We’re back with our “sss is for sounds” series, learning and building phonemic awareness! This week, I thought we’d enjoy a quintessentially summer treat before the season passed, so we explore the letter sound “l” for lemonade. The kids even started their own lemonade stand and sold about $6 worth of lemonade and blueberry muffins to passing neighbours.
We started off the mini-unit as I always do, introducing the sound and passing around the “l” sandpaper letter for the children to trace while repeating the sound. Be careful to isolate the “l” sound and not slip into “la” is for lemonade. I personally find it helpful to visualize saying “ull” or “ill” is for lemonade without emphasizing the vowel because it helps me finish nicely on the “l” sound (and not have the sound morph into “la” which is very common).
Of course, if you’re doing Montessori Preschool (Primary), you’re going to want to engage those practical life skills and get the kids making lemonade! I made this kid-friendly recipe printable for you to add to your kids’ kitchen corner:
Lemonade Stand Learning
And what’s the point in making copious amount of lemonade if you don’t share it? The kids decorated a large piece of paper from our easel to advertise their wares. I discussed with Mr. R, the oldest, what information needed to be communicated on the poster, and we negotiated a fair selling price.
The kids helped me carry everything outside and set up the stand, using mason jars as cups, and their Learning Resources cash register to make change. We also brought out some bean bags and hula hoops to have something to do in between customers.
Running their own lemonade stand helped the older children practice their pouring, counting, and communication skills. The children had to work together to serve the customers, and worked out a system among themselves so that they all had a chance to pour the lemonade and handle the cash register. They also had to work on respectful and peaceful communications after the lemonade stand closed for the day to determine what they would purchase with their hard-earned money (decision: a fish).
For lunch, I made crockpot lemon chicken with stuffing and baby carrots, and of course, served it with lemonade. (I would love it if you could share some creative lemonade lunch ideas — I was completely stuck!)
Pink Lemonade Play Dough
I also made this delicious-smelling pink lemonade play dough, inspired by Crayon Box Chronicle’s Root Beer Float play dough set-up, and put out small cups, straws (and scissors to cut the straws down to the right size), spoons, a plastic juicer, and right-out-of-the-freezer plastic ice cubes. I wanted to provide a variety of sensations and allow the older children to extend their play with the extra props. I love the pattern that the juicer left on the play dough when used as a stamp.
And, of course, I was thrilled when one of the kids decided to do this with the play dough:
Lemonade Art on the Light Table
And as our final “lll” is for lemonade activity, we made lemon cut-out window decorations on the light table. You can use wax paper or contact paper for this craft; we used contact paper. I made the construction paper lemons similar to how you would cut out paper snowflakes, and had the children cut up small bits of tissue paper to attach to the cut-outs.
Other ideas for a lemonade mini-unit:
- lemon seed mandalas (or other designs)
- lemon slices on the light table like over at Little Wonder School
- counting lemon seeds
- grate lemon peels
- lemon “fruit” stamping (dip halved fruit in paint and make stamps!)
How would you explore “lll” is for lemonade and develop phonemic awareness for the letter sound “l”?