Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tot School + PreK Learning Activities: Letter H for Halloween, Honey and Hats! (Bonus Share: Project 101: Weekly LIbrary Challenge Books)

Today, I'm catching up with two series and sharing many of the fun letter activities we've done for the Letter H over the past two weeks and sharing about what we're reading now for Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge. We've been having lots of fun and focusing a lot on quality family time, but I'm excited to take some time to share today. 

Our Tot School focuses on a letter each week, and we explore that letter through all five senses with lots of preschool level extension activities as well. I love this set up because it reinforces letter learning with Caterpillar, my 2 year-old and beginning letter sounds with Wild Thing, my 3 year-old.

My favorite thing we did for letter H was learn a lot about honey. I've been wanting to take the boys to a local honey farm that features a tasting room, and we finally went! (Of course, I forgot my camera). The experience worked so well as we explored the letter H. At the tasting room, we tasted at least 10 different types of honey and compared the different smells of the honey. The colors and texture of the honey varied as well, and there were honeycombs and hives the boys could look at. Plus, we got a fabulous Honey Farm coloring book for just $1, as well as a jar of honey and some honey BBQ sauce. I love supporting local farmers and expanding Caterpillar and Wild Thing's understanding of honey. In fact, for Wild Thing, honey was a really great learning activity for the letter H because we also learned about hives, hexagons, and honeycomb! 

We've also been reading some fabulous honey books. The boys love The Honeybee Man by Leli Nargi, about a Brooklyn beekeeper. It's a fun story, but also quite informative. The boys particularly enjoyed learning that bees communicate with one another by dancing -- of course, they danced around while they buzzed as inspired by the bees. I've been reading an interesting book, too: The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees by Grace Pundyk. I love travel books and The Honey Trail is that and so much more. The story begins in Yemen and from there goes around the world, literally, as Grace pursues some of the tastiest honey in the world and explores the reasons that bees are disappearing. Reading about honey while the boys are reading and learning about honey is lots of fun. Sometimes, Wild Thing has so much many questions and I don't have answers, but this time I do! Do you ever read adult books that connect with books that your children love? 

Exploring Letter H in the weeks leading up to Halloween was perfect timing, since H is for Halloween, House and Hats -- this gave us lots of opportunities to focus on haunted houses and hat fun in connection with Halloween. Wild Thing excitedly shared his discovery that haunted and Halloween were "h" words! 

Houses were our focus for letter H things we can see. On a walk, we counted houses and observed the different colors and styles of the houses in our community. When we arrived at the park, we made some houses and read a fun haunted house book: In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting

We decorated soap boxes to make houses, then played at the park -- lots of pretend haunted house play on the playground inspired by our book. We also had a snack and made the letter H out of our crackers. Simple, but fun. I was also glad that I brought number stickers with me as Wild Thing had to add numbers to his house -- he's really interested in addresses right now. (In fact, a walk home can take quite some time as he must read every address on every house!)

For touch, we had lots of fun with hats, hair and hands. We touch with our hands, so we did some hand activities (sorting the hand cut-outs we had by color), and we explored the different types of hair that people have and had lots of fun playing with hats -- fluffy hats, warm winter hats, baseball hats, cowboy hats, etc. The Hair Book by Graham Tether is a fun book -- and of course, Wild Thing pointed out that hair and hats go on our heads -- another H word! We did an activity where we put different hat stickers on snowman faces that I cut out from a holiday catalog that came in the mail. (The hat stickers and catalog faces are in the blue box in the basket and were a fun surprise for the boys to discover).

The big hit was Halloween Hats by Elizabeth Winthrop -- a fun book that features lots of different costumes and hats and ends with a Halloween party where everyone throws their hats in the air and gets a new one. This book inspired lots of hat and costume fun for the boys. Here's our Halloween Hat basket and all of the fun it inspired.

Trying different hats on themselves and their animals was lots of fun!
We also had some hat-making fun using paper bags and hat color sheets. 

Finally, for sound, we talked about different things we can hear -- letter h, and they loved that we hear cars going Honk! Honk!

Wild Thing also excitedly picked out Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle stressing to me that h is for hear as he selected the book at the library. It didn't take long before we had all of our animal magazines pulled out and were making our own Polar Bear book. Here's a peek. 

With H we're almost 1/3 of the way through the alphabet, and we're having so much fun. Here's our other Tot School + PreK Learning Experiences: A is for Apple (and so much more), Bells and Bears, Tot School Letter C Learning Through Play, Kid's Co-Op ABCs and Fun with the Letter D, Eggs and Elephants (and so much more), Fire Trucks, Fish and Feathery Fun (including a Letter F Linky), Letter G: Exploring Ghosts, Garlic and the Color Green

Plus, my Tot School Pinboard has all of our Tot School posts as well as many other toddler learning activities and letter focused learning experiences, and another fabulous resource is All Done Monkey's 31 Days of ABCs, through which I'm linking this post for the Letter H Linky hosted by Toddler Approved. Finally, I also have a Tot School Photo Album on my Facebook page to see our letter learning activities through photos and photos that didn't get shared on the blog, so make sure you like The Good Long Road on Facebook for more fun and simple learning activities. Thanks for reading! 

You might also like:

Bee Sensory Bin + Honey Painting
Lavender Painting & Sensory Play
4 Ways to Play + Learn with Brown Bear
This Year's Halloween Story Box 


  1. What great ideas. I love how you categorise each sense and activity :)

  2. Wow! You did so many great activities for the letter H. The honey tasting sounds like a lot of fun. I love the fun Halloween hats too. Our little ones would love your books about "honking" too. That is a fun word for the letter H.

  3. Your homemade hat is fantastic, and I love the soap box houses!

  4. I enjoy how you manage to pour yourself into every blog post. You wear many hats, no pun intended. Thank you for sharing your corner of the world with us!