Today was my day to host our neighborhood preschool coop. Sometimes I take time to plan and sometimes I don’t, but today I did so figured I might as well share with other moms looking for fun preschool ideas to do at home. My neighbors and I are rotating through a different letter each day by completing a fun letter craft, which we purchased from the Oriental Trading Company. Each letter comes in a set of 12 so it really is a great idea to purchase together with neighbors or friends.
1. L is for Legos
First, I set out some Legos for about 15 minutes of free play time so the kids would have something to do as we waited for all the kids to arrive. Just before it’s about time to get started, tell the kids that they have 2 minutes left to build one tower before the timer runs out. Have them stop and count how many blocks they used for their tower.
Next, I had the kids come sit in a semi-circle to introduce the new letter and explain what to expect for the day’s lesson. I had them hold out their pointer finger and draw the letter L in the air. Then I listed the day’s agenda and asked for a volunteer to help me cross the first activity off the list.
- Lava Lamp
2. L is for Listening
I cut out a potato head out of construction paper to help introduce the concept of whole body listening. I let each kid pick a body part, guess how to would use that body part to listen, and attach it to Mr. Potato. We discussed how you could listen with each part of your body.
- Brain – think about what the person is saying to listen with your brain
- Eyes – look at the person who is speaking to listen with your eyes
- Ears – open your ears and pay attention to listen with your ears
- Mouth – close your mouth and keep quiet to listen with your mouth
- Hands – keep your hand quit in your lap to listen with your hands
- Feet – keep your feet quiet on the floor to listen with your feet
Next, I lead the kids in a game of “Do as I say, not as I do”, which is an auditory processing game from MossWoodsConnections. The goal of the game is to practice listening with their ears and brain and not their eyes. I did my best to come up with different directions for the kids to follow (e.g. touch your nose, pat your head, or jump up and down) while doing something completely different (e.g. standing on one foot, rubbing my tummy, or bending down to touch the floor). The goal is to see if the kids can follow the directions based on what they hear you say, not what they see you do.
Next, I played the following video, pausing after each sound and asking the kids to raise their hand and guess the sound. I gave out stickers for every correct guess to help keep everyone engaged.
After this game, I asked for another volunteer to come to the front and cross the word Listening off the board before introducing our next project.
- Lava Lamp
3. L is for Ladybug
I set out some glue sticks and helped the kids glue their ladybug craft pieces together, which we ordered in advance from the orienyal trading company. After they completed their ladybug craft, I asked a different volunteer to come up and cross the word Ladybug off the list.
- Lava Lamp
Next, I played this song and instructed the kids to listen to the words and use their new craft to follow along, moving the ladybug to their different body parts as described in the song.
Another way to incorporate listening skills is to play the song again and add a new twist by asking the kids to stand up, then sit down, then stand up, etc. every time they hear the word ladybug throughout the song.
After the ladybug song, I asked for another volunteer to cross the word Ladybug off the board before introducing our final Lava Lamp science activity.
4. L is for Lava Lamp
- 1 plastic bottle or glass per child
- Food coloring
- Vegetable oil
- Alka-Seltzer tablets (salt works but not as well)
Fill each glass about 1/3 full with water and allow kids to add 5-10 drops of food coloring of their choice. Fill the remaining 2/3 with vegetable oil, leaving about 1 inch at he top for safety. Crumble the Alka-Seltzer tablets and slowly drop into the glass and allow the kids to observe what happens. Click the link to see video: Lava lamp experiment
After completing the Lava Lamp experiment, have a student come to the board to help you cross the final activity off the list.
Listening Ladybug Lava Lamp
Last but not least, I sent the kids outside to look for ladybugs they could collect as we waiting for parents to arrive for pick-up. Unfortunately, in Denver we don’t have a lot of ladybugs wondering around outside, but it was fun for the kids anyway.
I hope sharing this lesson helps give you plenty of ideas for having fun L-earning with the letter L. We’ll see if I have time or motivation to follow up with all the other letter letter crafts and activities we’ve done so far as well. Please feel free to share any other fun activities you come across as well on my page, Facebook.com/mentoring4moms.