Monday, April 17, 2017

How to Teach Your Preschooler to Write Their Name

Writing can sometimes be a frustrating process for your preschooler. In conjunction with the Amazing Action Alphabet Writing Book one and two, I use these 4 steps in teaching the child to write his or her name. These 4 steps are enjoyable and lead to success in those early writing years.  (Ebooks also available>> Handwriting Books Level one and two) 

Teaching handwriting for preschoolers

Step 1: Cut out each letter of the child's name and place a dot, or an apple, indicating where they begin. Place the name in a sheet protector and have the child stay in the lines while tracing their name with a dry erase marker. I use this for the first half of the year for my three and four year olds in conjunction with the Amazing Action Alphabet Handwriting Book Level One

Handwriting beginning with apples

Step 2: After your child can stay within the lines I move on to making the letters in his or her name in blocks.  I still give the child a starting point and a few other dots to help them form his or her name correctly. Use the sheet protector along with a Mister Clean Eraser so they can practice daily.  

Amazing Action Alphabet Handwriting for Preschoolers

Step 3: The last year of preschool or even kindergarten I use my Amazing Action Alphabet Handwriting Level Two Book. At this stage we talk about top middle and bottom lines. We discuss how apples fall DOWN, (see this blog post for more information about teaching handwriting and apples falling down) and when they write they will have their apple starting at the top of the letters falling down. The Tree Template (found in the Handwriting Level Two Book) helps with his concept! Be sure to have the name in a sheet protector so your child can practice again and again.

Handwriting lines for preschoolers with apples

Step 4: The last step... at this time your child should feel confident writing within the lines going in the correct direction for each letter!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Reviewing Letters with Nail Polish on N Day

Children love learning about the "naughty" newt in the Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart! The newt is "naughty" because he writes on the walls with nail polish! So of course we explore the letter N with nail polish! 

Teaching letters and sounds with nail polish review activity

Use the nail polish to review the letters taught by painting each letter on the nail. I found a basic Hand Clip Art for you to use!

Hands preschool nail polish activity craft letters sounds review game

You can simply ask the child to identify the letter on each nail. If the child is correct they can paint the nail with nail polish. 

child painting with nail polish preschool learning letters and sounds

Or you can ask the child to identify the letter that begins with a specific word. (e.g. "Paint the nail that begins with the word pan." The child would obviously paint the nail that has the letter p on it.)

hands nail polish review game activity colorful nails preschool fun

Another enjoyable activity is matching the uppercase letters on the nail polish bottle with the lower case letters on a brush. I simply found a Nail Polish  template and wrote the letters on the brushes and bottles. 

Nail Polish Preschool Letters and Sounds Review Game

A matching game really shows the teacher if the learner knows the skill taught.

Nail Polish Preschool Letter and Sound Review Game

Using nail polish is a great way to build fine motor skills. Many children do not want to use a pencil, but find painting with the nail polish much more enjoyable.

Using the nail polish uses the same motor skills as using a pencil... So your child is now "writing" with pleasure!

Name in Nail Polish for Preschool Review game colorful activity

Stop by our store and grab an Amazing Action Alphabet book for someone on your gift list this season!

Preschool Learning with Amazing Action Alphabet book Review letters and sounds with nail polish activity and game

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Most Common Mixed-up Letters... a, b, d, p

I've worked with children in classrooms and one-on-one for over 20 years.  What I'm about to share is a SIMPLE WAY to help the child remember the difference between 4 very similar letters.  Let's revisit the lowercase letters b and d as well as lowercase a and p. It is such a common error of most children to reverse these letters!  While reviewing the letters with the Amazing Action Alphabet Flip Chart I also bring out these cards.

help teach letters b d a p preschool

My very favorite way to help children remember these letters is to say...

b.. Draw a wand first (straight line) then add the bubble (circle)

Bubble Blower - Bubble

d... Draw a door knob first (circle) then draw a door (straight line)

teaching letter d preschool
Door Knob - Door

a... Draw an apple (circle) then add a small tree branch (short line)

teaching letter a in preschool
Apple - Branch

p... Draw a pot handle first (straight line) then add the pop for popcorn (circle) 

teaching letter p in preschool
Pot Handle - Pot


Isn't this fun!  I hope you can use this great teaching tip today.  What are things that have worked for you?  Together we can teach these kids.

A quick activity to review the letter P. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Blending sounds for Early Readers

I've been talking a lot about blending sounds, and it's because it can be the first big hurdle to reading! Using a variety of blending templates for your preschooler or early reader helps keep them engaged and makes learning enjoyable.

While using the Amazing Action Alphabet Mini Book I also take the time to review the word list in each story before reading that story.  Today I am reviewing the word family /on/.

teach reading blending train


Create a train template with simple train clip art.  I found a cute one HERE.   Laminate your template and you'll use this over and over again.  I promise!  

Preschool reading train

First sound out the letters separately. Second, push the train cars together and have the child blend the sounds.  Say things like; "Try saying it faster!" or "Keep the train running, don't stop in between sounds."

Train blending word families

Try teaching the word families together by changing the first letter on the train.

train blending word famlies


There you have your new favorite blending game!  I had an old game from a teaching supply store that I didn't use much.  I changed it up and used it to teach simple words and word families.  Be creative!  You might have something in your file cabinet that could work for you!  

Reading train

Some of your children might not be ready for blending sounds together.  A great pre-reading train themed ideas would be to create a train template like I found on the Thriving Home Blog.   Play a matching game with the wheels being the upper or lowercase letters.  What a great idea!

Letter matching train

Another fantastic pre-reading activity I found on Still Playing School.  Print out some train tracks and practice the sounds in a word you're working on.  I have my eye on her blog!

train track letter sounds

Choo!  Choo!  This train has places to go.

Another great idea to practice word families. This is an example of how to review the /at/ family.

Until next time!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blending Sounds and Teaching Reading With WAVES

In the beginning stages of reading it is always a struggle blending the sounds together.   When I am teaching my early reader I use the Amazing Action Alphabet Mini Reader.  I teach the new words from a story and have a child blend the sounds, and practice reading the words.  Here is an additional way to make blending the sounds together more enjoyable. 


Blending sounds together with wave

Here I have two different templates.  One template is for separating the sounds with three short waves, or three sounds.  The second template is one continuous long wave, or one continuous sound.  In my pictures the blue papers are my templates.

I also have a laminated white paper that I use for writing the words and sounds we are focused on.  I use a dry erase marker and magic eraser for easy transitions to new words.  

First practice the sounds separately using the three wave template.  j--a--m!

blending sounds with three waves

Next we change templates and use the one wave template saying the word in one continuous sound. jam!

Blending sounds with one wave in reading

Often I will say something like, "Say it the fast way," or "Now squeeze the sounds together and say it smoothly."

Blending sounds can be a struggle, but with creative ways you can help a child read words fluently AND have fun!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Stuffed Animals Make a Great Preschool Teacher Assistant

In my Amazing Action Alphabet teaching world (my real job as mom is stellar, but more about that later:)) I'm always looking for props which help me teach letters and sounds to my sweet students.  Attention grabbers, funny things, or random objects around the house help me create that magical teaching moment when the student hangs with me for a moment...and learns!  

Meet some new alphabet friends.  H the horse and M the moose are covered with stickers that have their beginning sound. 

Stuffed animal teaching letter H

The children loved to run around the room huffing (making the /h/ /h/ /h/sound) and galloping with our horse.  
Stuffed animal teaching letter M

M the moose was rubbing his belling many times making the /m/ /m/ /m/ sound.

What is your most recent attention grabber or teaching aid?  Today try a stuffed animal!  Anything to make these animals come alive is worth the effort.

Until next time friends!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Reading Review Game: Swat the Word!

Amazing Action Alphabet's Beginning Reader is a MUST HAVE for all preschoolers and beginning readers.  This book has 26 mini books that build upon each other as the reader progresses and learns more letter sounds and words.  

Today we read the I the Insect book.  We reviewed in a fun way called "SWAT THE WORD!"  I wrote the words from the book on little lady bugs.  

Word Review Game for Amazing Action Alphabet

When my reader read a word he could SWAT that bug.  BAM!  Flat paper bugs are my favorite!

We were itching with fun as we read this book and practiced the /i/ sound!  This Beginning reader is also available as an Ebook for ONLY $6.99!  This game is a fun way to review words from any story or frequently used words.  

Enjoy friends!