Skip to main content

Letter A Tot School

This was our first week we used our new tot school focus of phonics and letter construction. It wasn't a huge shift from what we did the first time through the alphabet, but there were some subtle changes that I hope to expand over time. Our first tray in our Letter A Tot School unit was a sandpaper letter/salt tray. 

Henry is 34 months.


This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

This was the first time I used the sandpaper letters and the salt but this is going to become a permanent feature each week. Henry and the co-op kids all seemed to have some interest in the sandpaper letter -- but not as much as the salt. I'm hoping over time the sensory aspect of the salt will lose its appeal and they will be more interested in using the tray how it was intended.

Letter A tot school trays! To teach phonics and introduce the letter A here are some tot school tray ideas for older toddlers.

Ideally, they would trace the letter, while saying its sound. Then, write the letter in the salt. Henry did trace the letter quite a bit, but never did it in the salt. However, he has an iPad app that he used to dislike because it makes you trace the letter to unlock the game -- well, this week I noticed for the first time he was able to unlock the letter a! So, something must have been sticking. 

The second tray was a letter a sight{ish} word game. I made two cards with letter a words written in lower case, then the kids had to use scrabble pieces to match the letters and spell the words. The first card {shown} was apple. The other was the name/picture of one of the little boys in our co-op whose name start's with A. 



The final tray was a set of 3-part cards that we used the first time with the letter A. On this particular set, I left one set of cards together so it was a little easier to match. It was probably a little too easy for the kids and Henry but this time I also included the words, which were more of a challenge. 


Other Trays


Letter A sensory bin: I'm keeping these since they provide a good opportunity to learn vocabulary and to identify words that start with each letter. 


Bead Name Game: For purposes of this picture, I used a "Henry" sheet, but this week I used a sheet with the little boy with the A name. But to protect the boy's identity I'm not going to show that exact sheet. The idea was to fill in the circles of the boy's name with the glass beads. This was a hit -- especially with the boy! 


Apple Color Sorting: On this tray I got to use one of my many apple trays! I included three different colored barrels and a bunch of small apples. The children could then sort the colors. This was a big hit for Henry, who is very into color sorting right now. 



Letter A font matching: This was another repeat from the first time we did the letter A. The point was to match the green and black A's that looked a like. I saw one girl using this during the co-op, but otherwise it was completely ignored all week. 


*Sorry for the lack of pictures of Henry. Henry has decided the camera is the most awesome thing ever all of a sudden and if its out all he does is make cheezy faces at the camera then look at the pictures. So, in order to try to not interrupt his work, I've been leaving it out of tot school. Sometimes I will catch a few moments on my phone -- see all of those on Instagram


Comments

Love the name/gem page! Very cute. I would have thought the matching of the A's would be a good idea. Thanks for letting me know it wasn't a hit.
Becky Marie said…
You have such great ideas! Did you make the apple sorting cards?
I didn't make the images, but I found them online, made them smaller and cut them out.
If you want them, let me know I can easily email you a pdf!
Cherine M said…
Such a fun collection of activities!! I love your glass apple dishes:)
Unknown said…
I want them please such a brilliant method! My email is: natalie.daou@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Did you make the letter tile cards (apple)? I see you have them for D as well (donut and something else!) - didn't know if you had them for all the letters of the alphabet. I'd be really interested in those cards! They'd be great for 2 of my boys right now. If you made them and are willing to email them my email is j.raymond872005@yahoo.com.

Thank you so much.
Julia

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem, or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.


One note, however, Montessori is at its core about following your child's own path and respecting your child as a whole person. So, if your child has a toy, lovey, book, or whatever that your child super loves or is super attached to, but it doesn't fit Montessori ideals, don't take it away. Follow your child, that is more Montessori than whether or not you own some specific consumer product. 
How to Purge You…