Preschool and K4 students work their way through the alphabet letter by letter. They need to learn to recognize letters by their shapes, and they need to know what sounds the letter makes. These are important pre-reading skills that will help them when they get to K5 and beyond.
Learning the alphabet doesn’t have to be boring. Since young children learn best by experiencing the world around them, parents and teachers can make learning fun by involving all of the senses.
October is both National Pizza Month (according to pizza.com) and National Popcorn Poppin’ Month (according to popcorn.org). Put these two ideas together for a fantastic p-themed party that will help teach little ones about the letter p.
Encourage the kids to dress up as something that begins with the letter p. Examples include a pirate, parrot, princess, painter, pumpkin, policeman, popsicle, or postal worker. Or you could let them wear their pajamas to school!
Every party has to have food. For this p-themed party, pizza and popcorn are on the menu. Below are some great easy recipes for treats you can prepare ahead of time.
4 quarts popped popcorn (unsalted, butter-free)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup light Karo® syrup
1 stick margarine
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil and coat it with cooking spray. Add popped popcorn.
- Combine the margarine, salt, brown sugar, and Karo® syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture comes to a rolling boil.
- Boil for five minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, and quickly add the baking soda and vanilla; stir until the mixture turns an even caramel color.
- Pour mixture over popped popcorn and toss to coat evenly.
- Bake for one hour, tossing every fifteen minutes. Allow to cool; store in an airtight container.
2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup sour cream
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1½ cups broccoli, chopped
1 carrot, grated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pat crescent roll dough onto a greased jellyroll pan. Pierce with a fork.
- Bake for ten minutes. Cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, and ranch dressing mix. Spread onto crust.
- Add chopped vegetables. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or more in the fridge. Cut into small triangles and serve.
Don’t forget about your kinesthetic learners. Below are some p-themed activities to get the kids moving.
The day before the party, ask the children to bring an object to school that starts with the letter p. Sample objects might include a stuffed puppy, a small pumpkin, a pencil, or a puppet. On party day, let each child carry his object as you all line up and walk around the school building. Be sure to smile and wave at the people you pass!
The day before the party, ask the children to bring a pillow to school. Play the classic game of musical chairs, but use pillows instead!
Bag of circus peanuts
Two buckets or other open containers
- Divide the children into two teams.
- Use the masking tape to mark two starting lines on the floor. Place the buckets two to three feet away from the tape marks.
- Challenge the children to try to toss the circus peanuts into the bucket. The team that gets more circus peanuts in the bucket wins.
As you can imagine, the possibilities for a p-themed party are endless! If you have a p-themed party idea, please tell us about it in the comments.