Now that we have finished our ABC learning crafts, I went round digging for stuff we could do ABC wise to revise. I came across this wonderful collection of Alphabet paper crafts at Digitprop.com and thought I’d share with all of you. Its lovely ain’t it? And its just a mouse click and print away!
Since we’ve been doing a fair amount of cooking and baking we’ve dug deep into our kitchen stash and emerged with a pile of cupcake tin foils. I no longer bake with these so we decided to repurpose them to make “stuff with”.
The foil animals aren’t the most sturdy and they bend and dent a fair bit so we made up stories about them as we went along. Sometimes they got into fights, sometimes they fought wars, sometimes they were careless and fell down. Either ways, it was fun!
After 26 llllooonnngggg weeks, we finally made it through all 26 letters of the alphabet! We’ve been faithfully sticking them up on our cupboard and here you see it- all 26 letters, upper and lower case alphabets!
Its our first education milestone since we started the Growing Tree Project. And while Q’s been able to sing his ABCs for a while already, I think this take-your-time method has really helped us enjoy learning, learning the alphabets and its place in our lives more. Sometimes when I feel like maybe he’s not “quite getting it”, he’d surprise me by correctly identifying the alphabet in random words we come across: street signs, words in books, names of his friends… Interestingly enough, he seem to like some letters more than others!
We’ve been working on writing some of the alphabets and we started with the letters of his name. We’ve gotten through all the different letters of Q-U-E-N-T-I-N (not so steady on the E and N just yet) but we’ll get there soon enough I think. He writes the letter Q very well ( a circle and a line) and I look forward to hitting this new learning milestone!
We finally made it to the Letter Z! I had great plans for the letter Z since Q’s favorite place in the world began with the letter Z: The Zoo! Unfortunately, between my crazy schedule (its peak work season) and the terrible weather (too hot, too cold, too wet), we did not manage to go to the Zoo to see the Zebras.
So, to make up for it, we pretended to build our own zoo! We pretty much have all the animals in our animal menagerie and our lego set has “gates” so we spent a happy afternoon building ourselves a zoo. In our zoo, of course, the crocodiles would live harmoniously with the Pandas and the goldfish next to the lions. Its a very peaceful, friendly zoo.
Methinks a trip to the zoo might still be in order next week.
I must admit, the last few letters of the alphabet are hard to get through- first, cos my schedule is beginning to take on a manic pace; second, we are getting a tad “bored” of the process, especially since the Letter Y ain’t that exciting.
But still, we persevere. And cos, next week is the last week in this series!
We welcomed our letter of the week simply by playing some yoyo. Q scored two toy yo-yos at a recent birthday party and we had some fun learning how it worked. I suck as a yoyo player (?) and he was just as dismal so I cut the string and we played Make Believe Yoyo- you know, you simply fling your arms about and the yoyo would kinda fly everywhere. We completely aced this game. Yeah, we made great “make believe yoyo-ers”
Then we found some empty Yakult bottles and made little Yakult robots. Cos, Yakult (one of our favorite drinks) begins with Y! That was a happy, messy fun activity. We simply poked holes (yeah, very tak glam) and made robot sounds. Q made a flying robot. He simply threw the robot about the garden and declared he was flying.
I drew in wings. Cos, life, my friends, lies in the details.
I’d be honest and say that the letter X doesn’t quite rank as high for me in importance when I rank all 26 letters of the alphabets. But the “lets be fair” part of my says, that I gotta give good ole letter X his equal emphasis; after all, what would Fox, box and X-ray be without the letter X.
So I did a little digging.
X, as most of us already know is the 24th letter of the alphabet. Aside from its (meta)linguistic importance (ahem!), X also has mathematical importance as it is often used to symbolize an unknown variable and has been thereafter co-opted within linguistics to denote a similar unknown: person X, for example.
Traditionally, X was also used in lieu of a person’s signature back in the day since many people could hardly read or write. Though, I never quite get that since they could always use thumbprint. Maybe they did both. I’m sure there were and are huge legal issues to title deeds or will signed simply with an X. Clearly who ever came up with that was either lazy or clever or both.
Then there’s X in lieu of a kiss: this dates back to early Christian times when people would place a kiss on a cross as a mark of a promise. X was a symbol of the cross of calvary as understood by the Greek word for Christ: Xristos. I’m thinking maybe this is why some people aren’t fussed to use X’mas. I personally like spelling the word CHRIST in whole. But back to my point- this was why people would write X at the bottom of letters: to suggest earnestness. Though why hugs are fat Os is beyond me. I like to think someone thought the contrast between both letters looked nice. Or maybe Hallmark came up with it.
Anyway… then there is the all famous X chromosome. The all important X chromosome is one of two sex determining chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes and males have XY. I think this is why women are considered mysterious and all- evidently the mathematicians got that observation right seeing as they like to use X to denote the unknown variable.
And most importantly, to me anyway, X just kinda looks cool. Don’t you think?
We got into our letter of the week right in the middle of planning for a semi big trip (T is for trip!) to Myanmar. Q has always been a good (T is for) traveller so while we had tons of logistics to contend with, it was more simply-busy than crazy-hectic.
We prefaced our letter of the week by talking about our travels and trips. Cos, well, duh, those words start with T.
Anyway, initiating the letter T was quite easy cos T was the first letter Q ever learnt and recognized. To add to the project, he was really excited to make the T is for Tractor craft too.
I wish I could share how to make a telescope but I had shipped in a telescope making kit and the kids simply spent a happy half hour decorating the telescopes with stickers and other foam bits.
We stuck a sticker that read: “You are out of this world” on each of the telescopes for daddy too!
I started our letter of the week in dramatic fashion: I took a snake we had made with discarded Brands Essence of Chicken boxes to our garden and pretended to be really freaked out by it. Cos, well, you know, S is for scared and snake. Haha. Anyway, while Q thought it was really funny and mimicked, it kind of had a reverse effect cos now all he wanted to do was play mummy’s Snake in the Grass game and not do some boring sit at a table with glue and paper thingamajig.
I gave up trying to coax him to settle to crafting and we ended up looking for a snail or two, cos snails also start with the letter S. the good thing about having a garden is there are usually a snail or two somewhere and true enough we found a couple of snails though one was kinda (S is also for) smashed up. A little gross but I don’t think little boys are bothered by that much.
We got to our letter of the week craft the day after with little fanfare though it gave us a lot of talk about while working on our craft. Not a bad thing and I found myself thinking that maybe I should do more drama stuff as introduction. Seems like fun.
So, S is snake, snail, sun, star and school.
We got off to a late start to our letter of the week work this week cos, well, mummy’s schedule has been (R for) ridiculous lately but it was a big (R for) rainy day when we discovered a leak spot on the roof of this old rental house of ours that I thought it’d be a good idea to get to Letter R since we were all grouchy at being rained in.
I took the chance to introduce Q to my favourite cartoon: Alice in Wonderland. We picked a youtube video that had the little fella running late for a party and Q seemed really tickled at that. I explained that real white rabbits (he’s never seen a live one for some reason, the ones we see are usually brown or some funky mix of browns/white/black) had red eyes and Q- who must have thought I went off my rocker; told me the rabbit had sick eyes. I had a small stint of conjunctivitis a while back and we explained my very red eye was sick. When I explained that white rabbits simply had red eyes, he shrugged it off and proclaimed it “looks silly.”
Our rooster craft went down a little less eventful (read: less explanation) though we had to stop several times to make “cockle-doodle-doo” noises.
R is for rabbit, rooster, rain, radish (which I made Japanese style that night) and reindeer.
Of the 26 letter of the alphabets, we are clearly most familiar with our letter of the week- Q. Because- duh!- Q is for Quentin. Also, we call Quentin “Q” most of the time. Well, sometimes, Q-ball too. So, Q is mighty familiar with the letter Q.
And well, Q is really the first letter of the alphabet he ever learnt. Small wonder huh?
Because of his familiarity with the letter I had to think of something a little special to initiate this letter of the week and we decided to head to Qian Hu Fish Farm cos, well, the place began with Q. I know, stretching it a little but, we can only try right?
It seemed to work well enough cos he was duly excited to see the big (fake) fishes and so we stopped to chat about where we were and we got him to count the number of “Qs” in the sign and then got, duly, distracted by all the pretty fish in the place.
I didn’t have high hopes for the place but it turned out to be a real gem of a day. In particular, we had fun dipping our hand into the fish spa pool- I’m sure we weren’t really allowed to do that but, well, we only did a short spot of that. And spent a happy half hour trying to catch long hang fish; we were dismal in that only catching four tiny things in that time. I blame the net for being too small (its the size of 2/3 of an iPhone).
After our day at Q is for Qian Hu Fish Farm, we embarked on our letter of the week craft, making a Q is for Quail and q is for queen.
I’m thinking of making a big letter Q with Quentin’s face on it… hmmm… we’ll see.