Saturday, August 31

Tot School: Letter 'A' Theme

The first week of "Tot School" here at the house has come and gone and all is well. Things didn't always go according to plan or schedule, but baby steps were made in the right direction and I'm pretty sure Little Man learned something and that's what's important!

The theme for the week was the letter A. I didn't do a lot of focus on the actual letter (though Little Man does recognize the letter now and can point it out) but it helped to have a letter so that I could pick activities with a general theme. Even though I know that letter recognition is important, it's not my emphasis for Little Man just quite yet. Since he's only 2 years old right now, I'm focusing more on gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and his social/emotional skills, as well as developing his speech.

Allow me to cover a few housekeeping tidbits, since this is the first post of the series, then we'll move onto the fun! Throughout the next 26 weeks, you'll find that a lot of the activities I picked are geared towards 2-year olds and those 3 specific skills. I do include a couple activities that involve that actual letter itself but that's all. All of these activities can be easily adjusted to fit the needs of different age children. On occasion, I might mention a few variations for a particular activity. However, my main focus will be on 2-year old "tots".

Each month, I'll be featuring an e-book that has helped me with ideas, activities, concepts, and organizational strategies for teaching your child, or children, at home. I'll also have a link set up in my sidebar. These are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to click on the link and then purchase the ebook, I will receive a small compensation for referring you. All earnings will go back into "Tot School" and be used for purchases related to my Little Man's education!

If nothing else, this series will help me to keep my thoughts and ideas organized so that I can just refer back to my own posts for next year! If I'm going to try and organize my thoughts, I might as well share them with you and allow you to glean whatever you might find useful (or add ideas in the comments section!) So without further ado, let's move onto week #1 of Tot School!

The very first thing we did for the week was make an alligator for the letter A. For the first day I let Little Man carry it around and growl at everything. Later, we hung it up above the chalkboard wall so that it didn't get torn up before the week was over with. It was fun to ask him "Where's the A?" and watch him point to it and growl.

Some other fun activities that we did which were specifically related to the letter A were arranging almonds on the letter A and gluing apples with the letter A onto an apple tree.

I hand-drew the apple tree activity so it's not all that impressive. However, I still scanned it and turned it into a PDF incase you'd like a copy. Click here to download the apple tree PDF.

One more resource I have to tell you about, if you don't know about it already, is the channel over on YouTube. I really does make me have fun when I'm teaching Little Man! They turn the alphabet song into a rap and they stick with that rap theme for all of their songs. Not only were we able to listen to the alphabet, we were also able to listen to a song specifically about the letter A! Go check it out if you haven't seen it before. They have songs about all the letters, numbers, shapes, sight words...and even songs about weather, parts of the body, SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Goodness...the list goes on and on. Great resource!

My favorite part is "Write an uppercase/lowercase A in the air!"

For snack each day, we had apples, apple and cinnamon oatmeal cookies, and almonds.

We found eating with a toothpick to be much more enjoyable.

He sorted them with his Curious George book before sorting them in the box ;-)
Our math concept for the week was sorting shapes. We already had a store-bought shape sorter (which I love) but I went ahead and made him another shape sorter using a spare piece of cardboard and some felt. I hold onto pieces of cardboard like a true pack-rat.

I traced some shapes onto the cardboard in different patterns and then cut the same sized shapes from 4 different colors of felt (I'm a little low on my felt supplies, so the colors weren't the prettiest combination but it worked!) I then glued pieces of velcro in the middle of each shape on the cardboard and the felt naturally sticks to it quite nicely.

This could be a good activity to reinforce patterns and grouping of colors as well.

We did do some pretend play with Little Man's farm toy and farm animals (which just so happened to be my toy back in the day). It's important to point out that animal sounds are a great way to help your child develop their speech. Learning animals sounds helps the child to learn all of the essential sounds that we make in the English language. Interestingly, when I was still in language school here in SE Asia, I noticed that they do animal sounds differently. For example, for a fly or bee we would say "zzzzz" but here they do a swallowed "ng" sound like "nnnnngggggg". All that to say, playing with animals with your toddler is helpful, not just for building their imagination as they play but also for their language skills!

The final activity each day usually involved pulling out the sensory bin. For this week's sensory bin I used oatmeal and filled it with the letter A, some apples printed with numbers, muffin cups, and spoons to scoop the oatmeal. If we were in the States, I might add some acorns too.

Word to the wise (or maybe just those who decide they're going to get up and do something else for a second and leave their content and happy toddler to explore on his own...ehem), don't let your toddler pour water in the bin when you're not looking. Sigh...he's a curious boy.

Before nap time, we liked reading "Ten Apples Up On Top" by Dr. Seuss.

On the note of books, I'd like to close with my recommendation of the ebook, The Preschool Journey, by Angela Thayer.  Click here to visit Teaching Mama.
Buy Now
($6.99 USD)

In The Preschool Journey, you will find encouragement and helpful ideas for your preschooler. Here’s what’s included in the ebook:
  • Detailed explanation of what should be covered in preschool
  • Ideas on how to set up and organize your preschool at home, as well as how to schedule your day
  • Curriculum for an entire preschool year (for ages 2.5-5)
  • 26 weeks of lesson plans centered around alphabet letters. The plans include an alphabet letter craft, games, hands-on activities, and a list of books to read with each letter
  • 50 pages of printables to use with these play-based learning activities.
It's available in both PDF and Kindle format. The Preschool Journey is like a breath of fresh air for any Momma that's feeling overwhelmed at the thought of teaching their own child. This ebook is so well organized and packed full of goodies.

Links to Tot School Lessons by Letter:
A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you come back next week for Week 2 with the letter B! Don't forget to via email or follow along on BlogLovin' to receive posts just as soon as I publish them!

I also love comments and love new ideas so don't be shy :-)


  1. Love your blog, and love this post! We just started Tot School here, so I will definitely be checking back in! Great ideas, and thanks for scanning the apple tree picture, we are definitely going to use that! :)

    1. Thanks Kali! I'm glad to hear this was helpful for you. It motivates me to keep going with this series :-) I hope you enjoy my oddly shaped apples, haha. I was going for a realistic drawing ::ehem:: Look forward to having you back for more Tot School fun!


I love hearing from readers so don't hesitate to leave a comment! I always try to reply back in a timely manner. If you'd like to be notified when I reply to your comment, be sure to check the "notify me" box. Thanks!