This week, E is for Elephant, you and your child will learn about the largest land mammal on Earth. You will also focus on the oval shape, the number nine, and the color gray.
Your child may learn:
- The sound of the letter E
- The shape of the letter E
- Words that begin with E
- Elephants are large animals.
- There are two types of elephants – African and Indian.
- African elephants are larger than Indian elephants, they have baggier skin and bigger ears, too.
- Elephants live together in families. Several families living together form a herd.
- The leader of the herd is usually the oldest female, called a matriarch.
- Elephants eat plants. They eat a lot of plants!
- They eat leaves, grass, hay, tree bark, and fruit
- Elephants flap their ears to cool themselves.
- Elephants spray water on their skin.
- The wrinkles hold the water, which helps to cool them.
- Elephants live for eighty years!
- Elephants have four teeth and two tusks.
Children Love Elephants
Children seem fascinated with elephants, perhaps more so than any other Jungle animal. There have long been picture books capitalizing on this phenomenon, from Babar the Elephant, to today’s Elephant and Piggy series. Dumbo the Elephant was once a popular film. There are stuffed elephants, Beanie Baby elephants, plastic toy elephants, Duplo elephants, and even elephant costumes for children of all ages. You can use your child’s interest to help him learn the sound of the letter e. Practice saying “eh – eh – elephant” to help him hear the sound. Vowels are often much harder to learn than consonants. For one, they have multiple sounds, and they can be harder to hear in the word. It is not uncommon for children to assume that the word “elephant” begins with the letter L!
The songs this week are all listed on the new Songs page at the top of this blog. You can click on the links, and hear different vocalists perform the song for you, to help you learn the words and the melody. You can listen to them alone, or with your child. I especially enjoyed the Elephant Lullaby I found while searching, and plan to buy this one.
Elephant Activities for Preschool
Your child will make some elephant crafts. He will string “emerald” elbow macaroni to make a necklace. You will color the pasta the same way you would color rice. You will play some counting games, and practice large muscle skills by tossing peanuts into a cardboard “elephant”. If your child or children may have an allergy to peanuts, substitute Styrofoam packing peanuts instead.
If possible, try to plan a trip to the zoo on Friday or Saturday. Make sure you visit the elephants! But also find out if there are elk, or eels, or eagles at your zoo.
If you can afford only one book this week, I’d strongly suggest the Tarra and Bella story, although Twenty-One Elephants and Still Holding is also excellent. Hopefully, you can find them all in your library, if your budget doesn’t cover new books this week.
Five Star Picture books for Your Preschooler
- “Stand Back,” said The Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” by Patricia Thomas
- The Elephant’s Child by Rudyard Kipling
- Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince
- I am a Little Elephant by Francois Crozat
- Pennies for Elephants by Lita Judge
- Elephants: A Book for Children by David Henry Wilson
- But No Elephants by Jerry Smath
- My First Jumbo Book of Shapes by James Diaz
- Richard Scarry’s Best Counting Book Ever
- Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold
- No Matter What (Templar Books) by Emma Dodd
- Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley
- Ella the Baby Elephant by Kathleen Duey
Quality Toys and Products(Optional)
- A+ Educational Tray Puzzle ~ Elephants
- Calico Critters Ellwoods Elephant Family
- Webkinz Velvety Elephant
- 10 piece Soft Plush Finger Puppets
- Schleich African Elephant male, female, and calf
- Schleich Indian Elephant male, female, and calf
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Zoo in a Box puzzles
Preschool Worksheets (Optional)
- Letter E Beginning Sounds
- E is for Elephant
- Drawing Ovals
- Nine Seahorses number worksheet
- Counting worksheet
- Number 9 Coloring Page
- Elephant Coloring Page
- Cutting Practice Worksheet Level 1