Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Preschool Letter and Number Activities


Each of my children have shown interest and a couple even displayed excitement over learning their letters and numbers.  However, after a short time with a workbook they soon became bored and frustrated.  So, I pretty much do my own thing when teaching preschool levels.

I still buy certain workbooks that cover the basics, but I only use these for review and fillers.  They are not the majority of our learning experience.  In actuality they play a very minor role.

If you have ever tried to buy a preschool workbook you have probably noticed that the areas for printing are VERY small. And there is only a page or two for each letter. If your children are anything like mine, this does not work well.  The fine motor control needed to trace these small letters or numbers usually isn’t developed in a preschooler (at least not in any of mine).  Then they go further and want your child to draw a letter of their own.  My kids could not even come close on this skill when they were young.  And to my thinking why push them on this if they aren’t ready.  Plus my children have always needed more repetition then supplied in preschool workbooks.  I usually spend a week (or two) on a single letter.  I don’t move on until I feel like my child is recognizing the letters with at least 90% efficiency.

Currently, my dear girly and I are working on a letter a week.  We do projects like this:

preschool-1 preschool

I draw out large letters and then place dashed lines on the inside for her to trace. Plus I free-hand a picture of an object that starts with that letter.  Then I place the paper inside a clear protective sleeve, hand her some erasable markers and let her get to work. While she is working we say together, “A says a as in apple”, etc.   I show her the correct way to draw each letter and encourage her to try to connect the dotted lines.

So far we’ve done the letters, “I”, “O”, “A” and “L”.  I keep all the pages inside the plastic sleeve and when its time for review I have her work on the letters we have learned so far.  I like the fact that since we are using the plastic page protector and erasable markers, these pages are reusable.

preschool-2Another letter project we do is painting letters with watercolors.  On Monday, I draw out big block letters on white cardstock and then let her paint.  On Tuesday I cut out the painted letters and she glues them on a colorful piece of paper.  She also glues on pictures that start with that letter sound.

preschool-3All of our letter pages will be bound into a book.  It will make a great colorful way to review all the letters and their sounds.

prescool-2 preschool-5

On Wednesday or Thursday we do an art project that correlates with the letter we are using.  This week we did apple printing. These apple prints will be turned into cards which we will send out to those who need a little pick-me-up.  With letter “I” it could be an Indian headband. With letter “L” we will make a lamb.

Another thing I have her do is draw pictures in a notebook.  Today we were working on letter “A”, so she chose to draw a page full of apples in her notebook.

We are also working on our numbers, but I keep this pretty simple.  Usually I just flip over the letter sheets that are in the page protector and use the back to write the numbers on.

preschool-4I give her shells, beads, crackers, pom-poms, crayons or whatever is handy and she places the correct amount next to the number.  Then she takes her finger and traces over the number erasing it as she goes.  This helps her to remember how to draw the number and what it looks like.  

We also have big number cards that I lay on the floor and then I have her place them in the correct order.

Usually the last item we do in our school routine is a workbook page or two.  She really does like these!  My boys, who did not enjoy coloring, did not. If you have little boys my suggestion is to make your school time more active.  Let them draw big letters with chalk on the sidewalk.  Show them a number card and have them find the correct amount of stuffed animals from their bedroom.  They will get some of their wiggles out while searching for their items!  Playdough was always a big hit with my boys.  Have your children make the letters out of  playdough.  While they create have them help you say the sounds of each. 

The list really is endless if you get a little creative.

Tomorrow we will make applesauce to go with our letter “A” adventure!

And beyond that we will be creating and learning while keeping it as simple and reusable as possible.


  1. don't you just love this age! I am soaking it up as much as I can. It's so much fun. these are some great ideas.

    Of course having those blue eyes seems to draw attention away from everything in the photo!

  2. There is much freedom in doin' your own thing. You can really zone in and supply the child's needs.

    Summer's I don't use any curriculum in Kid's Church, I write my own then tailor it to my students.

    Your little princess is so very precious. Ya gotta love those eyes!

    God bless you sweetie and enjoy your creativity. :o)

  3. I love this post! I just started following your blog and am excited about reading about your homeschooling adventures. My husband and I were both homeschooled and we currently have 2 1/2 year old twins (a boy and a girl)who we are seriously considering homeschooling. These letter ideas are great!

  4. GREAT ideas Jenn! I would have enjoyed this post sooooo much when I had preschool/kindergarten kids to teach. Alas, the time goes by so quickly and those days are behind me. Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

    And I think you are very smart to make as much "re-usable" as possible! :)

    In His Love,

  5. How many ways can I say that your daughter is beautiful?? And... You're such a fun mom. :)

  6. very cute. and creative. :)

    lauren anne

  7. The timing of this post is amazing! My 3 year old is begging me to homeschool her, and I knew she wasn't ready for workbooks. With Josiah, I just waited until he was 5 to start all this, but she sees him homeschooling and she is NOT going to wait. Thanks for these awesome ideas!!!

  8. Wow all I can say is that you are a great writer! Where can I contact you if I want to hire you?


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