O is such a fun letter to teach. Granted, O makes many sounds, but there are so many fun ways to teach the letter. For this preschool unit — O is for ocean. The ocean is full of so many amazing things that using it to teach about the letter O becomes a fascinating and fun experience. Our unit included a science activity, an art experience, a fine motor skills practice, and handwriting practice.
Activity 1: Paper Collage Ocean
We watched some of “The Living Plant” by the BBC to introduce the ocean and the creatures that dwell there. We also made an “Ocean in a Bottle” to reinforce some of the information we learned from the video and our discussion about the ocean. Finally, we made a paper collage of the ocean, including hand drawn animals to populate the ocean.
Start by talking with the children about what they saw in the video. Ask them what type of ocean animal they liked best. Have them draw that animal and then cut it out.
Next, have them tear blue construction paper (of differing hues) and glue the pieces to a blank paper. Then have them add an ocean bottom to the scene.
Finally, have them glue down their animal drawings to their ocean.
Activity 2: Painting O’s
Red, yellow and blue paint
Empty toilet paper tubes
Begin by making sure each child has a smock on. Then talk about how the end of the toilet paper tube makes an O. We had a lot of fun with this art activity and ended up with some great O covered pages. My preschooler mentioned how much the O’s looked like bubbles.
Pour out a little of each color of craft paint in a pie tin or on a pallet. Give each child three tubes. Tell them to stamp the O’s onto the cardstock. Then stand back and let the children be creative. Let them make 2 or more pictures.
Save at least two papers for the fine motor activity later in the unit.
Activity 3: Stuffed Fishy Fine Motor Skills
We used the painted O’s papers to create this activity, which the kids thought was really cool. We cut out a fish shape, sewed it together, and stuffed it with fluff to make it 3-dimensional. My preschoolers loved working with their fish. The sewing and stuffing helps to develop the children’s fine motor skills.
Two pages from the O’s painting activity
Heavy duty thread
Before starting this with children, take the two O pages and place them with the painted side out. Then cut out a fish shape and punch holes around the edges so that the children can thread the fish sides together.
Now that the fish are ready, have the children start to thread the fish together. Most children need help threading the heavy thread through the holes, so stay close until they get the hang of it.
After they’ve threaded ¾ of the fish, have them stop and stuff the fish with some of the polyester fluff. Then, when the children are happy with the stuff level of their fish, have them finish sewing their fish together.
Activity 4: Three Way O’s
This handwriting activity involves forming O’s three different ways. We used clay, scrapbook supplies, and pencils to practice the letter O shape. My preschoolers loved making the O shape with the feathers, and rolling out the clay.
Handwriting Printable, available here.
Give each child a copy of the printable. Set out the scrapbook supplies and have the children begin by using the supplies to fill in the large and small O’s on the top of the page. After they’ve finished with the first two O’s have theme start working on writing the letters.
Finally, it’s time to have fun with the clay. Have the kids roll out clay and make the shape of the letter O’s.
This unit was a fun way to explore the letter O with my preschoolers. The activities don’t take much prep work before they can be done, and the fine motor skills are practiced in almost every activity. My children enjoyed exploring the ocean and the letter O.