If you have an emerging reader at home, you've probably heard it lots of times: there's no such thing as too much practice with those A,B,C'S! The challenge, of course, is to make letters and sounds as relevant as possible to the wide world around us. With Father's Day coming up soon, why not “seize the day” by connecting the holiday with some valuable literacy learning, and make Dad happy in the process? Here's a simple, fun way to do it.
What You Need:
- 6 sheets of white legal size paper (8-1/2”x14”)
- 1 sheet of colored construction paper, 12x18”
- Digital photographs (optional)
What You Do:
- To make a “book,” start by cutting a cover from the colored construction paper, slightly larger than the legal size paper (about 9-1/2”x15”) Fold it in half horizontally so that it measures 7-1/2”x9”.
- Now fold the legal sized paper in half, so that it measures 8-1/2”x7”. Insert it into the folded construction paper, and use the stapler to fasten everything along the fold line.
- On the cover, have your child write “ABC Fun with Dad,” and either draw a picture of Dad or glue on a picture of him—all the better if it's a photo with Dad and kid together! While you're at it, make sure that your young author has also signed his work.
- At the top of each page of the book, have your child write a letter of the alphabet, moving from A to Z. If your child is just starting out with letters, capitals alone are just fine, but don't hold your kid back if he wants to add lower case letters as well. On the rest of the page, have your child make a picture of something that Dad does that includes a word that starts with that letter. Does Dad play tennis? Love to take your child swimming? Eat watermelons in summer? Presto: you've got pages for T, S, and W already!
- Do take notice: for little kids, this is a big project. Parents, it's probably wise to work in stages here—perhaps just a few letters a day over several days. For kids, it's all outstanding learning: each letter matches a sound, each sound contributes to a word, the words describe Daddy, and you can bet on it—he'll be truly delighted by this gift.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.