"V" is for vocabulary building! Preschoolers like to explore all the aspects of the alphabet, and one way to encourage their interest is by creating arts and crafts projects with large cut-out shapes of each letter to decorate. This helps develop all their senses and encourages fine motor development and, yes, vocabulary acquisition too. All of the following ideas begin with a large "V" shape cut out of posterboard or similar material.
Decorate a large cut-out "V" with pictures of objects cut out from old magazines and catalogs. Vans and other vehicles, violets, vegetables of all sorts, violins, volleyballs, vests, vacuum cleaners, volcanoes and vases are all picture possibilities. So are vultures, vines, Valentine hearts and velociraptors. For extra texture, add velvet fabric scraps and strips of Velcro.
Big V, Little V
This collage is similar to the one above, but instead of cutting out pictures, cut out examples of the letter "V" from magazines. The fancier the font or design, the better. You can also cut out "V" shapes from construction paper, origami paper and fabric scraps. Make them in various sizes. Let the children paste the "V" shapes onto their large cutout.
"V" stands for the color violet, a shade somewhere between blue and purple. Get out crayons and markers as well as violet-colored pieces of tissue paper and construction paper, violet pompoms, violet buttons, violet-colored fabric scraps, violet sequins and glitter, and violet feathers. Don't forget the tub of paste. Let your preschoolers color their "V" cutout and decorate it with the violet-colored collage materials. You can also let preschoolers paint their cutout "V" with watercolor or tempera paint in shades of purple. Add extra textural interest by letting children glue pasta, beans, string or popsicle sticks to the "V" and then painting over in violet paint.
Discuss with children the definition of vegetable. Carve a "V" or other shape into the flat half of a potato or large carrot. Let children dip the carved end into a shallow tray of paint and "print" the letter "V" on their large cut-out shape. You can add other vegetables for printing as well -- broccoli and cauliflower make particularly interesting patterns when dipped in paint. And your tot may enjoy dipping these veggies more than eating them!
Provide lengths of yarn and green leaf cut-outs made of construction paper or your material of choice plus glue or paste. Let your preschoolers create "vines" by gluing the yarn along the arms of the V cutout. Let them add leaves as they wish. You can provide violet-colored flower cutouts, too, if you wish, or use violet pompoms for the flowers.
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