Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom! Letter Fun

"A told B and B told C, "Meet me at the top of the coconut tree..."" If you have young children or are an educator of young children you are probably familiar with the book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". This rhythmic and comical children's story offers a fun way to learn the alphabet but this activity will expand the learning and enjoyment by creating a hands-on experience! Create your own "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" coconut tree with letters!
You Will Need:
~ 2 large empty metal coffee tins {one with plastic lid, one without}
~packing tape
~Wood grain look mac tack/ contact paper {you know the shelf liner rolls with one sticky side}
~1-2 artificial fern stalks
~ Fun Foam or Felt sheets
~magnetic sheeting, or magnetic strips that can be cut
~hot glue gun
~cardboard traceable letters {optional}

Here's How:
1. Stack your two tins. The one with the lid should be on top. Use a strip of packing tape to hold the two tins together. Remove the lid.
2. Lay out your contact paper and wrap it around the tins to determine how much you will need. Cut the contact paper accordingly. Carefully peel off the contact paper backing and apply the sticky side of the contact paper to the cans. I try to leave the contact paper laying out, sticky side up, then roll the tin can stack over it gently to wrap it. This can be difficult to get smooth and straight but a few small wrinkles is fine and you can rub the wrinkles out to flatten them a bit afterwards.
3. Cut slits in the center of the plastic lid to accommodate the stalk{s} of the artificial ferns. Be careful not to cut too large a hole or the fern top will flop around too much. You could use packing tape or hot glue to secure the fern to the lid if you feel it necessary. Arrange the fern so it fans out like the top of a coconut tree! Then replace the lid.
4. Use traceable letters or create your own {I was a teacher so I use my traceable bulletin board letters} to trace onto the fun foam or felt sheets {fun foam is sturdier}. Cut out your letters.
5. Glue pieces of magnetic strip or sheetings to the backs of the letters.
You're done! The letters will stick to the coffee tin tree trunk!
Children can use the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree to act out the story by adding the letters as you read about them in the book.
You may want to use it as a stand alone activity. Ask your child to find a certain letter and put it on the tree. Create both lower and upper case letters for children to practice their recognition of both. It makes a fabulous, and fun letter recognition activity!
There is also a Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 book so create numbers for your tree too if you wish!


  1. I am so doing this! This is my nearly 3 yr. old son's absolutely favourite book in the entire world. We read it multiple times each day, he recites it all day long. I actually have to tuck it in and kiss it goodnight at bedtime! We're going away next weekend and I've already checked out to see that the ChickaChicka 123 book is available at the Chapters locations near our destination! He would love this. It might have to be his birthday treat.

  2. What a cute idea! Very creative!