Make An Alligator and Learn About the Letter A
Sure, Apple starts with A... but so do big, green Alligators! Kindergarten is an important time when kids are learning about letters and sounds. In this activity, your child will have fun crafting an alligator out of household items while developing "letter-sound correspondence," a skill that will prepare him for reading by connecting specific sounds to letters and will eventually help him link those sounds into words.
What You Need:
- Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
- Green paint
- Green construction paper
- 2 googly eyes from an arts and crafts store
- Black permanent marker
- 1 piece of plain white paper
What You Do:
- Help your child paint the cardboard tube with green paint, and set it aside to dry.
- While you’re waiting, cut the plain white paper into strips lengthwise, 1”x11”. Tape three of them end to end to make one strip that's 33” inches long.
- Then, ask your child how many words he can come up with that start with the letter A. Let him dictate as you write the words in clear block letters onto the 33" strip. If your child knows how to write a word, let him write it down for you. See if you can fill the whole long sheet. When you’ve filled the paper with all the "A" words you can think of, roll up the strip tightly.
- By now, the paint on the tube should be dry. Help your child use the scissors to cut a v-shaped opening in the front of the cardboard tube for a mouth. Use the sharpie to draw teeth. Then help him use the sharpie marker to draw on scales for the alligator. Cut four legs from the green construction paper, two stand-up “eyes,” and a pointy tail.
- Glue the legs onto the bottom of the alligator, the tail onto the back, and the eyes on top of the construction paper.
- Glue the end of your rolled up “word” strip inside the alligator’s mouth. A is for alligator…but when you and your child unroll the words, it’s for dozens of other stuff too which your child will be reading before you know it.
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.