To get back into the school groove, we started with a unit based on the classic alphabet book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin. There is a reason so many kindergarten classes start the year with this book. For us it was a great way to review our letters and ease back into our school schedule. To get in the spirit, we started with a palm tree I made in our school room. I just used brown construction paper and part of a very cheap green plastic tablecloth.
I printed these letters out on cardstock and hung them around the house the night before our letter hunt. I was surprised how much the girls enjoyed finding them and for some reason wearing them. They were still in their pajamas when we got started. We then hung the letters up on our palm tree just like in the story.
You can’t talk about palm trees without exploring coconuts. I picked some up at the grocery store and after touching and describing them from the outside we broke them open (well, their dad broke them open) and then we all got to taste the coconut milk. It was different than all of us were expecting.
I stuffed one of the coconut halves with baking soda and then we took turns pouring the vinegar in to make our volcano explode. Having recently visited Hawaii, the girls loved mixing two things they saw on their trips. And then of course, they had to play in the mixture while it was fizzing.
Shake & Color
This was another letter review activity that I’ve seen on a few different sites. We made these palm trees out of Sprite bottles then filled them with rice and small laminated letters (I used the color version of their worksheet). The girls would shake the bottles and then identify the letters they saw and color them on their worksheet.
Boom Boom Letter Game
The girls loved this game which we picked up from Kindergarten Kel here.
Letter Sensory Bin
This was super simple to set up but fun for the girls. I just tossed magnetic letters into our sensory bin with some blue water to mimic the ocean. They fished the letters out with chopsticks (great for motor skills) and then sorted them by capital and lowercase.
These number cards from Kindergarten Celebration were a huge hit with the girls. They filled in the squares on the ten frame for each number and also formed the numbers out of playdough. You can find the cards here.
We also used these worksheets I picked up online. For the uppercase letters the girls marked the letters with dauber dots as we read through the first half of the book. The lowercase worksheet involved matching the letters together. Click on the links below to find the worksheets.
This was all purely for fun but the girls LOVED the themed bath I did for them. The palm tree pieces are cut from regular fun foam sheets–when wet it sticks to the tiles easily. I used some alphabet pieces we already had although you could also cut those from fun foam if necessary. The girls also played with the coconut pieces but if you do this, be sure to clean them carefully. We learned that the hard way.
We also enjoyed snacks inspired by the book. I saw a few different versions of these online. For us, we used grapes to make the coconuts. The girls were also much more willing to try something new (they have never been a big fan of kiwi) when it was in the shape of a palm tree.
We also baked Chicka Coconut Banana Booms. You can find the recipe here from Growing Book by Book.
I precut the pieces of the palm tree and then the girls assembled it. They then decorated the tree with letter stickers and were supposed to make a collage using magazine pieces. Unfortunately things didn’t go according to plan.
As for other art projects, there are tons of cute ideas online. We kept running out of time and the girls weren’t feeling crafty so as much as I loved all the ideas I saw, we never really made any of them. 🙁
Need more ideas? Feel free to check out my Pinterest board!