Posts Tagged ‘alphabet’

Meet Author Michael Samulak

Posted on September 29th, 2016 by Carolyn Hart

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Michael SamulakMichael Samulak has almost twenty years of experience teaching, mentoring, and engaging youth both in and outside of the classroom. Mr. Samulak visits schools, learning centers, and daycares to read and present his stories and world adventures. His goal is to inspire youth to dream big. Michael’s teaching and classroom experience help him to fill his award-winning picture books with fun opportunities for learning.

Michael resides in the City of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and four children.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University (’96) and finished his Master’s in Education at Cleveland State University (’12). He has been working as a full-time youth minister and educator for close to 20 years.

Author Facebook Page

Author website

Tell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?

A Wonderful Day! is my latest picture book about going to the zoo. This is actually my first traditionally published title and I am so excited to be able to share it with everyone! It is an early reader, great for emerging readers, or those who are working toward fluency and need that extra support from a fun book that can reinforce those early sight words and phonics skills that they have been working on.A Wonderful Day! by Michael Samulak

I generally recommend a target audience to be 3-6 years old, but as many of the educators and parents will tell you, this totally depends on your reader. My nephew is 2 and he loves to make all the animal sounds as he flips excitedly through the pages. My brother sent me a picture of him sneaking a read after he had “thought” he put him to bed. He was “reading” under the covers, flashlight and all. I couldn’t have been more happy to see someone getting that kind of joy from one of my books.

I am probably most proud of the way the book has been put together with little learning moments laced throughout the manuscript. Besides being written with a gender-neutral text, you also have a good amount of questions and statements that can be thought-provoking and interactive. This kind of anticipatory exercise is very important for young readers as they are learning and beginning to understand that text has meaning. I love that the book helps young readers make text-to-self-reflections; putting their own experiences and prior knowledge front and center while reading in order to develop and expand the whole experience of reading. We all do this as accomplished readers, and generally forget that somewhere along the line we were helped to understand and realize that reading is so much more than decoding and applying the known rules of phonics.

A Wonderful Day! was recently Awarded the Gold Medal for Children’s Picture Books (Animals) by the Mom’s Choice Awards.

A Wonderful Day! at Amazon.com

A Wonderful Day! at Amazon.ca

When did you realize that you would be a writer? Is there a particular person who has inspired and/or supported your work along the way?

This would have to be when I would ask my mom if I could stay home from Jr. High school, maybe about 6th or 7th grade so I could keep working on my first chapter book.

I think that it is safe to say that I still consider myself to be a work-in-progress, and so it is crazy to think that my books can now be found in libraries, schools, and peoples’ homes.

For those still-aspiring writers I always have the same words, “Don’t ever give up!” That choice has a guaranteed outcome. Don’t stop. Keep going, keep writing, keep up the inquiring: There is story that you have that the world needs to read. Keep putting yourself and your work out there and it will happen, even if it seems that things are tough or impossible, as long as you are moving and working on your dream, something can happen.

A is for Africa by Michael Samulak

If we were watching over your shoulder as you work on a book, what would we see? Where do you work? What does your writing process look like?

Generally speaking, one of my five children climbing on my back or sitting in my lap. Don’t get me wrong; I love all of the kids. They are a big source of inspirations for many of my books, so I can’t complain, but finding that quality, uninterrupted time is tough.

I am always writing, or at least thinking about writing. My note app on my phone is filled with bits and pieces, lines, thoughts: unpublished titles, I’m always trying to think of what may be a good title for a book. I think that has replaced a lot of my early days of notebooks, scrap paper, napkins from a dinner table, whatever was there really: Crayon, pencil, that piece of fruit my daughter had finished with…whatever worked to get that word down before it was gone. I’m sure some out there can relate.

I suppose once it is time put all of those bits and pieces into something “final” that I then print out or send to an actual human being, my laptop and a local coffee shop are where I land. But, the process, yeah, that’s a lot messy for me.

Tell us about your experiences sharing your book with children. Has anything unusual / endearing / funny / unexpected happened?

What hasn’t happened? Tears, fears, in appropriate laughing; farting, burping, teasing, and a lot of smiles and wide-eye stares that keep me coming back for more.

I love reading my work and interacting with the children at schools and learning centers the most. I think it is the father and educator parts of me. I have come to expect the unexpected and it is this color and variety of the trip that make it so worthwhile.

If I had to pick one particular event I am particularly found of, it would be that one I often remember this one time when I visited one schools and one of the students in the sea of faces piped up matter-of-factly after I held up my book, “Hey! I have that book at home! I love that book! Oh Boy!, this is gonna be awesome.” I had to take a moment to hold back the tears on that one. It was one of the first times that I really felt accomplished as an author: Like my dreams of being able to write for children were coming true.

How do you stay connected with your readers? Have you gone on book tours? Do you engage on social media or through a website? Do you visit classrooms, libraries or bookstores?

Everything goes when it comes to connecting, networking, and staying engaged with readers. So, yes to all!

I love to network and feel that it is so important to staying relevant to my audience. I often will bring “finished” works to the schools and classrooms that I visit to get fresh feed back from the audience that I feel matters most – the one that I am writing for. I try to stay active on social media platforms, but since I write for a younger audience, like, they aren’t quite there yet when it comes to literacy fluency, let alone responding to a FaceBook post; I generally am reaching out and interacting with parents, other writers, educators, etc. on those platforms. With that in mind, I am generally looking for opportunities related to a visit or to network, or generally showing off my beautiful family and our recent life adventures together.

What are the biggest challenges of being an author?

Juggling work, family, wife, kids — oh yeah, and then there is writing. I would have to say time – quality time to get to the end part of that process of writing in order to cross that finished line where an actual tangible piece is produced that then can be reworked, critiqued, rejected, reworked again…really, do I need to go on.

I know others may have other struggles, and I’m not at all saying that those aren’t real or deep, but for myself it would have to be finding the time to “gett’er done”.

“Just keep swimming” often does become my own encouraging theme song on those days when I feel like throwing in the towel. And so I try to just keep moving, even if it is just one sentence or phrase that I can work on; not even finish per say, but to mark progress. Yes, seeing progress helps to keep me going and eventually cross that finish line.

When I go to schools or libraries I love to read my picture books and share my inspirations and experiences that they are based on. Generally speaking, this makes for great laughs as I share my adventures with my children. I also have brought back some native items from Africa and do a sort of “Show and Tell”. The kids love to see and feel these native artifacts. The African Drum is usually the biggest “hit”.

Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

Posted on April 30th, 2016 by Carolyn Hart

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Awake Beautiful Child written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal illustrated by Garcia LamAwake Beautiful Child written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam
Alphabet picture book published by McSweeny’s

In this fascinating picture book, Amy Krouse Rosenthal uses only words that begin with A, B or C to tell her story. The day begins as a young boy awakens and enjoys Apples, Bananas and Cantaloupe for breakfast before heading outside and finding Ants, Butterflies and Caterpillars. He later celebrates at a birthday party, explores a city and appreciates an artist. Older children will enjoy scouring debut picture book illustrator Gracia Lam’s detailed digital illustrations for an apron, bowling pins, binoculars, a castle, a cape, a church (and more!) that serve to broaden the appeal of the story and support the development of phonemic awareness and alphabet recognition.Awake Beautiful Child spread

It is worth mentioning that Ms. Rosenthal and Ms. Lam do not limit the story or illustrations to the phoneme /K/, they also challenge readers to recognize the use of ‘C’ in words beginning with the /ch/ and soft ‘C’ sounds, as in church and city. the ‘A’ words that we detected use the short vowel sound.

We envision this picture book as a wonderful inspiration to young illustrators and writers. Great for classroom use, the clever take on the alphabet book genre could certainly be a jumping off point for children to create their own stories and illustrations using only two or three letters.

This is a picture book that will be enjoyed by children aged 3 and up but that has great potential for exciting older children and adults.

Awake Beautiful Child at Amazon.com

Awake Beautiful Child at Amazon.ca


Classic Picture Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts shares classic picture book, Chicka Chicka Boom BoomChicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Classic Picture Book published by Simon & Schuster





It sounds like fun when lowercase letters A, B, and C decide to meet at the top of a tall coconut tree but the message spreads like wildfire and they are not the only letters scrambling up the tree trunk and hiding among the palm fronds. Before long, the entire lowercase alphabet is weighing down the tree branches and trunk. Slowly the heavily laden tree bends until it cannot support another thing.

Still more – W
And X Y Z!
The whole alphabet up the – Oh, no!
Chicka chicka…
BOOM! BOOM!

Two coconuts crash to the ground and then all the lower case letters are thrown from the tree and land in a twisted heap. Moments later, adults (uppercase letters) rush to the scene, embracing their offspring and offering reassurance.

Bright, distinctive, bold illustrations nicely compliment the rhythmic, repetitious text. This is a alphabet book with many possible extension activities. It belongs on every child’s bookshelf.

Kentucky Bluegrass Award for K-3 (1991),
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Nominee for Picture Book – Honor Book (1990)
School Library Journal Top 100 Picture Book
New York Public Library 100 Great Children’s Books

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at Amazon.com

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at Amazon.ca

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by John Archambault on Pinterest.

Some related picture books that young readers will enjoy

Supporting a Child With Delayed Speech or Language Development

Posted on April 1st, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

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Supporting a Child With Delayed Speech or Language Development





Since September 2013, I have been working twice a week with a four year old boy who has delayed speech. He lives in a bilingual household and he has one older sibling – a girl who also had delayed speech. It has been enormously rewarding to help this child find his voice. He is unfailingly happy and is always excited to welcome me and my “bag of tricks” into his home.

Here are some of the items that have been particularly helpful as we find ways to engage him verbally.

Alphabet by Matthew Van FleetAlphabet by Matthew Van Fleet has been our go-to alphabet book.

At almost every one of our sessions, my student has touched, lifted flaps and pulled the tabs of this cheerful and engaging alphabet book and accompanying (pop up) poster. Whether feeling the alligator’s scaly tail or the yak’s shaggy head, this is a book that children love to explore through touch.

Phonemic awareness is also supported as the author effectively uses alliteration, ‘Wet waddling Warthogs,’ rhyming and onomatopoeia, ‘Furry Lions roar, Whiskered Mice squeak, Hungry newborn Nightingales – cheep, cheep, cheep!‘ while introducing a variety of animals. Older children will notice that extra details have been added to the illustrations but not the text. Termed, Safari Sightings, these animals and plants are illustrated and listed in an afternote.

Alphabet won the following

2008 National Parenting Publications Gold Award
Parenting Favorite Book of the Month, April 2008
Top Ten Children’s Books of 2008, Time.com
A New York Times Children’s Bestseller (2008)

Alphabet at Amazon.com

Alphabet at Amazon.ca

Ravensburger See Inside Puzzle

I can’t tell you how many times we have solved this Ravensburger See Inside Puzzle together. My young student happily turns the puzzle upside down, and together we turn all the puzzle pieces over. We chat as we start with the corners and work towards the middle of the puzzle. There are so many ways to enrich a child’s vocabulary, understanding and problem solving as we talk about the puzzle pieces and their attributes while noticing the plants, insects, animals, birds and structures featured in the puzzle itself.

Echo Mic Used With Delayed Speech or Language DevelopmentRather than focusing on the enunciation of specific sounds or words, I want to encourage playing with sound and making a variety of sounds. It is amazing how an inexpensive plastic toy ‘Echo’ microphone can encourage a child to sing, make sound effects and speak. I pick up an Echo Mic and put the other one on the table. Before long, we are both singing The Alphabet Song or The Wheels on the Bus or Happy Birthday. I hate to think what we sound like but progress is progress and the plastic ‘Echo” microphone has helped us along the way.

10″ Echo Mic (Colors may vary) at Amazon.com

Magic Mic Novelty Toy Echo Microphone-Pack of 2 at Amazon.ca

As we work toward improved verbal communication, I want to ensure that my student has a rich listening or receptive vocabulary as well as a large speaking or expressive vocabulary so I want to provide him with repeated meaningful encounters with words. I want him to hear and know colors, numbers, positional words (over, under, beside, inside) and nouns (windows, doors, wheels, roof, trees, flowers, bricks, fences, house, car, truck, steering wheel). Of course, I turn to my favourite toy. Ever. Each day I arrive with a bucket of Lego . We build houses and towers, we look for small bricks and blue bricks and yellow, white, red, black and blue bricks. We add windows and doors, stairs and roofs. And I talk about everything we do. I chat constantly and now he chimes in.

From the start, we have played Tic Tac Toe. I made a laminated game board (that includes a letter of the alphabet in each square) and I use Xs and Os from a dollar store game. When we first played, his job was to say, “Your turn,” after he played his “O.” Now, he says the letter name in the box and a word that begins with the letter, “C is for Cat.” He also says, “Your turn, ” and “I win!” He has never tired of this simple game. When we first started, he said very little. Now, it is a constant exchange of short sentences and the joy of communicating about a shared activity.

Spot the Dot by David A CarterSpot the Dot created by David A. Carter
Novelty book published by Cartwheel Books, an Imprint of Scholastic

Spot the Dot is an appealing, brightly colored, interactive pop up book that includes flaps to lift, a wheel to turn and tabs to pull. Visual clues and predictable text encourage children – even those with delayed speech – to venture into ‘reading.’ My student thoroughly enjoys this book and now points to the words as he ‘reads’ each page and then pretends to ‘search’ for the dot.

Spot the Dot at Amazon.com

Spot the Dot at Amazon.ca

Score a Winning Hockey Picture Book!

Posted on November 15th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Hockey Picture book

My youngest son has played hockey since he was five years old. For years, bedtime stories included books about playing hockey. Many of these stories include great messages about friendship, teamwork, bullying and working together toward a common goal.


hockey picture book Clancy with the Puck
Clancy With the Puck written and illustrated by Chris Mizzoni
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a traditional story) published by Raincoast Books

Just as Casey could hit a baseball, Clancy is a star when it comes to hockey. When Clancy Cooke joins the Hogtown Maple Buds, hopes are raised for a Stanley Cup win. Alas, in the final moments of a playoff game, when Clancy takes a penalty shot, “The puck deflected off the post, like a comet to the sky. The Buds had lost the Stanley Cup – and the fans went home to cry.” A sure winner, especially for hockey fans and those familiar with the classic story of Casey at the Bat.

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.com

Clancy with the Puck at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey CardThe Hockey Card Written by Jack Siemiatycki & Avi Slodovnick and illustrated by Doris Barrette
Hockey picture book published by Lobster Press

When Uncle Jack shares the story of the best hockey card he ever had, we take pleasure in a glimpse of the great Maurice Richard and a schoolyard duel against a tough hockey card shark. This is a book that made a lasting impression in our household – my youngest son is now a 13 year old bantam hockey player and just noticed me working on this post. He remarked, “Now that was a good book.”

The Hockey Card at Amazon.com

The Hockey Card at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Hockey TreeThe Hockey Tree written by David Ward and illustrated by Brian Deines
Hockey picture book published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

This is a favourite wintertime picture book that beautifully captures a Canadian winter day. Set in Saskatchewan, Owen and Holly are excited because Humboldt Lake has finally frozen over and it is a perfect morning for a spirited game of pond hockey. The two children are excited to drive to the lake with their dad and before long their skates are laced and the three are laughing and playing together. Unfortunately, just as the family starts to talk about taking a break and enjoying a mug of steaming hot chocolate, Holly smacks at the puck and it flies across the frozen lake and disappears into an ice fishing hole.

The children are terribly disappointed that they’ve lost their puck and assume that the game will have to end. Dad is not quite so willing to concede. He helps Owen and Holly to find a fallen poplar tree near the lake. Once a suitable tree is found, dad saws a piece from the trunk to create a wooden puck and the hockey game resumes.

Brian Deines’ luminous illustrations include icy cold winter scenes that are made warm by his depiction of the joy of playing a favourite sport with friends and family.

A lovely book to share with young children, this is one of my favourite wintertime picture books.

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.com

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book The Moccasin GoalieThe Moccasin Goalie written and illustrated by William Roy Brownridge
Hockey picture book published by Orca Book Publishers

Danny, Petou, Anita and Marcel live in a small, prairie town and they love to play hockey. They play road hockey when the weather is warm and ice hockey when the temperature cools and their outdoor rink is flooded. Everything changes when a new team is organized for their town. The four friends can’t wait to be part of the fun. They are devastated when only Marcel is selected to play for the Wolves. Anita is refused a spot because she is a girl, Petou is considered too small for the team and Danny is refused a place on the team because his disability means that he cannot wear skates.

All three children are terribly disappointed to be left out but, as the end of the hockey season approaches, the Wolves’ goalie is injured and the coach asks Danny to play.

The Moccasin Goalie is the first of a three book series. The Final Game is the second book. Victory at Paradise Hill is the third. Gorgeous illustrations – many using a pointillist technique – beautifully depict the joy of outdoor wintertime play. The story itself invites discussion of fairness, friendship and overcoming challenges.

Highly recommended for children five years and older.

The Moccasin Goalie at Amazon.com

The Moccasin Goalie at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book  Over at the RinkOver at the Rink – A Hockey Counting Book written by Stella Parthenhiou Grasso and illustrated by Scot Ritchie
Hockey picture book (adaptation of a familiar song) published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Exuberant fun awaits in this hockey-theme adaption of Over in the Meadow. Young hockey fans will enjoy discovering all the elements of a great game – anthem singing, on ice- officials, a close score, players defending and scoring, earnest coaching, an enthusiastic mascot and excited fans. The wintry outdoor rink setting adds to the festive atmosphere.

Good fun for children four years and older.

Over at the Rink: A Hockey Counting Book at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book SplintersSplinters – written and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester
Hockey Picture Book published by Tundra Books

Cindy loves to play hockey but it is an expensive sport to play and her family is poor.   Showing great determination and resourcefulness, Cindy is excited to finally earn enough money to join a neighbourhood team.  Unfortunately, at the rink, Cindy encounters three nasty Blister Sisters who make playing hockey very unpleasant. 

At her very first practice, she met the Blister Sisters. They could tell she was one good hockey player, and they were jealous.

They insulted her old equipment… Then they made her look bad on the ice… They could do this because their mom was the coach

Thank goodness Cindy has a fairy goaltender watching out for her. The fairy’s magic provides Cindy with a dazzling new uniform, gleaming skates and a Zamboni – to transport her to the all-star team tryouts. Cindy rushes to the rink and does not disappoint – she is a star.

Knowing that the magic spell will end once the final buzzer has sounded, Cindy rushes away from the rink, leaving a shiny skate behind.

Coach Prince is determined to match the shiny skate to the player who wore it during the tryouts.

Coach Prince went from locker room to locker room, trying the skate on every girl she could find. Finally she arrived at Cindy’s rink ensuring a happy ending for Cindy and her new team.

Splinters will have greatest appeal for children who are familiar with Cinderella. We love the idea of taking a familiar story, like Cinderella and retelling it with new characters and a contemporary setting. In a primary classroom, we suggest using Splinters as a jumping off point, inspiring young writers to imagine other situations for Cinderella to encounter.

Splinters at Amazon.com

Splinters at Amazon.ca

hockey picture book Z is For ZamboniZ is for Zamboni – A Hockey Alphabet Written by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose
Hockey theme alphabet book published by Sleeping Bear Press

If hockey plays a part in your household, this enticing hockey alphabet book will appeal to the entire family. Young children will enjoy the simple rhymes while older children and adults will appreciate the more detailed information bordering the charming illustrations.

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.com

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.ca

Free Hockey Theme Printables for Kids

Hockey Theme Writing Paper

image of PDF icon  Hockey Theme Writing Paper for Kids

image of PDF icon  Ice Hockey Picture Dictionary


Alphabet Recognition Game for Preschool

Posted on July 12th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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A Great Alphabet Learning Activity for Small Groups from StorytimeStandouts.com

Diecuts With A View Alphabet Scrapbook Paper, Canning Seal – an easy to make Alphabet Recognition game from StorytimeStandouts.com


Sharing an easy to make, durable alphabet recognition game for preschool or kindergarten


This is a very simple-to-make yet effective alphabet recognition game. I use this activity with small groups (of up to twelve children). Each child receives one canning ring and one page of laminated scrapbook paper. The scrapbook paper has a fairly large alphabet motif on it. In the pictured game, I used DCWV scrapbook paper. I am guessing that it has since been discontinued because I can’t find an example of it on their website. This one would work.

My Scotch® Laminating Dispenser is 8.5″ wide so I cut the paper to fit the laminator and I put Y and Z on the back of the game.

The children sit in a circle and the preschool or kindergarten teacher shows the children a letter or calls out a letter (or letter sound). The children put their rings around the correct letter. It is very easy for a teacher to quickly survey the rings and correct any that are in the wrong place.

This game could be adapted to show the children an uppercase letter and have them locate the corresponding lowercase letter. Alternatively, the teacher could make the letter sound and the children could locate the corresponding letter.

I like the fact that it is easy to scan all of the children’s rings and quickly identify children who have chosen the wrong letter.

Viceroy Rubber & Plastics 12Pk Red Jar Rubber at Amazon.com




Hover over the photo for a description of the activity. Click on the photo to read the full post

Storytime Standouts Free Printable Alphabets and Games for Learning Letters










If you appreciate our free early childhood literacy printables,
including these printable alphabets,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.comAmazon.com link or Amazon.ca.Amazon.ca link


We invite you to follow Storytime Standouts’ Alphabet Craft Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Alphabet Crafts on Pinterest.

Learning Games for Beginning Readers

Posted on December 7th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Today we look at two popular learning games for beginning readers

I have used both spelling/reading games very successfully with four, five and six year olds. Neither is appropriate for younger children due to choking hazard caused by small parts.

image of learning games for beginning readers


We invite you to visit our page about beginning to read.


image of Melissa and Doug See and SpellMelissa and Doug See and Spell

I recently purchased a Melissa and Doug See and Spell puzzle set for my Let’s Read Together program. The set consists of 60 plus colorful wooden letters and eight, two-sided template bases. As shown in my photo (right), the sixteen words include long and short vowels as well as digraphs.

I selected the Melissa and Doug See and Spell puzzle set because it is self correcting and it lends itself well to a group setting. When not being used in the template bases, the letters could be used to spell other words, they could be sorted by attributes or they could be put into alphabetical order.

When one or more children play with See and Spell it is an opportunity to practice letter, object and word recognition, matching, fine motor skills and/or spelling.

Melissa & Doug See & Spell at Amazon.com

Melissa & Doug See & Spell at Amazon.ca

Image of Boggle JuniorBoggle Junior

I have used a Boggle Junior game in my Beginning to Read program for more than ten years. It is a great learning game for children who are learning to read and spell. The game consists of a series of illustrated three and four letter words. The words and illustrations are printed on durable cardstock. To play, a child selects a card and spells the word it illustrates using three or four letter cubes. The cubes fit into a sturdy base. The child has the option of seeing how the word is spelled (and simply matching the letters) or attempting to spell the word correctly and then checking to see if he is correct.

Boggle Junior can be enjoyed by one or more children. When one child plays with Boggle Junior it is an opportunity to practice letter, object and word recognition, fine motor skills, matching and/or spelling. When more than one child plays with Boggle Junior, playing the game becomes an opportunity to share and take turns. If two children are at different levels with respect to spelling and reading, one child could match the letters to correctly spell a word, another child could try to spell each word (without matching) and then flip a lever on the base to check the spelling.

The Boggle Junior word cards include short vowels, some long vowels and a few digraphs (i.e. fish).

Boggle Junior Game at Amazon.com

Boggle Junior Game at Amazon.ca

Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Two

Posted on July 10th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Today was our second session of Getting Ready to Read Plus. Today’s theme was “Boats Afloat” and the letter of the day was “B.” The children were able to come up with all sorts of words that begin with the /b/ sound – bumblebee, bear, brown, blue, black, boat, boy, baby and more.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Rowboat

Boating theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Letter B - pictures and words

Our story today was The Deep Cold River Story, written by Tabatha Southey and illustrated by Sue Savor. This is a very good read aloud for four and five year olds. I like using it with the “boats afloat” theme because there are several rowboats in the illustrations.

The Deep Cold River Story written by Tabatha Southey and illustrated by Sue Savor

Imagine a deep, cold river running through a small town. One day, for no apparent reason, the river overflows its banks and floods the entire community. Many possible solutions to the unrelenting flooding are proposed but it takes a little girl to solve the problem and save the town. The Deep Cold River Story features a positive message about bedtime stories and offers a great opportunity for children to propose their own creative solutions to the problem.

A charming story featuring a young heroine and appealing illustrations, The Deep Cold River Story is 28 pages and will be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 6.

The Deep Cold River Story at Amazon.com

The Deep Cold River Story at Amazon.ca

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet

Posted on April 16th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at a stylish picture book, Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet


Storytime Standouts looks at picture book, Paul Thurlby's Alphabet.Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet
created by Paul Thurlby
Alphabet book published by Templar Books an imprint of Candlewick Press



Featuring bright, bold retro illustrations, Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet is a stylish tribute to graphic design and each of the letters of the alphabet. Young children will enjoy the dramatic and distinctive artwork while learning about letter shapes and sounds.

On the left side of each spread, we see a single letter in uppercase and lowercase form. The corresponding right side of each spread features an illustration that incorporates the shape of the uppercase letter and minimal text.

Older children and adults will particularly appreciate the aesthetics of Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet, possibly using his ideas as inspiration for their own graphic artwork. As well, removing the book jacket and opening it reveals a gorgeous poster that highlights each of the illustrations from the book. Lovely.

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet at Amazon.com

Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet at Amazon.ca


Paul Thurlby’s PhotoStream on Flickr

Note: When selecting illustrations for the vowels, Thurlby uses a mix of short and long vowel sounds: A = awesome, I = island

Eggstra, Eggstra – Matching Upper and Lower Case Letters

Posted on February 8th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Children enjoy matching upper and lower case letters with this fun activity


This is a great time of year to pick up the makings of an inexpensive, colourful learning aid – at your neighbourhood dollar store. Easter merchandise is starting to appear and we want the multi-coloured two-part Easter eggs. Normally these are filled with candies but we are going to do something altogether different. We are going to use a permanent ink pen to print an upper case letter on one half of an egg and and the corresponding lower case letter on the other half. Children really enjoy searching through the ‘broken’ eggs. matching upper and lower case letters, ultimately assembling twenty-six whole eggs. I like the activity because using five or six colors makes finding a match fairly easy and also makes the activity somewhat self-checking.

For older children, compound words, rhyming words or antonyms could be used.

For more ways to help children learn the alphabet, check out our fee alphabet printables and our page about alphabet recognition.

A word of caution: This activity is not intended for children younger than age 3. Also, to ensure the activity is safe, please use eggs that are large enough to eliminate a risk of choking. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined: ‘Any ball with a diameter of 1.75 inches (44.4mm) or less that is intended for use by children younger than 3 years of age is banned.’ This is an excellent guideline – please check the size of the eggs before purchasing them.

Hover over the photo for a description of the activity. Click on the photo to read the full post

Storytime Standouts Free Printable Alphabets and Games for Learning LettersAlphabet Learning Game for Small Groups










If you appreciate our free early childhood literacy printables,
including these printable alphabets,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.comAmazon.com link or Amazon.ca.Amazon.ca link


We invite you to follow Storytime Standouts’ Alphabet Craft Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Alphabet Crafts on Pinterest.

b d confusion: Is it ‘b’ or ‘d’ ? Helping young readers decide

Posted on September 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts suggests way to help children with b d confusion #prek #kindergarten #letterrecognition #alphabetI made a presentation last night to a preschool parent group. One of the topics of discussion was how we can help children avoid reading a “b” as a “d” and vice versa. At the presentation, I was not addressing serious learning challenges like Developmental Dyslexia ( a condition / learning disability which causes difficulty with reading and writing). We were discussing ways to assist children with letter recognition and b d confusion. We talked about a few ways to help children correctly identify “d” and “b”.


Method #1: Bat, Ball, Dog, Tail

One mom mentioned that in their household they used the following:

“This is the bat, and this is the ball, together they make a “b”. (Visualize: l + o = b, where “l” is a bat and “o” is a ball)

“This is the dog, and this is the tail, together they make a “d”. (Visualize c+ l = d, where “c” is a dog and “l” is its tail).

Method #2: Printing a ‘d’

The technique involves examining how we print the letter “d”. It looks much like a “c” with a “l” added to it. Using this method, we discuss the fact that c + l = d and “d” is after “c” in the alphabet.

b sees d  - One way for young children to avoid b d confusionMethod #3: ‘b’ sees ‘d’

Relying on alphabetical order (and a little play on words)





Method #4: Bulldozing a b works!

If your child knows that bulldozer begins with ‘b,’ he can use a toy bulldozer to push a letter ‘b.’ Letter ‘d’ is not nearly as cooperative because of its shape.







Method #5: bed

My favourite memory device is to make a “bed” with the child’s fingers. Imagine making two small circles with the thumbs and forefingers, and pointing the remaining fingers upward. Push the two circles together to make a “bed” (minus the “e”). The left hand makes the “b” and the right hand makes the “d.” It looks like this: “bd.” “b” is at the beginning of “bed,” “d” is at the end of bed.

Note, these methods will not work with very young children. With Method 3 especially, the child needs to know how to spell ‘bed’ in order for this device to be effective. From my perspective, with very young children, we should not worry about the occasional reversal. We can simply say, ‘That is a b. It makes the /b/ sound.’ With children who are starting to read, I find Method #3 to be very effective and easy to remember. I have seen children as old as seven do a quick check (underneath a desktop or tabletop) and then read a word with confidence.b d confusion - Storytime Standouts suggests ways for your child to know if it is a b or d including imagining a bed. #prek #letterrecognition #alphabet







Hover over the photo for a description of the activity. Click on the photo to read the full post

Alphabet Learning Game for Small Groups


Storytime Standouts Free Printable Alphabets and Games for Learning Letters













We invite you to follow Storytime Standouts’ Alphabet Recognition Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Alphabet Activities including b d confusion on Pinterest.

b and d (bed) poster from Activity Village



If you know memory devices for b c confusion, I’d love to hear from you. Please jump in with a comment.

Making Reading Games

Posted on August 29th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Making reading games is a fun, inexpensive way to support young learners

Last month I was invited to make a presentation for the parents at a local preschool. Unlike most of my presentations, this was a hands-on workshop. We used rubber stamps, pencil crayons, stickers and foam shapes to make reading games. This sort of workshop becomes very social – the adults get to play with the craft supplies for a change!

Over the years, I have made many, many pre-reading and reading games. Apart from the fact that the games can be customized with respect to theme and difficulty, from a cost perspective, homemade can’t be beat!

Whenever possible, I like to make activities self-correcting. For example, for some matching activities I put small marks on the back of the playing pieces so that the children can double-check their “matches.”

I’ve also tried to ensure that many of the games allow children to be active and move while they play and learn. For one of the games, I used green rubberized, mesh placemats. I cut out lily pads (beige works for elephant footprints) and then painted letters onto each lily pad / footprint. The clingy nature of the placemat material ensures that the lily pads are not slippery when placed in ABC order on the floor. The children love to hop from one lily pag to the next, singing the ABC song.

Gift wrap is another great source for learning games. I’ve made games to used with many, many themes – everything from birthday cupcakes to balloons, pond life, western, sports, emergency vehicles and the circus. From time to time, you can find a licensed gift wrap that matches something you are doing in the classroom. I’ve used Cat in the Hat and Franklin Turtle paper.

My favourite resource for pre-reading craft activities is Kathy Ross. For learners who are a bit older and in need of assistance with reading, Peggy Kaye has great ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our free, printable reading games.

Our printable early literacy resources for making reading games are in PDF format, if you don’t already have Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the reading game download.


If you appreciate our printable early literacy resources, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


image of PDF icon  Match the Ending Consonant Sound

Another way to help children develop phonemic awareness. Matching the ending consonant sound is more difficult than matching the beginning consonant sound.

image of PDF icon  Compound Word Riddles

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 1

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 2

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 3

image of PDF icon  Match Upper and Lower Case Letters Part One

Use with Part Two to create a matching activity

image of PDF icon  Match Upper and Lower Case Letters Part Two

image of PDF icon  Consonant Game Board

Use a die and markers, move along the "star" path from one star to another. When you land on a star, say the letter name or say the letter sound or say a word that starts with the letter.

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Tic Tac Toe

image of PDF icon  Short Vowel Word Match Game

Pictures to match with words.

image of PDF icon  Animal / Alphabet Match

image of PDF icon  Match the Beginning Consonant Sound

Cut the pictures apart and have children match the initial consonant sound - a great way to support the development of phonemic awareness.

Storytime Standouts’ early literacy resources download page

Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading at Amazon.com

Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading at Amazon.ca

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes at Amazon.com

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes at Amazon.ca


Fall Printables – Back to School, Autumn Leaves and More

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Highlighting our Fall Printables…

We have all sorts of goodies lined up for September but thought we would give you a taste today. Our Fall printables include interlined paper (Back to School and Fall themes), a special alphabet, “school” vocabulary and some “Squirrel” goodies.

We are currently pulling together our favourite picture books for autumn – colourful leaves, and crisp, cool days are not far away.

Our early literacy printables, including our Fall printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already used Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Please note: some of our early literacy printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.



If you appreciate our free early literacy printables,
including these Fall-theme early learning materials,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca
.






Enjoy these Fall printables and be sure to let your friends and colleagues know about Storytime Standouts.

image of PDF icon  A Fall Leaves Alphabet

Attractive alphabet printable features multi coloured Fall leaves

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Brown Squirrel

An action rhyme celebrating squirrels

image of PDF icon  Five Little Squirrels

Use as a fingerplay or a felt board story (or both)

image of PDF icon  I'm A Little Acorn Brown

A fun addition to a squirrel circle time

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Fall Theme incl. Tire Swing

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Fall Picture Dictionary

Free printable Fall picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

Exploring Special Alphabet Books

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Special Alphabet Books

Alphabet books come in an amazing array of themes and formats. Whether your child loves rescue vehicles, solving puzzles, cooking or nonsense rhymes, there are alphabets books to explore and enjoy.








Learning letter activities, games, printables, and alphabet picture booksNote: For printable alphabets, The Alphabet Song and activities to help your child learn the alphabet. be sure to check out our Alphabet Recognition page and our Printable Alphabets page.






Alphabet Explosion! Search and Count from Alien to Zebra by John Nickle

Alphabet Explosion presents 26 challenging visual puzzles that will appeal to both youngsters and adults. With a full-page illustration and the number of things to ‘spy’ for each letter, you and your child(ren) could spend hours with this book. On the page for ‘S’, we are told to look for 47 things that begin with ‘S’. You might expect a snake – but would you recognize ‘slithering’ as well? Good luck!


Alphabet Explosion!: Search and Count from Alien to Zebra at Amazon.com

Alphabet Explosion!: Search and Count from Alien to Zebra at Amazon.ca

Alphabet Rescue – written by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Bruce Wood

Fans of Audrey and Bruce Wood’s Alphabet Adventure and Alphabet Mystery will be delighted to know about this new concept book. The creators could not have picked a more appealing storyline than to have the ‘little letters’ build their own fire truck. When the ‘big’ fire truck breaks down, it is up to the ‘little letters’ to come to the rescue and put out a fire in the letter-making factory. Beautiful illustrations have so much to offer those learning the alphabet.


Alphabet Rescue at Amazon.com

Alphabet Rescue at Amazon.ca

Eating the Alphabet Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z By Lois Ehlert

Here’s a serving of veggies that will appeal to even the pickiest eater. Big, bold illustrations of familiar (apple) and not-so-familiar (jicama) fruits and vegetables make for a delightful alphabet book. Reading it might convince your child to sample something new and vitamin-rich, possibly the whole alphabet!


Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z at Amazon.com

Eating The Alphabet at Amazon.ca

G is for One Gzonk! An Alpha-Number-Bet Book written and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi (a.k.a. Tiny Diterlizzi)

In the Style of Dr. Seuss, here we meet Tiny DiTerlooney. He warns us that we ought to “say good-bye to boring books where bears can bounce a ball.” Instead, he uses delightful watercolor illustrations to introduce twenty-six highly original ‘Creachlings.’ Lots of fun – especially for older children who will relish an all-new take on the alphabet.


G Is for One Gzonk!: An Alpha-number-bet Book at Amazon.com

G Is for One Gzonk!: An Alpha-number-bet Book at Amazon.ca

Read Sing Play ABC Sing-Along – written by Teddy Slater, illustrated by Liisa Chauncy Guida

Twenty-six sing-along songs, with mostly familiar tunes offer a fun introduction to letter sounds and rhyming. Fun illustrations (including ten touch and feel textures & four pull-tabs) together with a pleasing CD make this a great resource for families and classrooms.

Abc Sing-along at Amazon.com

ABC Sing-Along at Amazon.ca


Alphabet Book

More excellent picture books you will want to check out!












Getting Ready to Read Plus – Day Five

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Our story today was one of my favourite alphabet books. Alphabet Adventure written by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Bruce Wood

Alphabet Adventure is the story of Charley’s alphabet. The little letters are getting ready for Charley’s first day of school when Little I stumbles and falls. Although not immedicately noticed, Little I’s dot is missing. All the little letters scour Alphabet Island as they try to find the missing dot. An excellent choice for children who will soon be attending kindergarten, Alphabet Adventure’s bright, bold illustrations are great in a group setting but the hidden dot makes the book equally special for sharing one on one.

Once you’ve enjoyed Alphabet Adventure, be sure to look for the equally engaging Alphabet Mystery and Alphabet Rescue.

Alphabet Adventure at Amazon.com

Alphabet Adventure at Amazon.ca

Our final Getting Ready to Read class featured many different letters. The children personalized Alphabet Tic Tac Toe games (made using True Type 3000 Fonts)

This week our featured songs were

image of PDF icon  The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Add actions when you sing this song

image of PDF icon  Over in the Meadow

Can be adapted for a felt board story


If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk

Posted on May 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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I consider myself fortunate to live not far from the Pacific Ocean. Every summer we camp on the shore of Howe Sound and, even while at home, I am close to fresh salt air and pounding surf.

It is almost impossible to walk along an oceanside beach without noticing something special. We’ve seen all sorts of shells, crabs, barnacles, mussels and the occasional tiny fish. When we venture further afield, we’ve been excited to spot starfish, sand dollars, jellyfish and more. I love beachcombing – especially with young children.

In If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet , Leslie McGuirk shows us treats that many of us could completely overlook when exploring a shoreline. Ms. McGuirk is an avid observer and, over many years, has amassed an exciting collection. She has gathered together all sorts of eye-catching and intriguing rocks. She has one for every letter of the alphabet as well as a bird, a couch potato, a dog, an elephant…



Young children will thoroughly enjoy exploring If Rocks Could Sing and are certain to want their own collection of intriguing rocks. Share this with children aged three and up and you’re sure to be setting off on your own quest for rocks that sing.
If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet at Amazon.com

If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet at Amazon.ca

Note – photo was taken (by me) at Porteau Cove campground on the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia.

Let’s Talk About Learning to Read – Beginning with Very Young Children

Posted on March 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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image of an alphabet game board

The process of learning to read begins long before children begin kindergarten. Learning to read begins when children are babies. Very young children love to learn new words and they especially like to use their voices to play with sounds. When spending time with very young children, chatting, sharing rhymes and reading aloud all contribute to reading readiness. If we take time to examine what we would like youngsters to know before they start kindergarten, we wil be guided in our choices about stories to share and the importance of engaging young children in conversation and wordplay.
  • Before starting kindergarten, we would like children to know some nursery rhymes.  Why not use our printable nursery rhymes or visit your public library and borrow a nursery rhyme book or two?  Here are our free downloads:
     

    image of PDF icon  Hey Diddle Diddle

    Traditional English nursery rhyme that includes repetition, rhyming and imagery.

    image of PDF icon  Humpty Dumpty

    Traditional English-language nursery rhyme. Usually includes an anthropomorphic (possessing human traits, emotions) egg.

    image of PDF icon  Jack and Jill

    Traditional English-language nursery rhyme. Includes alliteration and rhyming.

    image of PDF icon  Little Boy Blue

    Traditional English-language nursery rhyme featuring alliteration and rhyming.

    image of PDF icon  Old Mother Hubbard

    Traditional English-language nursery rhyme.

    image of PDF icon  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

    Classic Nursery Rhyme written by Jane Taylor


  • We would also like youngsters to know how to re-tell a favourite story.  I suggest ‘reading’ wordless picture books with your child and then ask her to re-tell the story. Dinnertable conversation can also be an opportunity to share stories. As well, rides in the car are a great opportunity for storytellling.
  • Also, before beginning school, we would like to children to understand that when we read a story, it is very much like being able to see the same words we speak
  • We would also like children to know some or even most of the letters of the alphabet. You will find lots of free, printable alphabets on this site for children who are learning to read.

    image of PDF icon  A Caveman Alphabet

    Free printable alphabet features a fun caveman for each letter.

    image of PDF icon  A Colourful Alphabet

    Free printable alphabet uses bright colours for each letter.

    image of PDF icon  A Fruit and Vegetables Alphabet

    Free printable alphabet features a fruit or vegetable for each letter.

    image of PDF icon  A Brush Stroke Alphabet

    A printable brush stroke alphabet - great for children who are learning letters. This alphabet can be used in a variety of ways: create an alphabet ‘strip’ or cut the letters apart, mix and then put in ABC order. Or, print two sets, cut apart and create an alphabet memory/matching game.

    image of PDF icon  A Marching Alphabet


  • Use the alphabets to create matching and memory games, or an alphabet strip or spell your child’s name with them.

  • Ideally, children beginning kindergarten should understand that letters each have at least one sound associated with them. Help your child to learn this by explaining the sounds made by “P,” “F,” “M” and “S” because these sounds are very distintive.
  •  We’d also like children who are learning to read to understand that books written in English are read from front to back and pages written in English are read from left to right. When enjoying a read aloud, talk with youngsters about the cover and the spine of a book. Notice whether a book is paperback or hardcover and point out a book jacket if there is one. Ask your child to open the book and find the title page. Remember to look for information about the author and/or the illustrator. Once you start to read aloud, casually point out the words you are reading and move your finger from left to right as you read a story.
    Usually when I read a book that uses LARGE, BOLD letters for some especially great words, I make a point of repeating the best passages and I encourage my audience to “read” the words with me when I read them a second (or third) time!

Note: For printable alphabets, The Alphabet Song and activities to help your child learn the alphabet. be sure to check out our Alphabet Recognition page.

Our early literacy printables, including our nursery rhyme and alphabet printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Please note: some of our early literacy printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.

If you appreciate our nursery rhymes and alphabet printables, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


Learning Letters with Bunnies

Posted on March 20th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Here is a fun, easy-to-make activity for learning letters. Check out your neighbourhood dollar store for seasonal banners. The two I found are each nearly three feet long. They each have a series of Easter bunnies on them. The first one I prepared, was for children who are learning letters. I added alphabet stickers and laminated it.


Have a child gently grip one end of the banner, close their eyes and say, “Go, go, go, STOP.” As the child says, “Go, go, go,” slide the banner through their fingers. When they say, “STOP,” ask them to open their eyes and read the letter on the nearest bunny. For older children, make it more difficult by asking them to read the letter and say a word that starts with it.

For children who can read, print words on the bunnies. I used the “ot” family for my bunnies and carrots banner.

For all sorts of printable alphabets, The Alphabet Song and activities to help your child learn letters, be sure to check out our Alphabet Recognition page.

Follow this link to our Spring and Easter theme printables for preschool and kindergarten

Free Spring and Easter Theme Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

Our early literacy printables, including our learning letters printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Hover over the photo for a description of the activity. Click on the photo to read the full post

Alphabet Learning Game for Small Groups


Storytime Standouts Free Printable Alphabets and Games for Learning Letters









If you appreciate our free early childhood literacy printables,
including these printable alphabets,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.comAmazon.com link or Amazon.ca.Amazon.ca link


We invite you to follow Storytime Standouts’ Alphabet Craft Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Alphabet Crafts on Pinterest.


Hockey Picture Books Are Sure to Score With Young Fans

Posted on January 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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image of cover art for Z if For ZamboniZ is for Zamboni – A Hockey Alphabet Written by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose
Hockey alphabet book published by Sleeping Bear Press

If hockey plays a part in your household, this enticing hockey alphabet book will appeal to the entire family. Young children will enjoy the simple rhymes while older children and adults will appreciate the more detailed information bordering the charming illustrations.

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.com

Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet at Amazon.ca

The Hockey Card Written by Jack Siemiatycki & Avi Slodovnick Illustrated by Doris Barrette
Hockey picture book published by Lobster Press

When Uncle Jack shares the story of the best hockey card he ever had, we take pleasure in a glimpse of the great Maurice Richard and a schoolyard duel against a tough hockey card shark. This is a book that made a lasting impression in our household – my youngest son is now a 13 year old bantam hockey player and just noticed me working on this post. He remarked, “Now that was a good book.”
The Hockey Card at Amazon.com

The Hockey Card at Amazon.ca



Learning Letters With a White Board

Posted on December 9th, 2010 by Carolyn Hart

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Learning the Alphabet with a White Board

If you are helping a young child to learn letters, we suggest that using a white board can be a fun way to discover letter shapes





Learning Letters Using a White Board from Storytime Standouts
Here’s a white board game that encourages youngsters to think about letter shapes. Begin by drawing part of a letter using a dry erase marker. For example “l” could be part of “B”. “D”, “E”, “F”, “H:, “I”, “K”, “L”, “M”, “N”, and more. Add another “piece of the puzzle” – perhaps a horizontal line ( for “E” or “H”). Continue adding bits of the letter until the correct letter is guessed or revealed. This activity draws attention to the ways letters are alike and different and is played enthusiastically in a group setting.

Be sure to check out our printable alphabets and our alphabet recognition page- more great resources for children learning letters.

As an aside, white boards are often very appealing to young learners – and not just those who are learning letters! When mistakes are made, the “evidence” is quickly erased. I’ve found white boards very helpful for reviewing spelling and doing math. Crayola makes “kid friendly” dry erase markers in a variety of colours. I’ve had good success with them and use them in my classes.

Crayola 8 Count Dry Erase Markers Chisel Tip at Amazon.com

Crayola 8 Count Dry-Erase Markers-Assorted Colors 8 at Amazon.ca/Pkg

Board Dudes Double Sided Dry Erase Lapboard, 9 x 12 Inches at Amazon.com

Board Dudes Double Sided Dry Erase Lapboard, 9 x 12 Inches at Amazon.ca

Hover over the photo for a description of the activity. Click on the photo to read the full post

Alphabet Learning Game for Small Groups


Storytime Standouts Free Printable Alphabets and Games for Learning Letters












We invite you to follow Storytime Standouts’ Alphabet Craft Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Alphabet Crafts on Pinterest.

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