"J" Is For Jellyfish
Kids love crafts, so what better way to introduce them to the letter J than with an alphabet craft to seize their attention? Show students a picture of a jellyfish and see if anyone can correctly identify it. Read a book about jellyfish, or simply discuss some fun facts about them before completing this easy jellyfish craft. Kids can do more than cut and paste--they can also decorate their jellyfish with markers, stickers, glitter glue, or other supplies you have on hand.
Fine Motor Skills for J
Be sure to give your students a letter J paper for writing practice that is age appropriate. A quick search on Pinterest will give you just the right one you need. Next, provide each of your students a sheet of dot stickers for this "J is for Jesus" printable, or similar sticker dot page that allows them to peel and affix stickers to each circle on the page to form the letter of the day. This is a great way to develop fine motor skills. It's not as easy for a toddler as you'd think to peel a sticker and put it in just the right spot! Ask older kids to make a pattern with their dots.
Next, try Q-tip painting the letter J for more fine motor practice. This is an activity that really promotes hand and eye coordination. Older kids can pattern their dot painting while younger learners will taste success simply by filling in the dots with paint as well as they can.
We chose to read the Biblical account of Joseph for our letter "J" story time. You can either read the story directly from your own Bible, or you can download this one, which is a modified children's version that makes the story much easier to understand. As a follow-up, the same site offers a coloring page of Joseph to give your child the opportunity to artistically create their version of the coat of many colors.
Common Core, the current diabolical assault against the American educational system, tries to bypass the need for rote memorization--a skill that is critical to learning but has been thrown under the bus in schools today. For our letter "J" study, we chose to introduce the passage from John 3:16 for memorization: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Decide on a reward system in advance to encourage young learners to tackle the task of scripture memorization--maybe a sticker chart, a token from a treasure box, a sweet or salty treat, a special privilege, etc.
If this story and follow-up memorization activity doesn't fit your lifestyle or curriculum, simply choose a different book to read, and then have your students memorize a fact from the reading they can recall on command.
By now, your kids might need a quick brain break! What are some letter "J" movement activities you can do? Start with jumping jacks--two great "J" words! This requires coordination your kids need to learn for school. Integrate math into this activity by having them count the ten jumping jacks you ask them to do. If you have a trampoline available, use it for some "J" jumping! Have students practice counting ten jumps before hopping off for the next person's turn. You can also have everyone sing their ABCs during jump time. Last, practice jogging! If space permits, have students jog in place, jog the perimeter of the room, or jog circles around your home.
If you've ever watched The Freshbeat Band on Nick Jr., you are well-acquainted with the interesting ways the characters make music from the objects around them. Have a "jam" session of your own and see how creative your students can be. A metal or wooden utensil against a metal pot clangs. Many surfaces can transform into bongos. Puzzle boxes make great shakers. Set a 5-minute or less time limit, and let your kids go crazy! They will love making their own music!
"J" Is For Jellybean
With all the jogging, jumping, and jamming, your kids are ready for a sweet treat to rev them up for the last part of your learning session. Start with an upper and lowercase letter "J" sort. The letters are printed on jellybeans, and students sort them into the correct jellybean jars.
Tally and graph jellybeans with this worksheet. Students color the jellybeans at the bottom of the graph the appropriate colors, which are determined by the bag you bought for the activity! Next, give each student a small handful of jellybeans. Each child will then sort the jellybeans by color and then answer questions about how many they have of each. Which color did they have the most of? the least? After the tally and discussion, eat the jellybeans! Yum!
Pick Your Favorite Flavor
More "J" Activities
Find a black and white jeans template online your students can use to design their own jeans. Use stickers, glitter, crayons, markers, or other craft supply for the designs.
Do jigsaw puzzles! Not only will this promote hand-eye coordination, fine motor development, and problem solving skills, it also encourages teamwork, if you pair kids up for this activity. The age and ability of your students will determine if they will complete 9, 24, 48, 60, or 100-piece puzzles.
Last, try some kids in the kitchen time to teach them life skills. Even the worst cooks can make jello--the final "J" word for the day. If there's no time or facility available for this activity, just distribute Jello Jigglers for a fun treat after a day of hard work.