We did this craft for Father’s Day, but it’s a great way to introduce letter recognition and can be adapted for a birthday, holiday, or any day of the year.
This is what you’ll need:
Step 1 – Prep the Project
Glue the craft sticks into square-shaped frames. (Parents can do this ahead of time – give it a day to dry if you’re not using a glue gun). Cut the cardboard to extend to the outer edges of the craft sticks. Glue it to the back of the craft sticks with white glue or a glue gun.
Connect: Show your child the frames and talk about square shapes. Have kids trace the squares with their fingers. Use the frames to trace a square onto the cardboard. Kids can help with this step.
Step 2 – Decorate the frames
Connect: Observe what your child does. Does he or she prefer to paint inside the craft stick square? Does your child focus on painting the wooden sticks? Talk about “inside” and “outside.” Some kids prefer to paint with their hands or fingers. That’s ok. Encourage your child to paint in the way that feels best.
Step 3 – Cut out a Letter
Draw a letter onto a piece of colored paper. (The letter should fit within the square frame). You can use the first letter of your child’s name, M for Mommy, D for Daddy, etc. Spell out your child’s full name for a unique wall hanging in his or her room.
Connect: Talk about the sounds the letter(s) make and what words begin with them. Kids can help draw and/or cut out the letter(s).
Step 4 – Embellish the Frame
Using white glue, stick the letter into the center of the frame. (If your child has used a lot of paint, the letter may simply stick to the paint). Add flair to the piece by gluing on glitter, sequins, beads, and buttons.
Connect: Allow your child to squeeze the glue him or herself. You can use the phrase “dot, dot, not a lot” to describe how to squeeze just enough to get a small dot out. However, if your child chooses to squeeze a great deal of glue out, that’s OK too. Kids learn quickly how to control art materials like glue if they are given the chance to practice themselves.
Product Recommendations from Discount School Supply®:
Colorations® Classroom Craft Sticks - 1200 Pieces (Item # CPCS)
Colorations® Washable School Glue - 1.25 oz (Item # PSCWG)
Colorations® Activity Paint, 16 oz. (Item # CAP)
Colorations® Washable Glitter Finger Paint, 16 oz. (Item # GLFP)
Colorations® Non-Roll, No-Drip Paint Brushes - Set of 24 (Item # NONROLL)
9" x 12" Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper (Item # 9CP)
Super Sequin Pack - 8 1/2 oz. (Item # DAZZLE)
Colorations® Extra-Safe Plastic Glitter - 1lb. (Item # GL)
Bright Wooden Beads - 1 lb. (Item # WOODBEAD)
Assorted Grandma's Buttons (Item # PTBTN)