Thursday, 17 November 2011

Z is for Zoo

(Goblin is 25 months)
I have been holding off doing any letter work with Goblin. He's only just turned two and it seemed a bit young - there are so many other things to learn. But his nursery have started introducing him to letters so I thought it wouldn't hurt to join in as long as its focussed on fun rather than anything serious and educational. So I started today. 

I planned to go to the zoo this afternoon, so I decided we'd do the letter Z this morning in preparation. I cut out a big letter Z using one of Goblin's Autumn leaf paintings, and glued it to an A3 piece of sugar paper. I printed out pictures of the animals we were going to see at the zoo (using google images to find good ones) and cut round them. Then I presented the page and the animals to Goblin with a tub of glue. He put glue on the back of the pictures and stuck them round (and on) the Z. I hung the finished article half way up the stairs so for the rest of the day we saw it at every nappy change. He'd point at it excitedly and I'd remind him it was a Z. Goblin was so excited by the animal pictures that when finished the art work he went and got his tub of schleich animals and matching cards. 
I separated the matching cards into zoo animals and farm animals to add a bit more to this game because he's played it so often he's quite good at the straight matching. After placing most of the animals on the cards he decided they needed to go for a ride in his tractor. 
This gave me a chance to gather up some Zs from around the house and make a Z bin. I left this lying around and Goblin found it later in the morning and excitedly rummages through it. 
 Here is what he found. 
A bean bag, a cube, two flash cards, a magnet, a bottle top and the LeapFrog fridge phonics magnetic alphabet toy. He even turned the LeapFrog toy on and pressed the Z to hear it - he hasn't shown much interest in it previously.
Once he'd finished with his Z bin we did some colouring. Goblin has got really into colouring again recently. I printed off some Z printables from the totschool site (these are such a great resource and they have ones for every letter). 
I'd never tried these with Goblin before and I was really surprised that he didn't just scribble on  them. I showed him how to trace the letter Z (see the one in the top left hand corner) and then I gave him the next one to try. It may not look like much but he was really obviously trying to draw within the lines and follow the Z shape. I was really excited. I also printed off a bingo dabber letter Z sheet. I let Goblin use my old bingo dabber to fill in the spots. 
The ink in a real bingo dabber can stain - everything! You can get crayola chunky markers that are washable kids versions. You can also get kids bingo dabbers on the US amazon site but I couldn't find them in the UK. (Let me know if you find them). 
 One rather cool thing about the adult bingo dabber is that if you hit it hard on the paper it splats. Goblin discovered this and did some splat art. He liked it so much he asked me to stick it on the wall. I stuck it next to his Duck picture (he told us it was a duck) and his coloured in stamp picture in his art corner. After a busy morning and a nap we met Squeak and his mum at the zoo. Goblin wanted to see fish so we went on a rather interesting route round the zoo taking in lots of the aquariums. Our favourite aquarium didn't have any fish in it though. It had sealions. 
When we got home from the zoo we carried on our Z themed day with some letter matching, an animal jigsaw, and some more of the printables from the Totschool set. 
I think I could get quite into this letter thing. It certainly provides lots of options for play and Goblin seems to really enjoy the printables. 


  1. Oooh what a wonderful Zoo collage and set of activities! Love that you went to the Zoo too :-)

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  2. What fun Z activites. The aquarium looks really cool. Thanks for linking up to TGIF. Have a GREAT thanksgiving & we'll see you next week,
    Beth =-)

  3. How fun!!! Stopping by from TGIF :)


  4. Great creativity and that show the love for the zoo.I too love the wildlife and found this very interesting.


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