Our unit, M is for Monster, includes: fine motor skills practice, letter recognition, letter formation, and a set of books, all themed around monsters. Each activity is designed to take less than 30 minutes – perfect for summer school. This is part 1 of my M themed preschool unit and includes a fine motor skills activity and a uppercase/lowercase letter recognition activity.
My two preschoolers and toddler enjoyed these activities, and each approached them in their own distinct way. It was fun to watch the different approaches, and it’s amazing to see the growth these three are making.
Activity One: M is for Monsters Coloring Page
This first activity focuses on coloring as a way to develop the muscles in little hands and fingers. This is a simple activity designed to introduce preschoolers to the formation of letter M while also helping them develop the fine motor skills necessary to write neatly and quickly in the future.
Because this activity is designed to build muscle tone and strength, it is important to make sure children are holding their crayons, or other coloring implements, properly. If round crayons are too challenging for the children, I recommend triangular shaped crayons. These crayons are larger and easier to grip properly for little fingers. I learned from experience that little hands need a lot of practice holding crayons and pencils so that their fine motor skills are ready for school.
One copy of M is for Monsters worksheet for each child, available here
Explain to the children that they need to color each monster (anyway they want) and then trace the letter M’s on the page.
As simple as this activity may sound, it can be very challenging and tiring for little hands. Be sure to give specific praise to the children for their efforts. My preschooler often asks if she can scribble. I always remind her that she wants to do her best as she colors.
Activity two: M is for Marigold, Upper and Lower Case Letter Recognition
This activity can be used as a review or assessment of upper and lower case letter recognition. It can also be used as a way to introduce individual students to the upper and lower case letter forms. Also, this activity helps preschoolers develop their fine motor skills through coloring, and develop their cutting skills. Both sets of skills are just as important as letter recognition in Kindergarten and beyond.
The activity takes about 30 minutes to complete. The children are asked to color petals for the marigold, cut them out, and then glue them onto the petals with matching letters. It’s a fun activity that gives the children a lot of fine motor skills practice as well as practice associating the two letter forms for each letter. This activity was difficult for my three year old to complete — she had to take most of it home to finish later. But my four year old didn’t have much of a problem. However, neither would have completed this activity without adult support and help.
Objective 1: Help the children begin to recognize the letter pairs of upper and lower case letters.
Objective 2: Help the children continue to build their fine motor skills and strength.
One copy of the M is for Marigold worksheet, available here
Begin by saying the ABC’s with the children.
After singing the song one time through, have the children point to the lower case letters as the song is sung again. Next, have them point to the upper case letters as everyone sings the song a final time.
Now explain to the children that they need to color each petal so the Marigold’s are bright and colorful for spring. And preview with the children that once they colored the petals there will be more things to do.
After coloring the petals, have the children cut out the lower case petals and place them in a paper cup or other containment device. We learned from sad experience that these petals are easy to lose.
Next, have the children take one petal out at a time and try to match it to the flower petals on the second page. Once they’ve found the match, have them glue the letter down.
Continue matching and gluing letters until the flowers have the petals on them. Then, if the children want, they can color the rest of the picture.
We completed these two activities over the course of a week. We alternated these activities with other activities from different disciplines. (Everyone enjoys a little variety, right?) The activities were fun, easy to set up, and a good way to help my preschoolers continue developing their fine motor skills and letter recognition abilities. The other activities will be coming soon!