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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers

Preschool Activities - Using Alligators And Apples To Teach The Letter "A"
By:Mary Robinson

The Overall Experience

When approaching preschool from an educational perspective, it's important to remember that at that tender age children learn holistically, that is from the whole experience, as opposed to from the individual parts of the experience. This is why educators integrate a variety of experiences including song, crafts, and activities into a typical preschooler's day, which helps to reinforce both social lessons and educational development.

Among the most common topics for preschool educators to cover is the alphabet, since it helps to provide children with, literally, the building blocks for reading and writing. Try integrating some of these preschool activities into lesson plans about the alphabet in general or when focusing on this letter in particular.

The Letter A: Apples

A is often the place where educators begin their alphabet exploration, seeing as it is the first letter of the alphabet. These preschool activities and crafts focus on two of children's favorite letter A things: apples and alligators.

This craft, called Apple Shaker, requires red poster paper or paper plates and red paint, brown and green construction paper, and a small amount of noise maker such as dried beans, rice, button or small rocks. To begin, cut out a number of apple-shaped pieces from the poster paper, or paint the paper plates red. Also, cut out some small stems from the brown construction paper and green leaves from the green construction paper.

Glue or staple the stem and leaves to the top of one of the apples. Next, glue or staple two apples together, leaving a small hole for the insertion of the noise makers. After the noise makers have been slipped in, glue or staple the rest of the shaker. For added fun, have children compose a short song about how much like apples.

Not all preschool activities should involve cutting, pasting or stapling, such as this version of Bobbing for Apples. This activity requires a large bucket and a number of small apples. Fill the bucket up with water and place the apples in the bucket. If the children are having difficult grasping the apples, try cutting the apples into smaller slices.

One at a time, children are to try and retrieve an apple from the bucket without using their hands. This activity is popular around Halloween, and provides an excellent opportunity to begin educating the children about a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The Letter A: Alligators

Finally, here's a game that children really enjoy called "Feed the Alligator". To begin, draw a large alligator head on a piece of green poster board. Make sure the alligator has a mouth that's approximately double the size of a beanbag. Cut out the mouth, and add paper teeth if desired.

Tape the alligator head to a chair or small table. Now it's time to feed the alligator by standing a few feet away and trying to throw a beanbag through its mouth. If the preschool activity is too easy, increase the difficult level by having children stand further away from the alligator.

Mary Robinson has been teaching preschool for well over a decade. You can get instant access to her preschool activities, crafts, and lesson plans by visiting her website:


For a limited time, all visitors to Mary's site will also get a free copy of her special report: "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Preschool Teachers and Parents Make". Go get your free copy today!

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