Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tot School- Letter of the Week- Letter Ii

We're finally finished with our letter Ii week, our first vowel week, and all I can say is, Man are vowels tough! When trying to plan for this week I initially found lots of great ice & ice cream activities, but then decided to instead focus on the short vowel sound since that's the one used most commonly to form words. That pretty much left me scratching my head, but in the end I think we found some great ideas and both Dude and I were happy with the topics we covered.

Our I words: Instrument, Insect, Igloo, Inchworm, Into, Inside, Indian, Itch


We kicked off our letter Ii week by pulling out our box of instruments and moving and shaking to our Laurie Berkner DVD. I'm in NO way musically inclined, but this DVD is great for lending itself so easily to the kind of silly dancing that we like to do. We actually have her 2nd DVD on the way right now.

We did an I is for insects page from Making Learning Fun.

Dude did the Getting Ready Letter I Tracing from 1+1+1=1. I put the page in a sheet protector and let him use Dry Erase Crayons . We love these! He's a bit of a perfectionist and often times wants to correct it when he makes a mistake. The dry erase crayons help keep him from getting frustrated. And I like that I don't have to worry about him getting marker on his clothes. 


Dude did an igloo craft similar to the one I saw over at Homeschool Creations. He cut up strips of white paper and glued them onto the igloo I had drawn out. I had him use a Q-tip for applying the glue. He actually got bored with this before he was finished though, so I took over the glue application and just let him put on the paper.

 He did his letter I Do-A-Dot painting. Always a favorite! This worksheet is from COAH.


For this activity I hid the Indians figures in our sand box and let Dude search for them and count them out into a numbered egg tray. Dude absolutely LOVED this! He was eagerly counting and kept telling me "Now I need to find #_!" I loved the fact that this mixed a sensory experience with math.

I do realize "Indian" may not be the most politically correct term, but they fit in so well with our I theme that we just went with it. Ours came from Dollar Tree. You could also use "insects" instead if you had those.

On a particularly gloomy and rainy day, we reviewed body parts by having Dude scratch itches in the places I called out. 

It didn't have anything to do with the letter I, but Dude enjoyed building block towers with his number cards. You can read the details here on my Tot Trays post.


I absolutely loved this math idea when I saw it over at Hart 2 Hart. She used ice, but we went with our Indian figures since we were doing the short i sound. I had Dude roll a number dice that only had 1-3 on it. He then tonged that many Indians into a glass and repeated this step for a second glass.  Next he dumped both glasses into a bowl and then counted out how many Indians he had in the bowl. I added the magnetic numbers as he went to remind him of the numbers he counted. This was his first real introduction to addition and he did pretty well with it and wanted to keep going for awhile.


We also used our Indian figures to discuss some positional words. We started with in & inside, but also talked about out, outside, under, on, beside, behind & next to.

We made a fun little insect craft that Dude has enjoyed flying around the house. I figured any insect would do so went went with a butterfly. You can read all the details of how to make it here.

Dude did his letter builders.

He colored his phonics coloring page and then another day glued on pictures of things that start with the letter I. Both printables are from Homeschool Creations. (Some of the pictures start with the long I sound.)

Before I did any inchworm activities with Dude I wanted to make sure he knew what an inchworm was. So we looked at videos of inchworms on Youtube. We liked this one. We also looked at several caterpillar videos and talked about the differences between the two.

Then Dude attempted this inchworm building activity from COAH. He had a tough time with this.

Ok, so it didn't exactly follow our short vowel letter I theme, but I gave Dude some shaving cream to play in so that I could get a meal prepared. I did suggest he draw I's, but he vetoed that idea pretty quickly. I also gave him ice cubes to make it more interesting.


Little brother also got in on the fun!


We pretended our living room carpet was a lake with crocodiles and Dude had to jump from rock to rock (towel to towel) without falling IN. He had a good time rescuing cars and animals from the window sill. 

We brought our Indians back out for a little memory game. I removed an Indian while Dude had his eyes covered, and then asked him to recall which one was missing.

We discussed the concept of measuring in inches. I wish I had picked out some books to use in advance of doing this activity that were exactly so many inches. Dude was pretty confused when the books fell between 2 numbers.

He did this Letter I search.

 And this inchworm counting activity from COAH.

He sorted some capital and lower case I's that I'd jotted out on scraps of paper.

He worked with the new Letter I CVC  words printable that I made for him. We worked on identifying the ending sound first and then filling in the blank with the correct beginning letter.

And we finished up our I week by making this igloo craft that I saw over at Hart 2 Hart. I knew Dude wouldn't have the patience to do this for long so we used a little bathroom size paper cup and I cut up a cereal box for the base and to make a door. I hot glued the cup and cardboard pieces together ahead of time and let Dude glue on the marshmallows. He ate at least as many as he glued on!


  1. What fun activities!!!! Love the igloo!

  2. Lots of great activities!

    Super idea to hide the Indians!!


  3. What a super fun week!! I'm stopping by from Preschool Corner.

  4. What a fun week! :-) I am hopping over from Tot School.

  5. I covered Ii a couple weeks ago with my twins but I'm definitely bookmarking your post for our next time through the alphabet! Great ideas!!

  6. Oh my goodness, I love all your fun activities! So many great ideas in here! Looks like a great week!

  7. Wow! You got a LOT accomplished this week and looks like you had a lot of fun. Thanks for the links back, too, by the way!

  8. Great activities-am curious what an inchworm is though. I am English and whatever they are, we don't call them that here lol!

  9. @ Fiona, so sorry to have missed your comment! From what I understand an inchworm is a kind of caterpillar, a moth larvae. But they move in a very particular way because they don't have legs on the center part of their bodies. You can check out the youtube video I linked to above to check it out. They just sort of inch along. It's pretty neat! I also just read that they're native to North America ;)


Thanks for your comments!

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