Kids      rainbow+fruit+8.jpg

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Winter Bear Dramatic Play Activity

We love to use our dramatic play area for acting out ideas connected to our current theme. After reading one of our favorite books, Bear Snores On, we put together a winter bear dramatic play activity.

We added a great big stuffed bear along with smaller stuffed animals. Since we read the book prior to turning our dramatic play area into a bear’s den, the children were ready to role play what happened in the book.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Winter Bear Dramatic Play Activity

So much learning can take place through play. The dramatic play area is especially popular because the children can use their imaginations as they act out various scenes. When they can tie it in with something they recently experienced in real life, or a book we just read, it becomes that much more meaningful.

I cannot take the credit for this year’s bear’s den. My creative co-teacher decorated a big box, complete with fiberfill on the top to mimic snow. She displayed photos of real bears and we had bear picture books nearby.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

We asked the children to bring in a favorite stuffed animal. As they arrived, they placed their animals in a basket near the den.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

And that’s when they noticed a great big bear sleeping in the cave, just like in the book. To say they were excited is an understatement!

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

After our morning meeting, we invited the children to visit the den. They pulled the bear out and brought their own animals into the den. They pretended to be sleeping, waking up, leaving the den, and returning.

Many times.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

As we got ready to go to gym, we placed the big bear and his friends back in the den for a nap.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

When we returned from gym, bear had awakened and was out of the den, reading a book! We never did figure out how that bear got into the chair…. hmm….

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

We then made bears at the art table.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

And made a bear den bulletin board.

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

So much learning going on through play!

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

Winter Dramatic Play with Bear's Den

More ideas to try:

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens      Watercolor-Snowflakes - Winter art for kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     20 winter crafts for preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Winter Activities for Preschool Circle Time

When planning winter activities for preschool circle time, we make sure to include kids songs, stories, and learning ideas. Circle time is a great way to help build language and social skills while also learning new concepts. Each day our preschoolers hear at least one story, sing songs and/or recite finger plays, have the opportunity to hold and flip though books, and have short discussions. Some days we also have one sharing person and we will also play a large group game or involve all the children in some sort of activity.

winter circle time ideas

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

 

Are you planning your preschool winter curriculum? You will want to make sure to pin this as a resource!

 

 

Winter Activities for Preschool Circle Time

kids winter activities

Winter activities for circle time:

 

 

preschool winter books

Winter books to read at circle time:

 

More winter ideas:

Preschool Bear Theme   winter themed sensory table   winter learning activities

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




17 Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

One of the questions I hear often from other early childhood teachers is how can we teach preschoolers how to read. Really, it’s about exposing them to a print-rich environment and plenty of playful literacy activities. We do this all year long, changing some of them so they reflect the current season or theme. With winter approaching us, I thought I’d put together a collection of 17 fun winter literacy activities for preschoolers. These can be done in the preschool classroom or at home.

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

17 Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Please note that some of these activities are a bit more advanced for preschoolers who are ready to sound out letters or start recognizing simple words. Wait to use these until you feel they are appropriate.

 

This snowball name activity also strengthens fine motor skills. (Fun-a-Day)

After reading The Mitten, invite your preschoolers to do some visual sequencing of the story. (Play to Learn Preschool)

Recognize letters while doing the penguin plunge activity. (Mom Inspired Life)

Download these free arctic animal word cards for a winter pocket chart. (Pre-Kinders)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Winter is a fun time for an arctic animal sensory writing tray. (Fun-a-Day)

Download these free winter writing labels to use at your writing table. (Preschool Inspirations)

Go on a letter hunt in the snow. (Coffee Cups and Crayons)

Strengthen letter recognition with this fun hot chocolate game. (Toddler Approved)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Match the letters in the alphabet with this snowman letter matching activity. (Totschooling)

Throw pretend snowballs at letters while learning letter sounds. (Mom Inspired Life)

Work on letter recognition with these free arctic animal cards. (Preschool Powol Packets)

Build your name with free snowman letter printables. (A Dab of Glue Will Do)

Write your name using ice pens. (Preschool Powol Packets)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Put together a gingerbread name activity with homemade scented playdough. (Books and Giggles)

When your preschooler has mastered letter sounds, here’s a fun snowman sight words game to try. (Sparkling Buds)

Make shadow puppets for the Gingerbread Man. (Adventure in a Box)

Practice writing letters using these fun winter tracing pages. (Learning 2 Walk)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

You can find more activities on my literacy pin board.

Bonus! Get this preschool alphabet packet today! This 245 page packet includes printables for all 26 letters of the alphabet.

For only $6.00 you can buy it now.

 preschool alphabet packet

 

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

More winter activities:

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers     20 winter crafts for preschoolers      Keep kids busy during winter break with these fun activities! - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

We  love using bells year round, but especially before Christmas, when we actually devote a week to it. We have bells at the science center, bells in the sensory bin, even bells in the block corner with Magnatiles! So when I saw the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell, I knew it would be a great way to add some literacy to this theme. I thought of a way to make easy Christmas jingle bell sticks that we could use while reading the book.

Fun, right?

I’m not sure what the preschoolers loved more: making the jingle bell sticks or ringing them while reading the story. What a great addition this was to our jingle bells theme!

 

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

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Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

What we used:

First, paint the sticks. We gave our preschoolers a choice of red and/or green.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

Let them dry.

Then, attach the jingle bells.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

I asked each preschooler to choose 4 jingle bells.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

Then it was time to thread the bells onto the chenille stems. This can be a bit of a challenge, so I was there if some help was needed.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

After the bells were threaded on the chenille stem, it was time to secure them to the stick.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

We taped one end of the chenille stem to the stick and then wrapped it around several times.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

You can secure the end of the chenille stem with more tape, or wrap it around itself a few times.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

How we used these jingle bell sticks:

As we read the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell, we rang our bells every time I read the words “swallowed a bell”. This is a great way work on comprehension skills and figuring out what comes next.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

The jingle bell sticks can then be taken home to enjoy with family while singing Christmas carols.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

More Christmas ideas for young children:

 

Easy Christmas Ideas for Little Kids     Christmas Painting Activities      Christmas Sensory Play Activities

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

Did you know that Pete the Cat author, Eric Litwin, has a brand new book? Yep! If your preschoolers love Pete, then they are going to fall in love with a dog named Groovy Joe. Ours sure did! So I put together a simple preschool math activity with Groovy Joe, ice cream, and dinosaurs.

What, wait? A dog named Groovy Joe, ice cream AND dinosaurs? In one book? Oh yes! Just wait until you see!

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

Full disclosure: I was provided a copy of Groovy Joe Ice Cream & Dinosaurs. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

About the book:

Groovy Joe Ice Cream & Dinosaurs has lots of rhyming and repetition, just like the Pete the Cat series. This book also focuses on sharing, something we talk a lot about in our preschool classroom.

What did Joe say?

“It’s Awesome to share!”

In the book, a dog named Groovy Joe spots an ice cream truck. After he sings his ice cream song, a dinosaur stomps into the room. And then another. And another! Each time, Groovy Joe shares his ice cream until it’s all gone. And then, he turns the ice cream tub upside down so it becomes a drum. Everyone starts to dance!

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

After getting our copy of Groovy Joe Dinosaurs & Ice Cream, I set up a simple math activity during our circle time.

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

I placed an ice cream container filled with some styrofoam balls and an ice cream scoop.

As we read the book and watched each dinosaur take a scoop of ice cream from Groovy Joe, I had our preschoolers remove a scoop of “ice cream” from our container.

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

Each time we counted how many scoops were now out of the container, and figured out how many were left.

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

When the container was empty, we did what Groovy Joe did.

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

We turned our ice cream container upside down and used it like a drum!

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

We ended this activity reminding ourselves how good it feels to share, just as Groovy Joe did with his ice cream.

And then … we listened to the book and had fun singing with Joe! (We’ve since listened to this several times, it’s loved THAT much.)

Preschool Math Activity with Groovy Joe

Books by Eric Litwin:


More about Eric Litwin:

Eric Litwin is the song singing, guitar strumming, #1 New York Times Best Selling author who brings early literacy and music together. He’s a former teacher who was concerned how the love of reading seemed to fade between kindergarten and third grade. He began bringing more music and interactivity into his instruction. As an author, Eric connects literacy to music and movement and uses call-and-response and repetition. He uses the Multi-Learning Approach in all of his books.

I have had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Eric on the phone and his passion and enthusiasm for children’s literacy is amazing! I’m waiting for him to visit my area so I can watch him perform in person.

Eric Litwin

Image from EricLitwin.com

Related posts:

preschool alphabet sensory play      Learning the Alphabet - Activities for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




I Want to Be a Drummer Activity

Have you ever noticed how excited preschoolers get when they can make their own creations? Even with all the fancy toys out there, give a young child some basic materials and watch what they can do with them. During group time, I put together an I Want to Be a Drummer activity, based on the new book by Mark Powers, I Want to Be a Drummer.

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

Full disclosure: I was provided a copy of I Want to Be a Drummer for review. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I Want to Be a Drummer Activity

During our morning meeting, I read I Want to Be a Drummer to our preschoolers.

We learned that young Daniel wants to be a drummer, but he doesn’t have any drums. However, that doesn’t keep him from making his own! We watched as Daniel searched his house for items he could use to build his own drum set.

Afterwards, we talked about how we don’t have a drum set in our classroom. How could we make our own?

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

We gathered some materials from our classroom and spread them out in the middle of our circle time area.

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

I called the children in groups of 4 to see how they could make a drum from the materials we collected.

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

One of my favorite parts of activities such as this is how the children collaborate. While they are working together to come up with a solution, they are building their communication skills.

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

I love how each group moved the materials around to find what worked best for them.

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

So now it’s your turn! How would your children make their own drums?

 

I Want to Be a Drummer preschool activity

I Want to Be a Drummer is available on Amazon:

 

More music and movement ideas:

music and movement for preschoolers      rhythm stick activities     Kids Learning Activities Using Music

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Favorite Books for the Preschool Classroom

Recently one of my readers messaged me asking about favorite books for the preschool classroom.

I’m desiring to make my classroom book collection more meaningful. I would wonder if you could ask your followers for the top 3 books they wouldn’t want to be without in their classroom.

And so, I posted this question on my Facebook page and got lots of wonderful responses. I’m sharing them today, along with some articles supporting the importance of reading aloud to children.

favorite books for the preschool classroom

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Favorite Books for the Preschool Classroom

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A hungry caterpillar eats his way through a large quantity of various foods until he’s finally full. He forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. When we emerges from the cocoon, he is a beautiful butterfly.

Best Books for Preschool Classroom

 

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat is wearing this favorite shirt that has four groovy buttons. When one button falls off, Pete doesn’t cry. He just keeps on singing his song. We count down as Pete eventually loses all four buttons.

Books for the Preschool Classroom

 

Owl Babies

Three baby owls wake up one night to find their mother gone. Where is she? What is she doing? When will she be back? The owls are frightened and worried until mother owl returns.

favorite books for the preschool classroom

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Four children and their father go on a bear hunt and they’re not scared!

Favorite books for the preschool classroom

 

Dear Zoo

This is a classic that is still as popular as ever with young children!

favorite books for the preschool classroom

 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Children love the boldly colored collages in this story, calling out each animal that Brown Bear sees.

favorite books for preschoolers

 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Will there be enough room when all the letters of the alphabet race up the coconut tree?

favorite preschool books

 

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Gerald the giraffe wants to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. However, with some advice from a wise cricket, Gerald learns to dance to his own sweet tune.

favorite preschool books

 

Little Blue Truck

Young children love Blue, a little pick-up truck. When Blue gets stuck in the muck, his animal friends help get him back on the road.

favorite books for preschoolers

 

Not a Box

A box may seem like just a box … until it because something like a rocket ship or anything your imagination allows.

preschool favorite books

 

More Favorite Books for the Preschool Classroom


Articles about reading aloud to children:

 

favorite books for the preschool library

 

More literacy ideas:

Best Books for Kids to Sing With      Rhyming Picture Books for Preschoolers     Favorite Fingerplays for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




10 Rubber Ducks Sensory Play

Rubber ducks in a bubble bath? In the sensory bin? Oh yes, that’s exactly what our toddlers and preschoolers enjoyed with our 10 rubber ducks sensory play.

Sounds perfect for spring, right?

But this water activity also connected to one of our favorite books, 10 Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle. While listening to the story, we see how rubber ducks are made in a factory and loaded onto a freighter. Stormy weather causes 10 of the rubber ducks to fall overboard. The ducks separate and we follow one duck’s journey to find his mother. And so, when we put together our water activity, we made sure we had 10 rubber ducks, pretending they were separating in the sea. “Ducks overboard!”

We aren’t the only ones who’ve had fun with this book. Scroll down to see what others have done!

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

10 Rubber Ducks Sensory Play

 

What you will need for this activity:

Introducing this water activity:

During our morning meeting, we read 10 Little Rubber Ducks. We counted the ducks, we talked about how it would feel to be in the water, lost. Truly, this book connects to many concepts!

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

We then invited the children to enjoy playing with the ducks in our sensory table.

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

As with our lavender salt activity, there are so many soothing ideas for the sensory table. Warm water is always popular with our toddlers and preschoolers. They are drawn to its soft touch, to the gentle sounds of water pouring.

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

 

And if you know me from my other posts, I just love to add materials that get those hands ready for writing! Wringing water from sponges is an excellent way to do just that. You can see in the photos how hard the hands are working.

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

Because we had just read the book, I could hear some of the children reciting the book, moving the water like the ocean.

 

Water Activity for Kids

Water Activity for Kids

 

 

And then, the ducks were safely collected, pulled from the water, and dried.

 

Water Activity for Kids

 

10 Little Ducks Eric Carle

 

 

 

Ways you can expand this activity:

At the art table we had duck-shaped yellow paper, orange-tinted glue, and feathers. One year we placed the ducks in the block area and the children built a boat from blocks.

 

More ideas for “10 Little Rubber Ducks”:


More fun ideas for preschoolers:

Easy Kids Art with Freezer Bags      water table activities for preschoolers      Letter Beads Discovery Bottles

 

10 Little Ducks Eric Carle

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Little Blue and Little Yellow Paint Mixing

Your toddler is starting to identify objects by color, but you aren’t sure where to go from there. They are still busy little people and want to be engaged by actually doing something. I thought about this as I put together our Little Blue and Little Yellow paint mixing activity. How could I invite them to mix 2 colors in a way that would be fun and engaging?

I recalled our circle painting activity. They loved dipping the tubes into paint, stamping them onto the paper, over and over again. Would this work with my Little Blue and Little Yellow idea? I mean, all you need is a paper tube and some paint. Easy! But how would the colors blend to make a third color?

Little Blue and Little Yellow Toddler Art Activity - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Little Blue and Little Yellow Paint Mixing

During the month of March, we add quite a bit of color activities to our day. Our featured color is green, so I wanted to come up with an easy color mixing activity to go with one of my favorite books, Little Blue and Little Yellow.

What we needed for this activity:

  • Yellow tempera paint
  • Blue tempera paint
  • Paper tubes
  • Paper
  • A copy of the book Little Blue and Little Yellow



After reading the book:

Have your materials ready to go. I poured a dollop of blue and a dollop of yellow paint into the same tray. I cut the tubes rather short to discourage those small hands to become a fist around them. Instead, I wanted the hand to open at the top of the tube.

 

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Start stamping!

Here I go again with my rant about how much I love processed (open-ended) art. The less direction you need to give, the more open-ended it becomes. In fact, I didn’t have to show them anything. They were curious about the tubes in the paint and wanted to see what happened when they stamped them on the big sheets of white paper. Again. And again. And again!

 

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Busy toddlers love these types of activities because there is lots of motion, and even some noise as the tube hits the paper.

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Let the color mixing begin!

The more they stamped the tubes in the paint and then onto the paper, the more the 2 colors mixed. I asked them what colors they saw. They pointed and told me blue, yellow … and green!

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

This ended up being a favorite and before our centers time was over, all of the children had experimented with this color mixing activity.

All that fun with a paper tube and some paint.

 

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Toddler Color Mixing

Keep them busy with these color activities, too!

color+wheel+header.png      Rainbow Activities for Toddlers      preschool color activities

 

 

Little Blue and Little Yellow Toddler Art Activity - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 




Alphabet Learning for Kids

Preschool parents are concerned their children won’t learn their ABCs. I get that. I was that parent. Then I became a preschool teacher. I relaxed. As a teacher, I know that alphabet learning for kids should be hands-on. It’s not about flash cards or workbooks. It’s about providing playful literacy activities that excite young children to want to learn more.

If you are a preschool teacher, you might wonder at what part of your day should you include alphabet learning. My answer? All day long. Remember my post about how to add literacy in all areas of the classroom? (If not, I’ve got you covered. Just click here.) Parents can add similar activities in the home.

Bottom line: keep it fun and let them explore!

 

Learning the Alphabet - Activities for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you.

 

Alphabet Learning for Kids

 

  1. Help your children learn the letters in their names with fun, hands-on name activities.

  2. Make your own tactile cards! Tactile cards allows children to explore the alphabet by tracing the letters with their fingers. (Teaching Mama)

  3. Add letters to your block area for some added literacy fun.

  4. Practice the alphabet outside by making a letter museum. (Rubberboots and Elf Shoes)

  5. Explore letters in the sensory table. Both toddlers and preschoolers love this activity!

  6. Use letters in small world play by making a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. (Buggy and Buddy)

  7. Create letters with Duplos after downloading these free letter printables. (123 Homeschool for Me)

  8. Make a simple letter box for recognizing and sorting letters.

  9. Do you explore a letter of the week? If so, check out B-Inspired Mama’s letter-of-the-week collection.

  10. Teachers can add literacy in various areas of their classrooms throughout the day.

  11. Download these free block letter printables and see over 150 ways your child can fill them. (The Measured Mom)

  12. If you have some magnetic letters, you will want to try one of Growing Book By Book’s ideas from their magnetic alphabet collection.

  13. Children can make their own watercolor alphabet chart to hang in their rooms. (Homegrown Friends)

  14. Use magnetic letters on a cookie sheet. (Free printable from The Intentional Momma)

  15. Create lines and curves on rocks to teach preschoolers correct letter formation. (You Clever Monkey)

  16. Help children learn their letter sounds while playing an alphabet sorting game. (Free printable from Tot Schooling)

  17. Practice writing letters in spices for an additional sensory experience. (Frog in a Pocket)

  18.  Use recycled materials to make a Feeding the Alphabet Monster Game. (I Can Teach My Child)

  19. Write letters on beans for a simple letter matching activity using muffin tins. (The Imagination Tree)

  20. Combine sensory play and letter recognition for a fun, hands-on learning literacy experience. (Pre-K Pages)

  21. Download these free alphabet printables that can be used with Do-a-Dots. (Tot School)

  22. Trace letters using cars and these free road letter printables. (Playdough to Plato)

  23. Add literacy to music with some fun alphabet songs. (Fun-a-Day)

  24. Enjoy listening to a variety of alphabet books. (This Reading Mama)

  25. Explore the alphabet while baking a variety of foods with your children. (Life at the Zoo)

  26. Get your body moving while learning the alphabet with bean bags. (Teach Preschool)

  27. Add some science to your literacy activities – one for each letter of the alphabet. (Science Sparks)

 

Bonus! Teach little ones how to write uppercase alphabet letters with these formation rhymes! This set of printables explains how to write the lowercase letters with a fun little rhyme. These can be used as posters around a room, tracing with a finger, or tracing with a writing utensil. Click on photo below for more information:
Uppercase Alphabet Rhymes

More fun for preschoolers:

10 Literacy Games for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     preschool color activities     Preschool Math Activities

You can find more activities on my Literacy Board.

 



Learning the Alphabet - Activities for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

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Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

We love preschool name recognition ideas because names are often the first word a young child learns how to read. I’ve shared how we include literacy activities in all areas of the classroom, and our students’ names included. If you were to walk into our classroom, you’d see names on the wall, on furniture, on cards, on photos, even hanging from the ceiling. Halfway through our school year, many of our 3 year olds are pointing out letters from their names or recognizing their entire names.

 

 

 Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Displaying names:

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Coat hooks:

 

Assigning them to their own hooks gives the preschoolers a sense of ownership. When they arrive in the morning, they find their names to hang their own hooks, placed at their level.

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Cubbies:

We have cubbies in the hallway for each of our students in our 2 and 3 year old classes. We also have cubbies inside the classroom for our 3 year olds. Any work they do that doesn’t need to dry immediately goes into their classroom cubbies. They learn quickly where to find their cubbies by looking for their names.

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Memory Books:

Names are displayed on the spines of our memory books and stored in our classroom all year.
(Read more about our memory books.)

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Artwork:

We display names beside the children’s work on our bulletin boards.

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Small groups:

At the end of each morning in our 3’s class, we have about 10 minutes of small groups. The children are separated into 4 groups, each group being a different color. As we call the children to their tables, they look for their name cards. We do the same for snack as well.
(Read more about our small groups.)
Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Circle Time:

In our 3’s class, the children have their own personalized stools to sit on. We teachers set the stools out before circle time. As the children are invited to come to circle time, they look for their names.

(Read more about our circle time.)

 

preschool classroom design

 

classroom birthday bulletin board

 

Birthday wall:

At the start of the school year there is a crown above each child’s labeled name. As we celebrate a birthday, the crown is removed. The children are always checking to see whose birthday is next.

 

Activities using our names:

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Sign-in sheet:

When our 3 year olds arrive each morning, they find their name on a clipboard and draw a line from left to right. Eventually some will start writing some letters or their entire names.
Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Name puzzles:

Our 3 year olds love this simple name puzzle activity that we do during our small groups.

(Read more about our name puzzles.)

Preschool Name Recognition

 

Name discovery bottles:

The children placed letter beads into a bottle along with colored rice for a fun letter recognition activity.

(Read more about how we made our name discovery bottles.)

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Do-a-Dots on letters:

The children press Do-a-Dots on the first letters of their names. We also will glue small pieces on letters as well as macaroni, or press stickers on them.

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Stamping letters:

We offer upper and lower case letters for children to stamp letters that are in their names.

 

Other activities:

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Cooking activities:

 

We will write their names on individual mixing cups or bowls and serving plates. As they arrive to the table, they find their names and get started.

 

Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

 

Items brought from home:

Every so often, we will ask the children to contribute something to an activity. In this case, we were comparing apples before making applesauce. The children found their apples by looking for their names.

(Read more about how we make applesauce.)
Preschool Name Recognition Ideas

 

Valentine’s bags:

After the children make their own bags, we hang them in alphabetical order. With their parents’ help, they deliver their Valentine’s cards to each of their classmates’ bags.

 

Bonus! If your preschooler is ready to practice writing letters, here is a 245 page packet you can download. This packet includes printables for all 26 letters of the alphabet! Click on the photo below for details.

 

Preschool Alphabet Packet

 
Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

More teaching ideas:

 

Learning-Activities-for-Preschoolers      preschool transitions while waiting      Creating a Preschool Circle Time

preschool science      Back to school activities for preschool - a collection of activities, books and songs for the first weeks of school.      preschool literacy


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Dennis Yang: Literacy for All Children

 

Dennis Yang: Literacy for All Children

A couple of months ago one of my dear friends called me to say I just needed to meet this man who was running the perimeter of the United States to promote literacy. I was able to meet Dennis Yang and immediately felt his passion for promoting literacy for all children, everywhere.

Dennis Yang Literacy for all Children

Dennis Yang: Literacy for All Children

 

I’ve shared so many literacy activities with you all – including games, alphabet activities, and name recognition ideas. I’ve shared how we include literacy in all areas of our classroom. So, to have the opportunity to meet a man that spends well over a year running around the United States so he can read to children in hospitals, orphanages, and schools? And not only reads to them, but gives them books he has written? For free? Yes, I just had to meet Dennis Yang.

 

Dennis Yang: Literacy for all Children - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Dennis Yang: Literacy for All Children

 

The first thing I did, when I learned about Dennis, was to check out his website. This is when I realized that Dennis has written many books for children. (You can find those books here.) Some of these books are the ones he read to the children during his run around America. When Dennis said he would love to meet my preschoolers as he ran through Portland, I was elated.

 

Dennis Yang: Literacy for all Children - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Dennis chose to read Where did the Floozie Go?

“I’m dedicating this book to the kids out there who care about our planet.

You are the key to making our world beautiful.”

– Papa Didos (Dennis Yang)

Dennis Yang: Literacy for all Children - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

We listened as Chuck tries to find his loved ones, who have disappeared. His friend, Ginger, helps him search.

“They looked left then right

for anything in sight.

They searched high and low.

They ran fast then slow.”

It turns out that Chuck’s loved ones vanished without a trace because the planet made them sick.

The message our preschoolers got from this book is that we must take good care of our planet.

“It’s not just about us, it’s about the land.”

“Kids will teach their parents how to behave.

They will stand up and be brave.”

I love the message this book sent to our children, our future. We will definitely revisit it during our earth day theme!

Dennis Yang: Literacy for all Children - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Let me tell you something else about Dennis Yang. He is one of the most genuine, caring people you will meet. Before Dennis visited our preschool, we told our parents about his books. They placed orders and Dennis brought the books when he read to us.

After hearing the story, it was time for us to have some large motor time in the gym. Dennis went out to his truck to get the books the parents ordered, and he wrote messages in each one.

Dennis Yang: Literacy for all Children - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

And then Dennis handed me several of his books for free, that we could add to our classroom library, including “Where did the Floufooze Go?”.

We said our good-byes to Dennis and he continued south to complete his around-the-country journey.

As I finish writing this, I see that Dennis is in Malibu. So very close to ending his  journey. I am just amazed. Amazed how one man set out to run thousands of miles so he could share his message and inspiration to children. What an adventure he had, reaching out to so many children!

Thank you, Dennis, for caring so much about the children in our country. I cannot wait to see what your next adventure is!

Our favorite literacy activities:

 

literacy activities for preschoolers    preschool literacy      literacy games for preschoolers

A bit more about Dennis Yang

 

Dennis’ first running-for-literacy project involved running across America from Long Beach to Coney Island. A few years later, he decided to run the perimeter of the country. He ran about a marathon a day. (I am just blown away by that!) He says it’s not about how far he’s run, but about how many lives he’s touched. Along his journey, Dennis stopped by children’s hospitals, orphanages, and public schools to give away books he has written. These books are written under the name Papa Didos.  Dennis shares his love of reading, living healthy, and setting goals. He tells children “never stop believing you can make a difference”. What a wonderful message!

Dennis Yang Promoting Literacy

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Zoo Small World Play

Going to the zoo is a favorite topic with our preschoolers. They visit the zoo with their families (many have zoo passes) and love to name off the animals they saw. I decided to start our school year with some zoo animal activities. I knew this would be very meaningful, getting the preschoolers excited to be involved in one of our very first group activities. After reading Zoo-Looking during circle time, we held the plastic toy versions of each animal and played a matching game. When finished, our preschoolers enjoyed some zoo small world play.

I love connecting ideas to our favorite picture books. These activities build language skills, encouraging the preschoolers to collaborate and share ideas, building their social confidence.

 

Zoo Small World Play

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

What we used for this activity:

 

  • A copy of the book Zoo-Looking, by Mem Fox
  • Plastic animals that matched those in the book (we found most of ours here and here)
  • A bin for small world play
  • Materials of your choice to add to the bin, along with the animals

 

Zoo group activity:

I had our preschoolers gather on our group time rug while I read the story about Flora and her dad, who went to the zoo. We identified each animal as we turned the pages.

 

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds.

I then handed each child one of the animals.

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds ....

As I flipped through the book again, the children matched their animals to the animals on the pages.

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds..

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds...

Zoo small world play:

Once we identified each of the animals that Flora and her dad saw, we set up our own small world zoo. I chose dried split peas for the filler. We then added some rocks, trees, and fences.

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds .....

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds ......

The preschoolers flipped through the book again, pointing to the play animals as they turned the pages.

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds .-

We usually leave activities like this out for at least a week after they are introduced. This allows the preschoolers to revisit the book and the animals, enjoying pretend play and connecting it to their real life zoo experiences.

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds .......

 

Here are some more books to go with a zoo theme:

 

               

 

zoo small world play - teaching 2 and 3 year olds -

More literacy fun for young children:

literacy games for preschoolers     literacy activities for preschoolers     preschool literacy

 

 

This post is part of the A-Z Pretend Play group. This one is Z for Zoo Small World Play. Be sure to check out all the other letters here: A-Z Pretend Play.

 

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Best Books for Kids to Sing With

Our toddlers and preschoolers love to sing! We sing various times during our day. Some are planned, such as during circle time, and some just happen randomly, such as when we are in the middle of a transition to a new activity.  You don’t need to have a beautiful voice, either. I used to be very self-conscious about my voice, knowing it was nothing close to my sister Lauri’s professional sound. But when I am singing with my little friends, I forget that. I just relax and enjoy the moment. I even sing up on stage with the children in front of an audience! Another favorite time to sing is while reading books. We love our collection of best books for kids to sing with! Singing instead of reading the words is a great way to build language skills and learn new words, too. So check out some of our favorites below and try a few with your toddlers and preschoolers!

Best Books for Kids to Sing With

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Best Books for Kids to Sing With

 

Inch by Inch: The Garden Song – David Mallett

 

The Wheels on the Bus – Illustrated by Jerry Smith

 

Down by the Bay – Raffi

 

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes – Illustrated by Annie Kubler

 

Five Little Ducks – Illustrated by Annie Kubler

 

You Are My Sunshine – Jimmie Davis

 

Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Helen Oxenbury

 

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed – Eileen Christelow

 

I Got Two Dogs – John Lithgow

 

The Farmer in the Dell – Ann Owen

 

Pete the Cat Collection – Eric Litwin

 

Down By the Station – Jennifer Riggs Vetter

 

Roll Over – Merle Peek

 

Row, Row, Row Your Boat – Jane Cabrera

 

Old MacDonald Had a Farm – Jane Cabrera

 

Itsy Bitsy Spider – Iza Trapani

 

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star – Caroline Jayne Church

 

Do Your Ears Hang Low? – Caroline Jayne Church

 

Over in the Meadow – Oliver A. Wadsworth

 

Cat Goes Fiddle-I-Fee – Paul Galdone

 

Looking for more book, music, and movement ideas?

 

Rhyming Picture Books for Preschoolers   favorite songs for 2 year olds    action songs for preschoolers

Playful learning with favorite preschool fingerplays from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds    music and movement for preschoolers     parachute play for toddlers

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Language Development Activities

Using language and communication with young children is crucial for their success in school and beyond. Preschool language development activities should be part of each day in the classroom, and also in the home.

In a previous post, I shared how important it is to build young children’s language development. We can help build listening and understanding skills by talking with them, listening to them, reading and singing with them. When thinking about what types of activities to provide, keep in mind ways you can encourage young children to use their verbal skills. This can be done in so many fun, playful ways, building their confidence at the same time. In this post I’m sharing over 10 different types of language development ideas that work well in the preschool classroom, although they can be done at home as well.

 

Preschool Language Development Activities

 

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Preschool Language Development Activities

 

 

Play group games that encourage conversation.

Add small groups to your classroom schedule that encourage preschoolers to use their verbal skills.

Recite favorite fingerplays.

Use a telephone in the dramatic play area. (Teach Preschool)

Create story baskets to encourage preschoolers to retell stories. (Nurture Store)

Play an I-spy game that encourages language participation. (Ready, Set, Read)

Make an experience book that encourages children to retell something special they recently participated in. (Two-Daloo)

Sing songs to encourage speech.

Provide listening activities to build language skills. (Inspiration Laboratories)

Play games that encourage speaking and listening skills. (Childhood 101)

Build letter sounds by providing rhyming activities. (No Time for Flashcards)

Preschool Language Development Activities

More ideas for young children:

 

preschool language development long

Bonus!

Are you struggling with baffling behaviors? Does your child seem “too sensitive” or  “too aggressive” without warning?

Get to the bottom of what’s going on with this free download!

Struggling with Behaviors

More ideas for young children:

preschool color activities    Preschool Name Recognition Ideas   Preschool Math Activities

Bonus!

Are you struggling with baffling behaviors? Does your child seem “too sensitive” or  “too aggressive” without warning?

Get to the bottom of what’s going on with this free download!

Struggling with Behaviors

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds