My first teaching position was in kindergarten. That is where I was introduced to my favorite alphabet book of all time, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. My students and I loved the story so much that I quickly redecorated my classroom, including a large metal coconut tree with magnet letters my students could use during centers time. I no longer teach kindergarten, but as my son is beginning preschool this fall I though I would create him a smaller version of the alphabet tree and show you all how to make one for your classroom library/ word work center. This is a fabulous addition to any early education classroom!
How to Make a Magnetic Alphabet Tree:
- at least 3 of the same brand coffee cans
- brown spray paint for metal
- Green paper for leaves
- Glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks OR brown duct tape the same color as your spray paint
- Magnetic letters
Wash out and remove the tables from your coffee cans.
Spread out coffee cans on newspaper and spray paint according to the spray paint’s directions. (Mine took 3 coats. I am kicking myself for not choosing a darker brown.)
Place a heavy object in the bottom can. This is to keep the alphabet tree from tipping over from being top heavy. I chose a rock from my garden. My grade partner used sandbox sand.
Hot glue the coffee cans together using A LOT of hot glue. This is where hindsight is 20-20 and it would be a good idea to use brown duct tape. But I’m an old dog and they didn’t have brown duct tape back when I first learned to do this. ;P …. I would use duct tape, but if you can’t find any hot glue works you just have to use a lot of it to fill in the space between the rim of the lower can and the bottom of the can you are placing on top. Like this:
Cut out leave shapes from green paper and glue them to the lid of the top can. (If you are planning on using this for a long time foam paper is a good choice, or you can laminate the leaves before gluing on.)
Add magnet letters and let the fun (aka ninja-learning) begin!
If you make your own version of this tree I would love to see it. Please permission add your creation and link in this blog post’s comment section! OR please submit any tree images to MaryCarr@CarrberryCreations.com and I will add them here for you.
Have fun creating your own alphabet tree!