I've added letters, numbers, shapes, and colors to the Young Toddler Curriculum for those who need more to do during Circle Time or who care for a mixed aged group with older children. There are many ways you can present these items and what you decide to do will depend on the ages and stages of the members of your group. Add one or many of these ideas to your lesson plan.
Show the children a flash card of each item each day to familiarize the children with the items.
Make a poster each month with the items you are working on and/or review items.
Use number, letter, color and/or shape blocks to make these items tangible, either use at Circle Time every day or put in the play centers for the children to play with freely.
* Explore Fisher-Price's Peek-a-Blocks™ Alphabet Blocks.
* Use tiles from Scrabble or Upwards (older children only). Have children pick out the letter you're working with.
* Go on a search throughout the house or school looking for items that begin with a certain letter.
* Make an alphabet book cutting out pictures from magazines of items of each letter.
* Put some shaving cream on the table or sliding glass door and draw the letter in it.
* Use Alphabet Cookie Cutters to play with play-dough or to "stamp paint" with.
* Sort through magnetic letters and find the letter you are working with.
* Use ideas from Letter of the Week.
* Print these Alphabet Printables.
* Consider getting a manual typewriter to practice the letters (or numbers) you are working on.
* Have Alphabits cereal or Alphabet soup and search for the day's letter
* Make letters out of play-dough.
* Do an alphabet crayon rubbing using letters cut out of sandpaper or other textured material.
* Decorate your sidewalk with the alphabet by using sidewalk chalk!
* Practice the letters in a sandbox or a cookie sheet with sand.
* Use a toy phone to practice finding the numbers you are working with.
* Make a penny-rubbing book (i.e. for the number one put one penny under the page and rub with a crayon; for two, rub two pennies, etc.).
* Put some shaving cream on the table or sliding glass door and draw the number in it.
* Use Number Cookie Cutters to play with play-dough or to "stamp paint" with.
* Sort through magnetic numbers and find the number you are working with.
* Try some of these Counting & Number Themes.
* Preschool by Stormie has ideas for Numbers.
* Put together a Color Box for each color (i.e. Blue: a blue sock, macaroni and cheese box, blue junk mail, a blue toy car, etc.)
* Use a song to teach colors.
* Sort blocks by color.
* Go on a color hunt around the house or school. Choose the color you are working with.
* Use one or more ideas from Kid 'N Kaboodle.
* Go on a shape hunt around the house or school. Focus on one shape or all the shapes you know.
* Cut your sandwich in the shape you are working with.
* Explore shapes with cookie cutters.
Teaching Tools I Have Used . . .
This is a 4x3 photo album. Flashcards fit perfectly in it. I've added photos of the toddlers, Our Pets, and me. The toddlers love to look through the book.
This is a teaching poster. It includes the color ("white" dog), counting five apples, body parts, shape (square), and memory verse of the month. It hangs in the kitchen and before or during a meal or snack is a wonderful time to go over these things. I have the children's full attention at this time. Now, if I forget to talk about the poster, the toddlers remind me.
This is a teaching bucket. During Circle Time I go over items of the month. I've tried to make everything as tactile as possible. I found square toys to hold and explore, magnetic numbers 1-5 that stick to five metal juice lids that we count, the flash card book, a laminated card with the Bible verse, white poker chips, and a Bible story told from a board book that the children are encouraged to "read".
The chart is called Desktop Horizontal Pocket Chart and it happens to have five rows for five days in a week. The cards have site words on the back and I put pictures of the toys and activities I have.