According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, learning how to read and write starts well before most children enter the grade school years. Pre-kindergarten children can get a jump on literacy development with alphabet-themed activities. Instead of trying to cram the entire alphabet into one lesson, try helping your little learner to discover one letter -- such as the letter S -- at a time.
Creatures and Critters
Although you might know that snakes, spiders and scorpions all start with the letter S, your preschooler may not. Introduce this letter with slithering creatures and critters -- in the form of craft activities instead of the actual animals. Help your child to create his own letter S snake by rolling out a modeling clay coil and shaping it over an alphabet tracing. Use letter S stencils for your child to trace wavy legs onto a spider drawing or make S-shaped claws for a scorpion.
Preschoolers can create alphabet art using S-themed materials. Start your little one out with a large letter S. Print out a letter S that fills an 8-by-10-inch or larger piece of paper or draw your own. Create a bubble S, leaving at least 2 inches of space in between the lines. Help your child pick out materials that start with the letter S. Sand (craft sand), stickers and silver foil all start with the letter S. Have your child collage the S materials directly onto the letter, using clear drying, non-toxic school glue.
If you are looking for an art process that starts with the letter S, stamping is an easy-to-make craft activity that will help your preschooler recognize this letter. Have your child say the word "stamp" or "stamper," noting the S sound at the beginning. Use a letter S stamp and a non-toxic, child safe ink pad. Help your child to stamp the letter S onto a piece of construction paper or card stock. Mix and match the colors of ink and paper. Choose two or three colors of ink such as red, green and blue along with two different colors of paper.
Help your preschooler learn the letter S with a movement activity. Get your child up and moving around while still learning about literacy. Show your child pictures of the letter S or have her draw an S with your assistance. Ask her to move her body into an S shape. She can put her arms over her head and then curve them downward to create the top of the letter. Have her bend at the waist and use her legs to make the bottom of the S.