Tag Archives: alphabet

Driving Our Way Through the ABC’s

I combined a couple activities I saw on Pinterest and came up with this:


I bought the cars at the Dollar Store – three for a dollar.

The Littles (Noah -6 with Down syndrome, Bella 4 and Seth 3) love this new activity!

Here’s the scoop:

Activity:  Driving Our Way Through the ABCs

Supplies Needed:

  1. 26 toy cars.
  2. White craft paper from a roll
  3. Markers
  4. Circle stickers (found in office supplies for garage sale pricing)


  1. Draw a road on craft paper with separate “garages” marked in order from A-Z.  Add decorations like parks and trees – get as fancy as you like and perhaps even let your little one help.
  2. Write a different letter on each circle sticker,  A-Z. 
  3. Place one sticker on each car.

Directions:  Have your child drive each car along the road to its designated garage.  For children new to the alphabet, line up the cars in order so that the first car goes to the first garage which will be marked A, the second car will go to the next garage marked B, etc.  For children more familiar with the alphabet, mix up the cars so the child will have to search for the matching letter.

(Or you can just look at the picture and probably figure out everything you need to know.)

Look out Mom – this activity just might keep Junior busy for the whole afternoon!


What do you get . . .

. . . when you cross crafts, homeschooling and special needs and you pour it into a mom like me?

Okay, let me make it a little easier on you.  How about when you cross plastic beads, cookie cutters, the alphabet and an oven (keep reading as to why I won’t do this in a regular oven again)?

You’re getting warmer . . . (no pun intended)

I used the smallest plastic beads I could find for this, but I’ve done it with pony beads as well, and it worked just fine.

“Oh, gosh, can I really melt beads in the oven?”

“YES!!!”  Although I recommend you doing it in a portable toaster oven or roaster oven outside for ventilation.  I did these in the kitchen oven, and although the fumes were not overpowering, I noticed my nose stung something fierce every time I turned the oven on for days.  I figure that was God’s way of saying, “Hey, Alyson, don’t do that!”

Activity:  Alphabet Stained Glass in the Oven


1.  One set of metal alphabet cookie cutters.

2.  Electrical roaster or toaster oven that can be used outside.3.  Plastic transparent beads, assorted colors.  These must be transparent if you want to use them on a light table or light box.  For other uses, solid-colored beads are fine.

4.  Aluminum foil.

5.  Small baking sheet, pan or pie plate that will fit into the oven you are using.


1.  Line what you are using as your pan with aluminum foil.

2.  Place desired cookie cutters in pan.

3.  Pour plastic beads into cookie cutters in a shallow layer, making sure there are no gaps.

4.  Turn portable oven to 375 degrees and insert pan.

5.  Cook for 15 minutes, check, and then continue cooking if necessary, checking every 5 minutes until beads are melted.  The beads should be completely formless.

6.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (about 45 minutes).  You can put the pan in the freezer to speed this process. 

7.  Push letters out of cookie cutters, using a knife to separate any stubborn areas.

Okay all you fans of the latest ideas in sensory activities . . .  now what???  What in the world are we going to do with these?  Do I hear light box activities anyone?

The big motivator for me in this activity is getting to use these letters on the light box.  I just don’t have many ideas for the light box that don’t required buying expensive acrylic manipulatives.  So here’s what it looks like:

 The pictures just don’t do it justice.  I did use some clear beads mixed in with the colored beads, and I won’t do that next time.  I’d like these to be a little darker in color, and I think I can do that by using different beads. 

For now we’re just playing “Find the letter . . ., but we’ll use this later on as Noah starts learning to string letters together to make words.   I’ll keep you posted, I’m hoping to come up with some other ideas to use these. 

P.S.  Does this seem like way more work than you want to do?  This is a great activity for older kids to help with.  Nobody can keep their hands off of beads in this house, so if it’s like that at your house, put those happy helpers to work!!!!

Money Talks – Coin Discrimination Task for Beginners

I’m loving doing a letter a week for Noah.  Coming up with fresh activities that match the alphabet letter we are on keeps my mind buzzing.  The only problem is all that searching for activities is cutting into my blogging time, so I’m doing new activities with Noah faster than I can blog about them.  This week’s letter is B, but last week’s M-money exercise was so successful, I’ve just gotta share.   Don’t our children just love getting their hands on the things they see their parents use every day, like money?  (With the booming popularity of plastic, I’m sure I’ll have to come up with a worksheet to distinguish American Express from Discover cards, but let’s save that for another day.)  🙂

By the way, being able to identify money is an important life skill for all of our children, and one certainly attainable by most children with autism, Down syndrome and other learning disabilities or challenges.

I whipped up this printable coin worksheet for Noah:

One of the things I’ve noticed with Noah is that he does not have the tolerance to do the same activity for very long, especially when it comes to preschool.  While I might expect Bella to match ten different coins at a sitting, my expectations for Noah are for him to match only five.  It’s still enough to demonstrate mastery, but it allows him to start a goal and reach that goal in a short amount of time.   With Bella, this coin matching activity is something I will do only once in a day with 10 coins to a page, but with Noah, I may do it once in the morning and once in the afternoon with five coins to a page.   So his goal is not necessarily different (the goal being to match 10 coins to 10 coins), it is just reached in a different manner (in two shorter sessions versus one longer session).

Activity:  Money Matching


  1. Money Matching printable (click on above graphic)
  2. Three quarters, two pennies

Vocabulary:  Money, match, same, different, quarter, dime, silver, brown, big, little, circle.


  1. Show your child the money and let him hold it.   Use the vocabulary listed above to describe the different coins.
  2. Take away the pennies, leaving your child with the quarters.
  3. Point to a quarter on the printable, and use this script or come up with your own:

“Put quarter on quarter.”

(Child complies.)

“Good.  You put quarter on quarter.  “Quarter”(move quarter slightly off the quarter on the page and point at the actual quarter and the printable quarter), “Quarter, same.”

(Repeat for the other two quarters.)

4.  Repeat the process with the pennies.

5.  When all the coins on the printable are covered correctly, review by having your child point to each coin (using hand-over-hand assistance if necessary), and say with you (if he is able, otherwise say it for him), whether it is a quarter or a penny.  For example, “Quarter, penny, penny, quarter, quarter.”

A Step Up:  If your child is still on board, now place all the coins in front of your child and have him match each physical coin to each printable coin independently, offering gentle correction in the form of questions like “Wait a minute, is THAT a QUARTER?” when necessary.  When your child is finished, have him point to each coin and name it as either a penny or a quarter.

Here’s the harder printable worksheet with 10 coins I use for Bella: