Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! This post is all about our Z week activities from last week, which I must warn you was packed with multiple outings and fun.
Letter Z Ideas
As always we start each day with a mini circle time/morning board activity. We talk about the days of the week, the months, the season, the weather, shapes, colors, the calendar, and we do whole alphabet activities as well. We always end this time by discussing our letter, shape, and color of the week. I love how it brings us back to our focus for the week but also gives us a consistent way to start school everyday.
We kicked off the week by running zigzags. We would yell “zzzzzzig” and run one way, then yell “zzzzzzag” and run another. Not only did Bumblebee and the twins love it, but it was great practice for making the z sound and good exercise. I got this idea from “Make Physical Fitness Fun”, we also really loved doing X jumping jacks when we talked about the letter X.
This week we worked on the idea of patterns. I used printable truck pattern pages from The Measured Mom. Bumblebee is still having a hard time getting the hang of what “pattern” means but these pages were a lot of fun. They include eight different patterns with a total of four different trucks. There are also extra trucks included so that you can make your own patterns. She requested to do the “trucks” again this weekend which is amazing. I can tell that she is struggling with the concept yet she still wanted to work on it, and on Saturday night, too. I love her enthusiasm for school!
I don’t always work in handwriting practice mainly because I’m not convinced that she is ready and I don’t want her to get frustrated. She is such a perfectionist that I know she will want her writing to be perfect and handwriting is hard for little hands. However, the letter z is all lines so I thought we would give it a try. I printed out a zoo packet with all kinds of zoo activities such as tracing shapes (which were cages around different zoo animals), traceable letter Z’s and the word “zoo”, a counting/circling activity, and more. She had so much fun with circling numbers and tracing shapes that I thought we would just try the word “zoo,” Guess who she proved wrong, me!?! She traced the entire word with her left hand all by herself. She’s been trying to write with her right hand and it’s been a struggle but she switched and did great.
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We also read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and did a sequencing activity that I found here. Bumblebee had a hard time punching holes, mainly because I didn’t have a real hole punch, but she had a blast stringing the items together in order as we read through the book. We even counted each item to make sure that it was exactly like the book. Such a great activity! If you have a real hand-held hole punch this is a fabulous fine motor activity.
If I haven’t mentioned it yet I will now. I absolutely love block letters for letter recognition activities. Since we went to the Zoo, we used zoo animal stickers in her letter Z. I actually had to walk away for a brief second to tend to the twins and when I came back she had placed all of her stickers in nice straight rows within the block letter creating a beautiful Z.
I also used a lower case block letter z for a marble rolling paint activity. We placed the z in a shoe box and rolled a marble in some paint. Then, I had her roll the marble around all over her Z. It gave the Z “zebra stripes” and was so much fun.
As always I try to find a way to let her do some watercolor painting. So, she used her watercolor paints for this coloring page.
There are so many great books out there about the zoo, zoo animals, zebras and more. We read “Goodnight, Gorilla“, which Bumblebee really loves. She gets so angry if we don’t talk about what is happening on the wordless pages, but those are the pages that she gets the most detailed about. It’s like those wordless pages allow her to use her imagination to say what she thinks or imagines is happening. It’s so wonderful to see her imagination at work. We also read, “Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo.” This is such a cute book about what happens to a little girl when she shouts at the zoo. You can also use this book to teach cause and effect or chain reactions with older kiddos.
Our bible story this week was Noah’s Ark. So we talked a lot about having faith, the ark/ boats, and animals of all shapes and sizes. I also found this super cute ark craft, but we just ran out of time, so we didn’t get around to making it.
Field trips/ Adventures:
The weather is still beautiful and it was Z week, so how can we pass up this wonderful opportunity to go back to the Zoo. We visited a large zoo nearby over the summer, so this time we drove a little further but went to Gammi’s zoo. Not only was this zoo super cute and peaceful, but it was also free. I love anything free! It may not have had a lot of larger animals but the girls didn’t mind and for the first hour we almost had the whole place to ourselves.
We also took a recess break one day and headed out to our local fall fest. We bought season passes so we try to go at least once a week. This time we zigzagged our way through the corn maze and on the pony hop.
Finding local events,especially free or cheap ones, has been a lifesaver this fall. It has given us a chance to get out of the house and socialize with other kids and has also fit in well with our weekly themes and just reinforced what we’ve been learning at home.
For more information on God’s Little Explorers Curriculum, Click here to visit Motherhood on a Dime.
Check in next week for ideas and activities for the letter T.