Thursday, March 1, 2012

The ABC Book by Dr. Seuss

****In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we read his ABC book.  He has lots of wonderful books, but this is one of the shortest and its length is why I chose it for our bouncy twos and threes.  


Gathering Activity: Letter Pretzels

We made homemade pretzels together.  We prepped the dough before class.  As the children arrived, we handed each a ball of dough.   They had fun playing with the dough and rolling their pieces out into "snakes."  

Then the moms formed the snake into the first letter of the child's name.  We baked them during circle time. 

Here is the pretzel recipe we used Wednesday in case anyone would like to use it.  We used one cup of whole wheat flour, and that didn't seem to change the texture of the pretzels.

1 1/2 c warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
4 to 4 1/2 c flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp melt butter, optional
Coarse salt or sugar and cinnamon for topping

Measure the water into a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle in the sugar and yeast and stir gently to dissolve.  Then stir in 3 cups of flour and salt until combined.  Gather the dough in your hands and place it on a floured surface.  Knead, working in more flour a little at a time until you have a soft dough that doesn't stick.  Continue kneading for an additional 8 minutes.   Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover.  Let dough rise until doubled, about an hour.  Heat over to 450.  Punch down dough and divide into 16 pieces (we did 8)  Roll each piece into a strip and twist it into a pretzel shape.  Fill a large stainless steel pot (not aluminum)  with 3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and add baking soda to the water.  Gently drop pretzels into the water and poach for 1 minute.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pretzels to a greased cookie sheet.  Brush on beaten egg, and salt now.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.  Brush on melted butter and if your making sweet pretzels roll in cinnamon sugar.

This activity was inspired by an idea I saw in The Friend magazine.  

Circle Time

We read Dr. Seuss’s The ABC Book

We let each child come and find his or her name on the flannel board during circle time.  As an added bonus, they got to hold the Cat in the Hat puppet.

We sang the ABCs.
We sang the song "A You’re Adorable."  (I printed out words for each mom).
Lyrics found here at

Art: Alphabet Stamping

We did alphabet stamp art on large white paper with like the inside cover. We used the colors from the book (orange, hot pink, turquoise blue, green).  

Snack: Pretzels and Soda

We ate the pretzels we made during the gathering activity.  In the story, a little boy sips six sodas through a straw and got "sick, sick, sick."  We didn't drink 6 sodas, but we gave each child a can of drink (ours was juice) to drink through a straw.


****Each child in our group is at a different level of exploration with letters.  Some are writing their own names, some are still learning to recognize their own first letter by sight, (or even any letter).  Both of these stages and anything in between is very normal and appropriate for our 2 and 3 year olds.   These exploration centers allowed moms to play with their own children and adapt each activity to her child’s comfort level.

We set up these four centers to allow the children to rotate through and explore.  

1-Go Fishing for Letters:  I have this awesome ABSeas fishing game from Discovery Toys.  


2-Alphabet Bean Bag Toss:  I have letter bean bags that the kids could throw and practice saying the letters. 


3-Easel with magnetic letters The kids had fun playing with the letters.


4-Sensory Bin of Foam Letters: This activity was meant to allow children to play with letters, find letters that they know, and scoop and pour them.  Instead, the children decided it would be fun to throw them on each other and the mommies.    



Love the pretzels and bean bag letters! I wrote a post on foam letter sensory bin last month. You might like some of the extension activities!

Bryana ZT

Thank you so much for posting about your activities on your blog. I have since been inspired to start my own "Mommy & Me" bookclub; we will be meeting in a couple of weeks. This is such an amazing way to get kids excited about books (and so much for for this teacher-turn-stay-at-home-mom to plan)! I hope to highlight some of our events on my own blog ( and I will be sure to link back to you!


Did you make the bean bag letters yourself? Thanks!!


I wish I was that talented to make the letters! I believe they are a Discovery Toy.


Where did you find foam letters that are not self-adhesive???!!! I have been looking all over for them, LOL!

Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

Learn with Play at Home

What a comprehensive post. So many great ideas on how to extend upon a great book. Thanks :) (ps. you have capatcha on if you're not aware)

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