The Christmas season is a fun time to focus on both decorations and gingerbread. This free decorate do-a-dot printable is perfect for a Christmas activity, Gingerbread Man theme, or phonics activity (either beginning sounds or silent e work). As usual, the printable is an instant download and super easy to prepare!
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Note: Be sure to read to the bottom of the post where you’ll find lots of ideas for using do-a-dot printables along with at least one free do-a-dot printable for each letter of the alphabet!
Montessori-Inspired Printables at Living Montessori Now
My daughter, Chrissy (a former Montessori child), and I are partnering to bring you a series of Montessori-inspired printables. The printables are typically themed and use a number of Montessori principles (although you don’t need to be a Montessori teacher or homeschooler to use them):
- They use isolation of quality.
- They use photographs or realistic images to emphasize reality. Whenever I can, I’ll tell you the specific name of the object or animal featured on the credits page.
- They typically use traditional Montessori colors such as red for consonants and blue for vowels.
- They use lowercase letters, which are what we introduce letter sounds with in Montessori education. (Children tend to pick up the uppercase letters without being introduced if they’re introduced to the lowercase letter sounds.)
- They often feature themed printable versions of Montessori materials.
Free Decorate Do-a-Dot Phonics Printable
To download the /d/ for decorate do-a-dot phonics printable, click here and then click on the file image in the upper right corner of the PDF to save to your computer (just choose where you want it saved).
D for Decorate Do-a-Dot Printable and Tray with Gingerbread Person Stickers
Note: This is just one example of how you can use the do-a-dot printables. There are many ways to use our do-a-dot printables. Scroll down to see examples from previous posts. Just choose an activity that’s appropriate for your child’s age and skill level.
I used a Multicraft tray and ¾” gingerbread stickers. (Note: ¾” color coding dots also work well for stickers on do-a-dot pages.) I included the “d” font card from our Montessori-Inspired Gingerbread Pack. At other times, I’ll have a variety of transfer activities with do-a-dot printables, using tools such as quick sticks, sugar tongs, or toast tong.
This do-a-dot printable can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the age and ability of the child. A younger child could just use stickers or Do-a-Dot markers and focus on the /d/ sound in decorate while an older child could focus on silent e in decorate and build the word with the movable alphabet.
You could add a tracing activity to the printable. If you laminate your printable, you can use an erasable crayon like the Melissa & Doug Learning Mat Crayons or Crayola Erasable Crayons. If your page isn’t laminated, you could add a pencil or colored pencils. I often do that. For a 2-year-old or other young preschooler who’s not ready to write letters, you can just leave off the crayon or pencils.
Scroll down to see lots of ideas for using our do-a-dot printables for a variety of ages and themes.
“Decorate” Word Analysis and Letter Formation Work with Sticker Activity
This type of activity is wonderful for fine-motor development, increasing attention span, and reinforcing letter sounds or phonograms.
I use a variety of activities with do-a-dot pages. The gingerbread stickers were a fun addition to this page!
After placing the stickers on the page, my 3¾-year-old grandson, Caleb (Chrissy Chitwood‘s son) did some phonics and letter formation work. Caleb was fascinated with learning phonetic sounds and learned them much earlier than normal. Caleb is working on the green language series, so he is interested in “silent /ē/ makes / ă/ become /ā/.” Focusing on silent e, he can sound out “decorate.”
Chrissy took the photo in their home of Caleb using our gingerbread-scented sand tray to focus on writing the letters before tracing them on the do-a-dot page. He also traced letters on the printed alphabet wood tracing board (beautiful material and wonderful for extra work on letter formation) by FromJennifer. In the past (when he was learning the letter sounds), he did lots of work with Montessori sandpaper letters.
After working on other tracing, Caleb uses triangular grip pencils to trace the letters on the do-a-dot page. Triangular grip pencils are a great way to help young children develop the proper pencil. grip. At Caleb’s age, we’re really just starting work with tracing letters using a pencil.
For children under age 3, I typically use the do-a-dot printables for vocabulary, hearing the beginning sound of a word, and fine-motor skills. Generally, with toddlers, I’ll just focus on the /d/ sound at the beginning of “decorate.”
For a phonics lesson with young toddlers, I might casually say that decorate starts with /d/ (the sound, not the letter name). This is just to introduce hearing the phonetic sound. I don’t focus on the letter “d,” although I use the printable that we already have available. We often focus on the child hearing the beginning sound by saying something like, “Decorate, /d/, decorate.”
I only use printables with toddlers that can be used for hands-on work, such as do-a-dot work, scissor cutting (cutting strips), or another type of printable that can be made into a manipulative. Printables when used with manipulatives are great for fine-motor development, work on important skills, and fit with the hands-on activities that are developmentally appropriate for toddlers.
If you want to know more about how to introduce the /d/ sound, check out my post on how to teach letter sounds using Montessori principles.
For children like Caleb who are working on the green language series, this is perfect for a_e work with silent e and a focus on letter formation. For older children who already know their letter sounds but still enjoy do-a-dot work, I often add the print movable alphabet word building, phonogram work, another hands-on activity to go with the do-a-dot work, and/or cursive movable alphabet and word analysis work. (Note: These examples have more than one type of additional activity, which I like for older children.)
More Gingerbread Resources
You’ll find lots of free gingerbread printables and activities in my Free Gingerbread Printables and Montessori-Inspired Gingerbread Activities
There are a number of free gingerbread printables and activities in my Montessori-Inspired Christmas Language Activities and Free Christmas Printables.
A Montessori-inspired gingerbread activity that’s simple to prepare but doesn’t use a printable: Montessori-Inspired Christmas Gingerbread Man Fine-Motor Activity or Craft.
You’ll find lots and lots of Christmas activities of all kinds in my post with hundreds of December holiday activities for kids.
Montessori-Inspired Gingerbread Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my newsletter to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber).
Free Do-a-Dot Printables and Ideas for Using Them
I love the versatility of do-a-dot printables! If you’re doing a month-long theme, you could easily change out the type of do-a-dot activity weekly to add interest. Here are four ideas of hands-on activities for any of our do-a-dot printables from my frog do-a-dot printable post (see post for details and materials used).
Just click on an image to go to the post with the related free printable!
Note: I’ve arranged the following gallery in alphabetical order, although some posts have two do-a-dot printables (and two different letters). You’ll find at least one free do-a-dot printable for each letter of the alphabet!
Also, I don’t introduce letters in alphabetical order. You can find out the order in which I introduce letter sounds here. I deviate from that order for our unit studies, though, and focus on a letter that’s simply related to our unit. That’s in addition to our other letter work.
For complete themed alphabet do-a-dot packs, see our Animal Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack, Spanish Animal Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack, and Healthy Food Alphabet Do-a-Dot Pack available for purchase in the Living Montessori Now shop.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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