Exploring The Letter Z: Zucchini, Zebras, and Zippers

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter U ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter Y: You, Yellow, and Yarn “.

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If you have read any of our other posts, you will already know that we are big fans of Zucchini Muffins! They are a wonderfully healthy snack, but they are also incredibly easy to put together. It’s also a great activity for LC to help us with in the kitchen. For this letter Z exploration, we thought that we’d wrap up this letter unit by making these tasty treats along with learning all about the letter Z.

Zucchini Muffins – Here is a link to our post all about baking in the kitchen with our little one: ” Cooking For Toddlers: Yummy Zucchini Muffins

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Zucchini Vegetable Video For Preschoolers 

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We’ve touched on several different animals throughout our entire letter exploration, so it was only right that we ended our unit with Zebra! We’ve spent plenty of time watching videos of zebras, learning about what they eat, where they can be found, and examined their unique coloring.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Z For Zebra – For this activity, you will need one piece of white construction paper, one piece of black construction paper, and one piece of construction paper that will serve as your background. You will also need a pair of scissors, a set of googly eyes, a sharpie, and a glue stick.

First, cut out the letter Z from your piece of construction paper. Next, cut out several stripes from your piece of black construction paper. Present your little one with the background piece of paper, the letter Z, and the stripes. Have them glue the Z onto their paper and then have them add the zebra’s stripes. Add the googly eyes and that’s it! Don’t forget to use your sharpie to add a title to your child’s work.

Zebra Coloring Sheets – Here is a link to the coloring sheets we used for this portion of our letter unit.

Zebra Finger Puppets – Here is a link to this adorable project from I Heart Crafty Things. This is such a cute project!

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Zebras For Kids Video

Zebra

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The toddler age brings about a lot of different discoveries. From being able to communicate what they want to eat, and everything they don’t want to eat, to learning how to use those tiny fingers to do things. There are a million different toys, videos, and practice games parents can present their little ones that help them learn how to tie a knot, button up a shirt, or zipper up their jackets. We like real world applications for learning these types of skills, so for this portion of our unit, we did a ” Zipper Search ” in our home and challenged our daughter to zip up all of the zippers she found.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Zipper Search – We walked around our home to each room and each closet to hunt down different items of clothing that had zippers. This was such a simple activity to do with our little one, but we think it really helped her perfect this skill. Zippering up and down is the easiest of tasks for most kids to grasp, but the hard part of starting the zipping. We found that this activity really help our little one figure this part out!

Zipper Boards – If you wanted to create a more ” sit down ” activity for your little ones, we recommend making your own zipper board. These boards are super easy to put together and it is significantly cheaper than buying one of those fastener puzzles you see in the stores. Here is a link to a great blog post that features the steps for making your own zipper board and 24 other activities for keeping your toddler quiet and busy !

 

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And that wraps up our FINAL letter exploration post! We’ve had such a great time learning and growing with our daughter and have loved every second of her discovery. Next week, we’ll be publishing our post featuring links to each of our letter exploration units, as well as activities and project ideas that work with the entire alphabet. Be sure to check back with us!

Brittany XOXO

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