While perusing the shelves of my local Waterstones, I came across a marvellous book called “Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite” written by Nick Bromley.  Of course any story with a crocodile in is worth buying and I couldn’t wait to read it to my charges at bedtime.  The general storyline is that a crocodile has managed to get into the book and starts eating certain letters, then words and finally whole sentences, and it is up to you to get him to stop. It is a funny book and my little ones loved it. It was a few days later while thinking up new phonic activities that I started to think of this book again and decided to make my own crocodile that you had to feed certain letters (or words) to.

During one of my days when both my charges have full days, I set about making the crocodile, letters and words for this activity, once it was ready I introduced the game to my youngest charge and then to my eldest charge when he arrived back from school. For the actually activity I laid out either a few letters or words (depending on who was doing the activity) and then the crocodile would tell them which one he wanted to eat.  This activity was a huge successes, and funnily enough both charges tried to get the letters/words in as quickly as possible before the crocodile decided to nibble any fingers. My youngest charge told the crocodile that if he ate her fingers, she would make me put him in a time out! If you are wondering, the croc didn’t eat her fingers, and my charge ended up showering him in kisses.

To make your own crocodile you will need:

  • An egg carton
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tape
  • Paper
  • Pen

Here’s how:

  1. Start by separating the bottom and top of the egg carton.
  2. Cut off one of those large sticky up things that help hold the egg in place, then cut that in half.  That will form the two teeth that stick down from the top jaw.
  3. Paint your crocodile and leave to dry.
  4. Tape the two parts back together along one of the short sides, then tape your large teeth to the top half of the mouth so that they stick down over the bottom jaw.
  5. Cut out some eyes from some paper, paint it the same colour as your crocodile and then stick in place.
  6. To make they letters and words, simple write them onto some paper and cut them out.  For the words I used the 40 words that children have to know by the time they finish reception e.g. the, and, he, she, going, play, it, on etc.

This activity may help development of:

  • Letter and sound recognition
  • Word recognition
  • Reading

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