Most of us grow up learning to sing the alphabet to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Whether you include it or avoid it, the alphabet is a fun theme for intergenerational groups of older adults and preschoolers.
Most of the materials are from The Sounds of Emerging Literacy (Affiliate link) by Deana Register, Jane Hughes and Jayne Standley. For letters I used some printed letters along with Playskool cards I had purchased at a local store. They are shared in no particular order.
The Alphabet Rap (page 56) – A great way to get all ages vocalizing and moving those hands.
Willoughby Wallaby Woo (page 99) – Lots of giggles with this one. One way to get more involvement from the group is to give alphabet cards to a grandfrined and allow the children to pull a card. Use that sound for that verse.
Take a Letter from the Bag (page 28) – Again, you can set-up interactions by having a grandfriend hold the bag.
Instruments with letters (page 111) – I elected to have the group name an instrument I was holding and find the letter with which it begins. The children were each given that instrument to play for a verse of a song. We would practice starting and stopping. I would then share another instrument. The children could then choose whether to keep the instrument they had or to give it to a grand friend. We would then play instruments one at a time or all together as cued. A third instrument was added using the same method.
The Kangaroo Hop (page 136) – While the group all participated in the discussion, only the children did the dancing and hopping.
We’re Gonna March Around the Alphabet (page 151) – Grand parents were given a letter to hold. The children and I marched, tip-toed, slithered (and other assorted moves) around the circle stopping to name letters.
Scarf Letter Writing (page 140) – All ages took part in this one. First letters from the children’s names were our focus.
The singable book “A You’re Adorable by Martha Alexander (affiliate link) was a wonderful way to add a song from the grandfriends’ era to the group. Adults sang along. Children added in the letters as they were able.