A Letter-Whenever Alphabet Sticker Activity Book for (Sort of) Tot Schooling Moms

If you're familiar with tot schooling and homeschooling, you've heard of letter-a-day curriculum. Now, me, I love order and planning and so a letter-a-day tot schooling plan really appeals to me. My daughter? Not so much. I'm not actively trying to teach her to read (we'll wait a few years for that), but I recognize that she will be routinely quizzed by well-meaning adults so I felt I needed to equip her with the basics. (She once won a pink tumbler at a pizza place this way.) I'd tried printable letter-themed activities, but E ignores them, although she does them when she is at play school twice a week. Perhaps she is past the age when coloring a picture of an A and an apple fill her with glee and satisfaction.

Stickers are another story. She loves them! We do a lot of sticker-based activities using whatever stickers I happen to have handy at the time. So when I saw this B is for Breakdancing Bear Alphabet Sticker Activity Book at NBS (also available through Amazon.com—disclaimer: this is an affiliate link), I took a chance—and hit a jackpot.

I've been really impressed with National Bookstore's selection of children's books lately. My daughter and I are enjoying this recent find, pictured above, just one of the many I'd have wanted to take home on a recent shopping trip to find a gift for a classmate (because, more often than not, I give books. Sorry, not sorry). I had been looking for a fun activity book to leave around the house for her to do when I'm not in the mood to clean up art messes.

The pages are colorful, the activities are varied and simple (for example, "count and color," do either, both, or none—just draw funny designs on them and call it a day). She's always asking to do the activities in this book. And once I got over the thought that letters of the alphabet need to be learned in a particular order, this became more enjoyable for us. We could do whatever activities we liked whenever we felt like it, which, without the pressure to learn, happened more frequently.

Let me take you through it:

There are four pages devoted to each letter. One page is for letter writing and introducing uppercase and lowercase letters, which are not interesting to my daughter at all at the moment. What she likes are the creative illustrated word pairings that she can color in. Just as the name of the book suggests, each letter has a cute little animal character performing some preschool-appropriate action, like a breakdancing bear or an exploring elephant. I like that the vocabulary is a bit more challenging for her so she will often ask me what a word means (and I will make up an answer, haha); she likes that the drawings are funny.

The next page has a die-cut letter shape of the uppercase form of the letter, along with tracing lines for pen or finger. She's not yet ready to follow the lines, and I feel her not wanting to "get it wrong" because she says she likes to "do it fast" and will do it wrong deliberately. I must have corrected her one two many times in the past. Bad homeschooling mommy who was taught to stay within the lines. I am still learning to bite my tongue and not make it all about me. 

The next two pages have various activities related to the letter. Count the objects, color the objects, draw things to add to the object, as well as more things to trace or practice writing with. She chooses which parts she wants to do. Sometimes she'll count, sometimes we'll "add a design." She likes the sticker activities best, of course, and she shows uncharacteristic care when matching up the stickers with the silhouette guides.

Mostly she likes to make up stories about the things she sees on the page. As you can see, this is my favorite part, too. Can you guess what happened on this party bus? Good times.

We practice letter sounds a little while we work and I'm surprised both by how much she knows without being taught and also by how difficult English is as a language. 

"What letter makes the 'wuh' sound?" 

"Y." (as in "why")

Makes sense to me. Why that is not the case is beyond my scope of knowledge. Sorry, E. 

I was going to reserve this for when she was a bit older, but I've found that it's impossible to "save things for when" with her. She knows all my hiding spots. Good thing this only costs Php269 (strangely, it's more expensive on Amazon, at $9.99). Maybe I'll get a backup for when she's ready to do the other activities. Or, as will soon be my habit, I'll tear out and laminate the pages. Yay, I'm getting a laminator! #goals

Have any favorite letter-recognition activities for your preschoolers? Do share!