Sometimes you find a perfect craft to inspire a story time….and then have a really hard time finding books that fit. That is exactly what happened to me for this theme. I was so excited about the craft! But I Spy books aren’t generally for reading in a story time setting. Instead, I started searching for stories that had “finding” elements in them. One of my coworkers suggested two that she used to read with her daughter that worked perfectly! The craft (which I will talk about below!) included letter recognition and basic ABC knowledge reinforcement so these books have to do with letters also!
- Shiver Me Letters by June Sobel
- Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood
They were both really great books and allowed the kiddos to practice letter matching AND finding things!
I’ve been trying to work on this especially with my group. I lost about 12 participants to kindergarten in August, and the group I have now is VERY young. Usually we work on skills to prepare them for kindergarten like cutting and standing in line and sitting quietly while I am reading but I felt like I needed to go back to the basics for the time being to really reinforce letter learning. Some of them don’t know them well at all, but I am working on making it fun for them and giving them some extra practice.
On to the craft!
We made ABC I Spy Bottles!
The bottles are Voss plastic bottles. I ordered a case of 24 from Amazon awhile back to do crafts with, and they are my favorite bottles ever. They are thicker than the normal bottles, and they are a better shape for things like this. I have used these bottles before in my Ocean story time for sensory bottles. I’ve got handful left so I will probably be able to do 1 more craft with them before I run out!
I got the beads at JoAnn Fabric. They are beads, not little blocks. I had a hard time even finding letter beads I liked for this project, but these worked out great! They were bigger than normal letter beads, and I was able to buy a couple packs of colored letters, and a couple of black letters, so each kiddos got a mixture.
I did have to sort through all of the packages and make 1 full alphabet set for each participant so that was a little bit of work. When you buy variety packs like this there is no way to guarantee you have enough of the more obscure letters. It all worked out though! My example bottle was missing a couple of the sneaky ones, because I didn’t want to take the letters from the kids.
Each kiddo got a little container with their letters, and I went through the alphabet 3 at a time and had them find each letter and drop it in their bottle. In between each letter set we had them do three spoonfuls of rice to make sure all the letters didn’t get clumped up. They had to count the spoonfuls too so they got counting practice as well.
Here are some photos of the kiddos doing this project!
We taped the lids of the bottles closed and wrote their names on the tape too. Then they got to shake them up! It was a really great project.
I managed to not get a single picture, but we also did a letter hunt. I “hid” one of every letter around the library and had them each find 6 (more counting practice!). Once they found them, we identified them and colored them on a sheet. It was a fun scavenger hunt with more good letter practice!