Letter I Sprinkles

Letter I Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter I. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Letter I Sprinkles
Letter I Sprinkles

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. Feel free to explore all of our letter units!

Letter I Sprinkles
Letter I Sprinkles

LETTER I REVIEW

We began the letter I unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter I are Ice Cream Summer, Inch by Inch, and a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Also, we read The Little Island, and listened to the audio version of this one before we purchased it.

the little island
the little island

Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

Ice Cream Summer
Ice Cream Summer

We used some spare loose parts to create ice cream cones and also read through Ice Cream Summer.

ice cream summer
ice cream summer
Inch by Inch
Inch by Inch
Jesus Storybook Bible
Jesus Storybook Bible

I IS FOR ICE CREAM

I love gaining inspiration for our homeschool on Pinterest. This simple idea came from Pinterest to cut out ice cream templates using colorful construction paper we already had on hand. The boys took turn adding scoops to correspond with the number on the ice cream cone.

Ice Cream Counting
Ice Cream Counting

SENSORY WRITING PRACTICE

Next, we added old sprinkles to a tray so the boys could practice writing the letter I.

sprinkles letters
sprinkles letters

I love providing these tactile, sensory experiences for them. Of course, the boys take the opportunity to sneak a few sprinkles into their mouths!

Sprinkles Writing
Sprinkles Writing

ICE CREAM PLAY

The boys worked together to “earn” this special Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Shop about six months ago. We brought it out to go along with our ice cream theme since it worked perfectly!

Ice Cream Play
Ice Cream Play

We also played with these felt ice cream shapes and glitter. I wouldn’t recommend it however, because it was time consuming for Mama to make and one of those activities that the boys were not engaged in for very long.

felt ice cream
felt ice cream

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

Last summer, we purchased our first homemade ice cream maker and made our own strawberry mint sorbet. I counted this as “ice cream.” The boys loved helping me make this recipe and it was super simple. Feel free to read the post which includes this recipe here.

strawberry mint sorbet recipe
strawberry mint sorbet recipe

ICE CREAM – LICK HONEST ICE CREAM VISIT

Finally, we visited our favorite ice cream spot: Lick Honest Ice Cream. I love going here for an occasional treat because they offer delicious vegan ice cream made with coconut milk.

Then, for their dairy versions, they source milk from local dairy farms who feed their cows primarily grass. We try for whole milk, grass fed dairy options we can! Another sneaky trick about this place is they offer a hot pink ice cream which my boys love and the flavor is Beet Mint! I love how adventurous my little eaters are.

Ice Cream
Ice Cream

COUNTING PRACTICE

We reviewed our numbers with these beautiful wooden trays from Jennifer. One side is a great fine motor and counting activity using these little wooden beads.

Wooden Counter
Wooden Counter

And the other side has numbers for tracing and writing practice.

Wooden Numbers
Wooden Numbers

We reviewed numbers 0-10 with these fun tactile sandpaper numbers that come with a really nice storage box.

Tactile Numbers
Tactile Numbers

Finally, we created more glitter glue numbers and reviewed them. These are such sweet cards that come with the curriculum.

Numbers Practice
Numbers Practice

 

BALANCE BEAM – LARGE MOTOR SKILLS

Then, we found an old board lying around and some left over brick when our house was built. The boys helped me create a balance beam and then took turns using it!

Balance Beam
Balance Beam

We took out our measuring tape to measure how long and wide the board was.

Balance Beam
Balance Beam

I IS FOR INCH WORM

Have you read Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni before? It is a quick read and I love the illustrations and focus on nature. It is a sweet story of a clever inch worm who is requested to measure different birds. After reading the story, we collected some of the boys toys and measured how long they were.

inch by inch
inch by inch

ALPHABET PRACTICE

I love these beautiful sandpaper alphabet cards and they are pretty inexpensive. Its really nice to have the boys trace these with their fingers to practice pre writing skills. My youngest especially loves to practice writing this way! We also used play dough to form letters. I think my oldest made A, B,  and C before moving onto another activity.

Alphabet and Clay
Alphabet and Clay

I IS FOR ICING

Finally, during this time of letter I study, we celebrated my oldest’s fifth birthday. I made homemade sweets for his little party. We made a healthy cocoa sweet potato icing since it was delicious, nutritious and easy! If you are interested in learning more about clean eating, check out my wellness mamas post here.

Birthday Icing
Finally, Birthday Icing

SUPPLIES

Montessori Moveable Alphabet
Sandpaper Alphabet Cards
Ice Cream Summer
Inch by Inch
Jesus Storybook Bible
Construction Paper
Sprinkles
Cusinart Ice Cream Maker
Montessori Sandpaper Numbers
Glitter Glue
Natural Play Dough
Melissa and Doug Wooden Ice Cream Shop

OUR PICKS

 

Finally, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

 

strawberry mint sorbet recipe

Homemade Strawberry Mint Sorbet

HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY MINT SORBET

I can remember making homemade ice cream with my family a few times as a child. My neighbors had a hand crank ice cream maker version and I loved helping. My parents had one too and we would make it for birthdays since it was a special treat. We would make homemade ice cream with chunks of fresh fruits for my mom because she loved the taste.

strawberry mint sorbet recipe
strawberry mint sorbet recipe

B IS FOR BERRIES

Strawberries taste delicious, and can be best enjoyed in the summer months.  Do you know the many benefits of eating berries? They are full of antioxidants which helps prevent cancer. They are great for your digestive system because they are rich in fiber. Research has also shown berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are great for heart and bone health.

b is for berry
b is for berry

We had a bunch of fresh mint from our Johnson’s Backyard Gardens CSA and I wanted to use it all up. Here is why we use a CSA and Farmer’s Market. Fresh mint is so fragrant and I couldn’t bear to not use it all. Like berries, mint is also high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties because it contains rosmarinic acid.

mint from CSA
mint from CSA

HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY MINT SORBET

This recipe was simple, refreshing, and full of nutrients. I love making homemade food and treats because we can choose the quality and the flavors are better. My children loved helping in the kitchen with it and of course eating it!

fresh mint
fresh mint
Strawberry Mint Sorbet

SORBET INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water 
1 bundle of fresh mint
6 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, heat the honey on the stovetop on low until you see bubbles form. Place the mint in the honey. Next, turn off the heat and allow the mint to infuse with the honey. Finally, let the honey cool down completely. 

Blend the strawberries in a food processor. Then, pour the honey and mint mixture into a fine mesh strainer and get as much honey into the processor as possible. Throwaway the mint. Then, add all additional ingredients in and blend until well mixed. Store the mixture in the refrigerator until cold (at least 4 hours).

Finally, pour the sorbet liquid into an ice cream maker and follow the instructions for the ice cream maker. 


SUPPLIES

Ice Cream Maker

Fine Mesh Strainer

Food Processor

fresh picked mint
Finally, fresh picked mint

 

OUR PICKS

 

 

Homemade Jars of Strawberry Jam

Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam

GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE

My fondest memory of my Grandmother Tessie was how much she loved her family, and I also loved her homemade strawberry jam. While we visited my Grandmother each year, we were welcomed with a home-cooked breakfast. Each morning, we could wake up to count on: bacon, sausage, grits, homemade biscuits, butter, and homemade strawberry jelly. I have always loved food and am particularly fond of a big breakfast and the star of Grandmother Tessie’s breakfast was her strawberry jam.

STRAWBERRY JAM AND BUTTER

My Grandpa Ford showed me how to mix butter and strawberry jelly together in just the right amounts to make a delicious topping for anything. We would take a fork and mash together the two ingredients and although it didn’t look very pretty, it had a heavenly taste. I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head with delight each time we concocted it. When I was in middle school, I learned Grandmother’s delicious jelly actually was made with figs. Since I didn’t know anything about a fig, I was a little shocked and turned off by my new knowledge. My ignorance quickly faded and I maintained my reverence of her strawberry jam.

Superfoods Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Strawberry Jam Helping Hands
Strawberry Jam and Helping Hands

Grandmother Tessie lived to be 97. She lived a long, loving and loved life, filled with a large family, and homegrown and homemade foods.

CHILDREN IN THE KITCHEN

I knew just the thing to do when I discovered an abundance of strawberries in my refrigerator. I rounded up my boys and we made homemade strawberry jam. My boys are always so excited to help us out in the kitchen. Their faces lit up and they are so delighted to get their hands on the food and assist. I call my boys my great little helpers often – and they truly are. They wash berries in the sink, cut off the stems, place berries in a bowl, squeeze lemon to make fresh juice, and dump in sugar, and vanilla extract from my pre-measured spoons and cups. They also stir it all together before I place it on the cooktop to simmer.

When your children assist you in the kitchen, it may take longer for the task to be completed, and your kitchen may get dirty. Yet, I believe the benefits of including your children in cooking preparation far outweighs the negatives. We can help you discover tips on how to get your children more involved in the kitchen.

  • STRAWBERRY JAM: The recipe is super simple and super delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.
SIMPLE, HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM

Ingredients:

2 pounds strawberries, sliced and stems removed
Juice of one lemon
Zest of half a lemon
2 cups sugar (raw cane sugar or coconut sugar - I'm going to try honey next!)
2.5 teaspoons fig balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. 

Jam should be ready in about 60-90 minutes. It should be thick and jam-like.

I stored my jam in a mason jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a month. However, I don't think it will last that long!

This recipe is adapted from a Completely Delicious recipe. I use fig balsamic vinegar because it reminds me so much of my Grandmother’s homemade version. I also add lemon zest for brightness since a little extra lemon is almost always a welcome addition! If you try this jam recipe, please comment! I would love to hear how it turns out for you! 

Finally, Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

 

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