- Alphabet book to introduce the activity, like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. (Simon & Schuster, 1989; $15.95) or Harold’s ABC by Crockett Johnson (HarperCollins, 1981; $5.99)
- Sponge alphabet shapes
- Tempera paint
- Paint trays or paper plates
- Large sheets of white paper
- Language and literacy
Read an alphabet book such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or Harold’s ABC: Invite children to join in and identify the letters of the alphabet as you read. Afterward, explain that they are going to make alphabet art.
Prepare the art area with a few small paint trays or plates with several different colors of tempera paint: Divide the sponges among the trays.
Invite two to four children to the art area: After they put on their smocks, give them each a large sheet of paper.
Show children the materials and suggest they make “ABC prints” with the sponge shapes: Younger children may enjoy choosing random letters to place around their paper, while older children may want to create their names or other familiar words.
After children have completed their work, provide them with strips of paper on which to print out their names: Attach their names to the bottom of their prints to identify each artist. Find an area in the room to display their work.
Remember: You may need to write out words on scrap paper for those children who show interest in making words with the alphabet sponges.
Sorting the Letters in Our Names: Ask family members to write their names on a sheet of paper, making each letter about an inch in size. Suggest that they then cut out all letters in each name and place in a pile. Invite parents to assist their child in sorting the letters into piles. Which letter pile has the most? Which has the least? Finally, suggest that parents help their child organize the letters to spell out each name.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: LITERACY
ABC Picture Mural: Write the alphabet across the top of a large sheet of mural paper. Draw lines between the letters to create columns where children can paste pictures. Invite children to cut out interesting pictures from old magazines. Help them identify the beginning letter sound of their pictures. Suggest that they glue the pictures under the appropriate letter. Write the word under each picture.
Baby Einstein: The ABC's of Art
by Julie Aigner-Clark
(Baby Einstein Co., 2002; $15.99)
I Spy Shapes in Art
by Lucy Micklethwait
(Greenwillow, 2004; $19.99)
Miss Spider's ABC
by David Kirk
(Scholastic, 2000; $8.95)