Letter of the Week: A

I am so excited to start the Tot Labs Letter of the Week series! Today, I am sharing what was on our shelves for Letter A/Я! Be sure to download your own free printable pack at the end of this post! 
Also, be sure to see what Amruta is up to this week over at Mumma Diaries! You’ll love all of her creative ideas!
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
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Daily learning binder

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
One of the many aspects of our curriculum is a daily/weekly learning binder. We wanted to create a simple way to store specific types of activities that still contain a fun and educational aspect. 
What I simply adore about this is that we can take this with us on the go and Y can sit quietly and work. 
I have to admit I was a little bit hesitant to introduce something so new to us. Y’s works are usually in trays. However, I feel that for works that are mostly based on printables, that it’s unnecessary to take up so much shelf space at the cost of practical life or fine motor activities. I wasn’t sure how he would react at this new presentation. My worries though were for nothing and he loved, loved, loved it! 
For our learning binder, I included the following printables (available in English and Russian) 
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

The English version: 

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

I gave him pom poms to place on the objects that start with the letter we are learning about (Russian ja sound). This was very difficult for him, and that’s okay especially as this is the first letter we are covering! This is a learning process for him and for me.
It’s important to remember not to rush your children. Some of these works may be too difficult, too easy, or not interesting to your child depending on what they find interesting at the moment and what they need. That’s okay. Make a mental note if a work doesn’t go as you imagined, try to alter it, or return to it at a later time. 
For us, I pointed to each object, emphasized the beginning sound, and that was it. Then we put pom poms on the objects that start with the letter we are studying this week. We will repeat all week, and then return to it at a later time to see if he can do it alone. No stress. No rushing. Just based on his own interest because at this point, he is interested!  
Another fun work that Y could do was a letter maze! Again, we used pom poms for markers. You can also use a dry erase marker. 
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
The English version:
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
Letter search and find
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
For some math, I added some apple shape matching!
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
Here are the materials that I recommend for setting up your own Daily or Weekly Learning Binder for Letter of the Week. 

Apple colour matching

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
Y loved this one! I created baskets using printables in the Letter A printable pack. I simply laminated the front and back sides and used clear tape on the outside of the baskets to hold them together. I trimmed the edges to make sure they looked neat and that was it! 

Sensory letters

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

This one was so, so much fun! I created a very simple sensory bin for Y. I added a few fall coloured leaves and logs for decoration, along with a ladle and small cup for pouring. The ladle is from an Ikea kitchen set for kids which I highly recommend for practical life trays. 

I kept the bin relatively simple as the focus was on searching for letters. I made the letters out of foam paper and rippled cardboard paper. The idea was for Y to find the letters and touch them. This is an idea similar to sandpaper letters – tracing the letters in this way is a fabulous pre-writing work! 

Suggested materials:
Sandpaper letters

Apple number recognition  

A fun number matching work using our DIY sandpaper numbers, number cards and apple numbers from the Letter A printable pack!
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Apple numbers version 2:

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Y enjoyed matching the apple numbers in this one. A very simple, but fun way to work on number recognition! Here, I laminated both the mat and the cut out, coloured apples.

2nd option
Y really enjoyed this number work so I ended up presenting it two ways. I printed it once more and this time, Y had to cut out the coloured apples and glue them onto the black and white mat. 

Apple cut and paste

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

The idea here was to cut out the individual apples and paste them onto the letter mat included in the printable pack. Simple and fun! 

Again, in English, the mat looks like this: 

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Or you can use the playdough mat:

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Pre-reading cards



Russian: 

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
English: 

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
Version 1: In the printable pack I created, you can find a set of pre-reading cards. You can do many things with these cards, one such idea is to simply to have your child lay them out and you say the name of each object, emphasizing the beginning sound/letter of the week.
Version 2: Make the cards into a book and read it often with your child. I included a cover and end page that you can laminate for extra durability. Use a hole puncher to make a hole in the papers and then bind together with yarn or the material of your choice. 

Version 3: Letter basket with matching cards

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

English letter basket ideas: 

Ant

Practical life: apple washing

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Pre-writing: coloured sand tray

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Upper and lower case sorting

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

English printable: 


Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Apple life cycle discussion

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities
We talked about and explored an apple tree. My in laws have several in the backyard so this was a great activity for us! 
There are several ways to use these printables. I created a set of cards with the steps of an apple tree life cycle as well as a control mat. You can have your kids place the cards in the correct order and discuss what they see. Use the mat for control of error, or place numbers on the back of the cards so that your kids can check their work independently. 
Because Y is young, I set up the cards in the proper order and simply talked to him about what we were seeing. This only took a few minutes, but he found it interesting to see. Of course, it helps that he sees the apple trees in the backyard, and was able to see the fruit ripen, pick it, etc. 
Alternatively, you can  print the ‘control mat’ two times (once in black and white, once in color) and use it for a cut and paste work. This adds a bit of practical life -scissor skills and gluing – to this work.
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Your kids can simply cut out the coloured images and glue them on top of the black and white images. Again, talk about what you are seeing. 

Materials used

Kids scissors
Glue stick

To compliment our apple life cycle activities, we went to the garden, and collected a few apples! 
Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Apple peeling

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Materials used: 
Ceramic peeler

Extensions: 


Make apple sauce (bake apples for half an hour then let cool. Puree with a 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon and even some honey! It’s delicious!) 
Or make delicious baked apples!

Arts and crafts

Letter stamping with a pom pom

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

Materials used: 
Red pom poms


Apple painting

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

This is just one of the many fabulous ideas you can find at Amruta’s wonderful channel: Mumma Diaires! You can get your own free printable apple tree painting mat and many more on her blog! 

Airport
Apple field

Free printables: Letter of the week

Tot Labs Presents: Letter of the Week Letter A by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #preschoolactivities, #handsonlearning, #homeschool, #montessoriactivities

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Today, I am linking up at:  A little bird told me, Preschool and kindergarten communityTot school Gathering PlaceThe Thoughtful SpotLove to Learn LinkyThe Mommy Club Resources and SolutionsLink and LearnTGIFHip Homeschool Moms,

By | 2017-04-01T11:39:59+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|1-3 years old, Language, Letter of the Week, Phonics, Tot Labs|0 Comments

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