Here’s a delightful series of
arts and crafts books to teach or reinforce letters, numbers, and shapes
with your children. Kathy Ross is one of my favorite kids crafts
authors, because the projects are age-appropriate and use common items.
Most of the projects encourage further play and exploration, too. Best
of all, they’re always a hit with the kids!
Letter Sounds contains 29
different projects. Every letter is represented – from "Activity on an
Anthill" to "Zipper-Bag Zoo Book." The last 3 projects use the entire
alphabet. The final project uses and Altoids mint tin, a magnetic strip,
construction paper and a hole punch to make a take-along letter builder
in a box. Great for car trips and waiting rooms. Some of my other
favorites inclued "Pear Print Penguins," "High-House Hat," and " Under
Letter Shapes continues the
theme – from Airplane A to Zinnia Z, with a few extra alphabet projects
at the end. Each project is based on a pre-cut letter. If you’re working
with a group, they suggest using a die-cut machine. Most of the projects
also include other words and images from that letter, which may give you
more ideas to build on and talk about while making the project.
Numbers starts with a project
for the numbers 1-10, but has several projects incorporating numbers –
calendar markers, playing card counters, clock, cell phone, and more. I
liked the "Bathtub Boat and Two of each Crayon Animals," which uses up
the old crayons in the bin. "Seven-Day Story" also teaches the days of
the week and encourages story-telling. "Gift-Bag House" helps kids learn
their house numbers.
In Triangles, Rectangles,
Circles, and Squares, each project focuses on one type of shape, and
there are a five projects for each shape. Most are paper-crafts, with
construction paper and glue. Each then uses one or two unique items from
wiggle eyes to buttons. "Hairy Squarey" used an empty small pudding box
as a decorated planter that grows grass seed. In triangles, we make a
triangle handbell, triangle page markers and more. The square decorated
post-it pad is a cute gift, too.
This series is great for those
who need an introduction to letters, numbers and shapes, and those who
could use a reinforcement. Beginning readers will also take to these
creative projects and go far with them.
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