Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut two 16.9-ounce bottles in half, then trim one of the bottom pieces to 3 inches.
Use the scissors to make cuts around the edge of the longer bottom piece, as shown, then slip it over the other and tape them together for the torso. Trim the bottle tops as shown, then tape them to each end of the torso, giving the crocodile a slight curve.
Hot-glue 4 bottle caps in place for legs, spacing them evenly for balance. Tape a tightly wadded ball of tissue paper in place for each eye, then tape over the open bottle ends as well as any other gaps.
Cover the bottles: Using the technique described here, cover the crocodile with green tissue paper.
Add the details: Hot-glue on a green craft foam tail, scales, and feet, black craft foam nostrils, white craft foam teeth, and googly eyes backed with semicircles of green craft foam.
CChildren can snip, snip away to create a scaly little paper crocodile. This simple craft is from Paper Scissors Glue, published by Ryland Peters & Small and written by Catherine Woram, a London mom of two daughters. While we might not see any in Michigan, this croc will be right at home in your kid’s room!
Stuff you’ll need
Plain paper for template
Template (click the photo to the right to download it)
Pencil Scissors (the smaller/more-pointed, the better)
One piece of color cardstock paper (green – or whatever you please)
Two googly eyes
Plain white glue
After you've clicked the image at right, to download the template, print it out on a place of plain paper. Cut it out with scissors.
Fold the color cardstock in half lengthwise and draw around the template using a pencil. Make sure the croc’s “back” is positioned along the fold.
Snip around the shape of the crocodile’s body, as drawn.
Along the back, create a spiky “spine” effect by drawing six evenly spaced pencil lines at a 45-degree angle to the ridge of the spine. Snip along the lines, through the fold. (Smaller scissors give better control.)
Open the crocodile flat. The cuts will have created six triangular shapes. Fold these back on themselves, exposing the triangle-shaped holes, and press flat with your finger.
Fold the croc back in half again, so the now-knobbly spines stand up all the way along its back.
Finish off by gluing a googly eye to each side of the croc’s face. Use the paintbrush to stroke on his teeth with white paint (sketch it with pencil, first, if you’d rather).
Print out very large letters—up to 3 feet tall. Besides being almost as tall as the child., these letters can be decorated with pictures of objects beginning with that letter.
Alphabet cookies — traditional way to teach alphabet letters. Decorate them with icing or sprinkles. Chocolate chip cookies can have chocolate chips on top, outlining the letter to emphasize it.
Foam letters (to cut out and decorate and play with)
Felt Animals to represent every letter, to go on a flannel board, and to play with (can also be printed out on paper)
Finger-paint the letters — easier to draw with a finger than with a pencil or pen. Finger-paint recipe included.
Letters on cards — Print and decorate your own letter cards. Flash cards shouldn't be dull.
Letter Sounds — online games to learn the sounds represented by the letters.
Palm Letters — spelling letters in the hand (sort of like reading a palm)
Learn Letters - online game to construct the shapes of the letters of the alphabet from circles and lines. A slightly different way to look at the lower-case letters, and makes the letters while involving less fine hand-eye coordination.
Color Letters – print out and color the letters with an animal whose name begins with that letter.
Use our alphabets in scrapbooks
Use them to decorate your scrapbook pages, or spell out your child's name on a school folder or workbook or file.
Make door signs
Children love to mark their own territory with their name on their bedroom door! Depending on age they can perhaps colour and cut their own sign, which can then be laminated for durability if you wish.
Print and laminate your child's initial, make a hole and attach to a key ring. Or use a ribbon or string to decorate a school bag or satchel so that your child will easily identify it. Teachers will come up with all sorts of ideas for using the alphabets on bulletin boards and around the classroom.
Print out our alphabets and display it where little ones will see it all the time! You may want to choose lower case letters for the UK, as most children are introduced to these first. Go through the alphabet regularly, pointing to the letters and saying the sounds they make; of course you can also sing the alphabet song!
Print out some of our alphabet cards and lay them out in a row - either alphabetically, or randomly. Have a counter for each player and a dice. Put the counters at the beginning of the row and let the youngest child roll and move their counter the appropriate number of spaces.
Depending on the age of the child, you can adapt the game in many ways:
when you land on a letter, you say the sound that the letter makes or move back x number of spaces
when you land on a letter, you say the name of that letter or move back
say a word which begins (or ends) with the letter you have landed on, or move back
say a noun, adjective, verb, adverb etc which begins with the letter you have landed on, or move back
Cut out one of the alphabets and place them in a never-ending path or circle, like a board game. You can place them in random or alphabetical order, and either stick them to the inside of a file folder so that you can use them again, or just place them down on a surface so that you can vary the game each time. Provide each child with a counter and a piece of paper and pencil. The children choose a letter and place their counter on it, writing the letter on their piece of paper. Now take it turns to roll one or two dice and move around the board. Wherever your counter lands, write down that letter on your paper. The first child to find a three-letter word using their letters wins. Older children can play with four or five letter words. You can also print out extra copies of the vowels and most popular consonants and use more than one of them on your "board".
Print out a set of alphabet cards and choose a combination which makes a word appropriate for your child's age. Scramble them up and have the child put them in the right order. You can make this game more energetic by "hiding" the cards around the room and telling the child how many cards he has to find. It is also a fun team game: use two different sets of alphabet cards and the kids will have great fun running around each other trying to find where their cards are hidden without giving away cards to the other team!
Create a trail of alphabet cards around the room (or house), spelling out a word or short sentence which the child will need to write down in a little notebook and present to you when he reaches the end. You can make this more difficult for older children by throwing in "extra" letters which he will need to identify and exclude.
Lay out a set of alphabet cards in alphabetical order. While the children close their eyes, take one card away. On your command they open their eyes and identify which letter is missing. Use a set of alphabet cards and 3 containers (bowls, paper plates etc) marked "beginning", "middle" and "end". Shuffle the cards and have the child turn them over one by one and place them in the appropriate container. Younger children could do this with the help of an alphabet strip.
Using a set of alphabet cards, turn one over at a time and try to identify as quickly as possible the letter before, the letter after, or both! Younger children could use an alphabet strip to help. Simply shuffle up a set of alphabet cards and put them back into order as quickly as possible. Give each player a piece of paper and a pencil, and shuffle a pack of alphabet cards. Decide on a "theme" such as flowers, girls' names, cities etc. Turn the top card over and, in a given amount of time, see how many words you can write down which begin with that letter. You can control this game more by deciding after the card is turned over what the theme will be! You can use the printable alphabets to make magnets, by laminating them and attaching magnets to the back.
Choose a word and find the correct letters to assemble for your child. Challenge them to change the word to another by swapping one letter at a time. For example, change "cat" to "cot" to "cop" and so on.
Print out two sets of alphabet cards (you could print one set of upper case and one set of lower case if appropriate) and deal five cards to each player. Place remaining cards in a stack face down in the middle of the table. Players check their hands for any pairs, and place them face up in front of them if they have any. The youngest player then asks a player of his choice whether he has a particular card. If he does, he must hand it over, and the pair can be placed on the table. If he doesn't, he says "Go Fish", and the first player must take a card from the centre pile.
The winner is the first player to put all their cards down on the table. You need at least three players. Print out two sets of alphabet cards, and include one blank card too. Doctor the set so that there are enough cards for each player to have between 6 and 8 cards (less for younger players) and the pack is made up of pairs plus the extra card - you will have an odd number of cards! Shuffle and deal out the cards. Each player checks their hands for any pairs, and places them face up in front of them if they have any. The youngest player then turns to the player on his left, and takes a card (without looking at it!) from his hand. If it makes a pair with one in his hand, he can put it down on the table. Play continues around the circle until one player is left holding the odd card and is called the "Old Maid".
Print out and join together an alphabet strip of lower or upper case letters (laminate if required). Write the other case of letters onto a set of wooden clothes pegs (you can usually buy these very cheaply at a pound / dollar store). Ask your child to clip the clothes pegs at the correct place on the line.
Print out a set of alphabet cards. Deal them evenly between two players. Players turn over the first card on their pile simultaneously, and call out if their card is closer to the beginning (or end) of the alphabet. They take both cards. The winner has the most cards when the pack is completed.
Make two copies (or how ever many you need) of a set of alphabet cards. Lay the cards in alphabetical order, replacing one of the letters with the ? card or a small object. Ask child to identify the missing letter or number. (We used a small toy spider called Spot and I would ask the children "what letter has Spot eaten"?) You could also spell out words and ask what the missing letter might be.
Make key rings, satchel tags
Decorate bulletin boards
The winner is the first to reach the end of the row! This game is also very adaptable for different ages, as you can assign each child a task appropriate to their age and skill.
Alphabet (file folder) anagram game
Which letter is missing?
Beginning, middle and end
How many words
A shorter and easier (and noisier) variation of the game is to decide on a theme for the whole game, and to try to shout out an answer as quickly as possible for each letter. Perhaps the winner of each round could take a counter and at the end of the game the counters are tallied for the winner.
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