Letter of the Week ~ V

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¬†Better late then never, right?! With a Spring baby, a busy, fun-filled Summer and settling back into Fall routines, I fell behind on our Letter of the Week posts. However, I don’t do well with unfinished business, so I will be finishing these posts over the next couple of weeks, in interest of completion ūüôā


 Although my personal philosophy of letter learning is that they cannot be studied in isolation and should be learned in the context of words, as this is how we see them most often, we have a letter of the week at Mommy School.

Why, you may ask, do I do something¬†opposite¬†to what I just finished saying I believe in? Well, for one, we don’t study the one letter in isolation. Typically, we¬†complete a letter craft, create a search and find sensory bin using items that begin with that letter, learn about the various sounds the letter makes in different parts of words (because the English language is crazy!) and¬†plan our weekly fieldtrip to somewhere that begins with our letter. Sometimes, I include the letter in other ways throughout our week, but that’s often just a sweet combination of luck and coincidence!


Here’s what we got up to for Letter V Week:

Letter Dictionary:

Each of my older children gets the chance to find a hidden object that begins with our letter of the week from the rice bin. This week Little Momma chose Vexy smurf and Mr Man selected a vase.

I take a photo of the kids with their chosen objects and then have them¬†complete their dictionary page. Little Momma writes a¬†sentence and illustrates, “V is for Vexy.” and Mr Man copies the upper and lower case letter and then draws his chosen object.

This week our rice bin was transformed into a veterinarian’s office! All of the stuffed animals visited and were cared for by my little vets-in-training!

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Letter Craft:

V is for Vase.

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To make your own: Pre-cut an upper-case letter V from construction paper. Provide some blue water, green stems and a variety of flowers and allow the kids to create! We glued our letter onto a background to help our flowers stay up strong!

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Field Trip: 

V is for veterinarian.

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For this week’s field-trip Friday¬†we visited the Veterinary Hospital in our town. The kid’s loved meeting the animal doctors and their patients, trying on the x-ray vest, locating microchips and seeing what goes on behind the scenes at the veterinarians! The lovely front desk staff even put together a great little package for the kids to take home, which included stickers, poop bags, colouring books and animal safety tips! The kids were thrilled!

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Journal Writing: 

To end-off our week the kids each spend some time writing in their journals about our weekly field trip. Often it is pictures for my younger guy with a few scribed¬†sentences, while my eldest will write a few simple sentences on her own, using her word wall, ‘best guess’ spelling and some assistance from myself (she’s my perfectionist!).

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Art Appreciation: Van Gogh

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I love the arts, especially the creativity it evokes in young people. However, my own artistic ability, as it relates to visual arts, is very limited, and so I thought a fun way to integrate it into our school plan for the year would be through monthly Art Appreciation projects.

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For September our muse was Vincent van Gogh and a study in Impressionist Art.

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Material Required:

– pastels

– heavy drawing paper (we used cardstock)

– paper towel

– examples of Van Gogh’s paintings (we have some Artist cards and the kids chose to emulate his works The Starry Night¬†and¬†¬†Sunflowers that we used)

After looking at a number of Van Gogh paintings and labeling their ‘blurry’ appearance as¬†Impressionism, the kids set off studying and replicating their own versions of their chosen paintings.

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Once they were satisfied with their work, they rubbed their drawing vigorously with the paper towel to give it the desired ‘blurry’ or ‘fuzzy’ outcome.

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I was so impressed with the finished products. They were beautiful interpretations of an incredible artist! My offspring may just have been blessed with better drawing skills than my own!

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The Starry Night, By: Mr Man

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Sunflowers, By: Little Momma

 Check back next month to see where our monthly Art Appreciation project takes us!

{Hint: We will be taking to more natural surroundings for inspiration!}

Name Activities

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Learning to recognize and then write their name is one of the earliest (and most exciting) literacy skills for young children. And even once they’ve mastered it, there is a pride that comes in celebrating it again and again! After all, don’t you want them to LOVE the name you spent countless hours mulling over and trying to agree upon with your significant other?!?

Here are some fun and easy (read: minimal prep!) name activities we have done to kick off the new school year!

1)¬†Tracing and writing with pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, etc. – Simple, right?! But this will give you an excellent opportunity to assess your child’s pencil grip and fine motor capabilities, from there you can decide on appropriate letter size and whether tracing or copying is best suited for their level.

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2) Q-Tip Name Tracing – Put out a variety of paint colours (we used crayola glitter paint for some pizazz!) and have your children use q-tips to trace each letter of their name.

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3) Piercing Cardboard with Toothpicks – We had a few great layered cardboard pieces leftover from some IKEA packaging (you could also use Styrofoam or floral foam) that I¬†printed each child’s name on. I then gave them a selection of plastic toothpicks and allowed them to pierce the letters of their names, naming each letter along the way.

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4) Erasing – I printed each child’s name on a mini-whiteboard and allowed them to erase each letter as they spelled out their name. Without realizing, this allows them to practice letter formation by undoing instead of doing for a change!

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5) Blocks РI labeled some mega blocks with the appropriate letters of each of the kids names, then I hid them in the rice table. The kids had to search for their letters and build ther name. Upon completion, I also had them count the blocks to determine the number of letters in their name.

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6) Wax Crayon/Candle and Watercolour Resist – Using a birthday candle (or a white crayon) I printed the kids names onto a sheet of paper and asked them to read it. Both of them told me I was mixed up and needed a pencil not a candle (silly mommy!). I set them up with some watercolour paints and told them they could just paint the paper, since my ‘pencil’ wasn’t working.The wax writing resists the watercolour causing their name to ‘magically’ appear! This one is lots of fun and always a big hit with the kids, as it really seems as though the writing appears from nowhere.

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7) Clothes Peg Matching – Print your child’s name on a sentence strip and then write each letter on a clothe peg. Allow your child to pinch the pegs over the matching letters on the sentence strip to spell their name. This is great for practicing the proper letter order of their name, as well sneaking in some fine motor skills.

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8) Wooden Stick Puzzle – Write one letter of your child’s name on individual Popsicle sticks (or larger wooden craft sticks). Mix them up and have your child order them to spell their name. Little Momma added a picture across her finished puzzle, to make it more ‘puzzle-like’, too.

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There you you have it – some great ways to encourage young writers about how fun writing can be, and all with their very favourite topic…THEMSELVES!!

Summer Book Club: A Bad Case of the Stripes

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book and this summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 5: A Bad Case of Stripes (Scholastic Bookshelf) by David Shannon

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With the start of a new school year, and Little Momma beginning Kindergarten soon, our August books are focusing on back to school themes, anxieties and excitement. This book is a cute story about a little girl who is so worried about what people think of her that she breaks out in a case of the stripes! It is a wonderful reminder of the importance of staying true to yourself and the beauty in being unique!

Story Extensions:

Face Painting

The kids chose what their ‘case of the stripes’ would look like. I attempted an airplane for Mr Man, while Hubby had a go at a pig for Little Momma! FYI: We used costume/Halloween face paint sticks from the dollar store and they wiped off with ease.

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Stripe Building

Using Mega Blocks, the kids were set with the task of building stripey towers.

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Lima Bean Counting (and tasting!)

We opened up a can of Lima beans (in the story the main character, Camilla Cream, is embarrassed by the fact that she LOVES Lima beans!) and the kids each tried one. Both kids said the had no worry about breaking out in stripes, seeing as they didn’t like Lima beans at all!¬†I poured the can into a bowl and let the kids feel the slimy beans too, this STILL did not win them over ;P

I had been planning to use dried Lima beans with the chalkboard as a counting surface, but I got too excited about the sensory portion that I ended up just covering my prepped chalkboard with plastic wrap! I wrote numbers, 1-10 for Mr Man (who is 3) and 11-20 for Little Momma (who is 4.5), inside circles and had the kids count the appropriate number of beans for each number, for some simple one-to-one correspondence.

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B&W Photos

Colouring black and white pictures of themselves was a favourite for my little narcissists ūüėČ We used markers to add colour to the photos, with each kid giving themselves a unique case of the stripes!

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What are you reading this week? 

Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll

Amazing Grace

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Is There Really a Human Race?