The family makes a big difference in the literacy process of the little ones. Therefore, it is worth doing literacy activities for preschoolers at home.
The literacy stage represents an important milestone in childhood, and the family makes a big difference in this process. It is not about formally teaching your child: that is the role of the teachers and the school. However, some literacy activities for preschoolers can help stimulate this skill, making the whole process easier and more fun.
Fostering an environment full of reading and writing makes children more interested in the world of words ands letters. Thus, family and school help each other and provide even richer experiences.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this article with ideas for fun activities that will help your child’s literacy and language development.
Suggestions of literacy activities for preschoolers
1. Building my name
For this activity, you will need to print the letters of the alphabet and paste them on cards. To be able to use them multiple times, use a stiff material, like cardboard. On another sheet of paper, write or print your child’s name in large letters.
The game is very simple: your little one will have to find the cards with the letters that form their name and place them in the correct order. Encourage them to repeat the sounds of each letter, showing them how one sound connects to another.
You can repeat this dynamic with other words and even phrases, such as “The cow goes moo.” Here, explain that the difference between one word and another is marked with a space between them. Also ask your child to count how many words there are, based on the spaces.
2. Creating letters
This is a great activity to increase phonological awareness for children who are still discovering the alphabet. For this activity, you will only need colored pipe cleaners; you can easily find them and buy packs with dozens of pipe cleaners.
Start the game by showing your child the colored pipe cleaners and how they can use them to make different shapes. Then, explain the challenge: they will have to model letters according to the sound you make. For example, “aaa” for A and “mmm” for M.
If it’s still too difficult for your little one, show them the shape of the letter for each sound by writing it on a piece of paper so they have a model. Encourage them to repeat the sounds and names of each letter, and give them examples of words that start with that letter.
This activity will help your little one understand the relationship between sounds and letters, as well as practice their fine motor skills. Later, they will be able to join individual syllables using the modeled pipe cleaners.
3. Reciting the alphabet
If your child already knows the alphabet, how about reinforcing their learning with a super fun game? For this activity, you will only need a pencil and the “Alphabet in Outer Space” worksheet. You will see that it has some letters, but others are missing.
Tell your child that you will recite the alphabet and that they will have to pay attention to find the missing letters: you can use a song for this. Once they find the missing ones, ask them to write them in the blank spaces. If they still can’t, write the letters on a piece of paper for them to copy.
4. Forming sentences
This is one of the literacy activities for preschoolers that will help your child to write simple sentences. To do this, print cards with words that they use a lot, like:
- personal pronouns (I, you, he, she)
- the verbs “to be” and “to have” in different conjugations
- some numerals (one, two, zero)
- and some adjectives and nouns (happy, pretty, ball)
When you have several cards, simply ask your little one to build simple sentences like “I am happy”, asking them to identify the correct order of each card. Then, hand them a sheet of paper and ask them to try to write the same sentence, which will also help develop their writing skills.
5. Word rally
Use the cards from the previous activity to make a word rally. This game works like a treasure hunt: hide the cards around the house without your child seeing them. Then explain that they will have to look for the cards and when they find them, they’ll read them to you.
If your child correctly identifies what is written, they will be able to keep the card. Otherwise, they will have to give it to you. After finding all the words, they can try again to read the cards they lost; this reinforcement is important for learning.
The game ends when they get all the cards. Take the opportunity to encourage them to spell the words they found. This activity can be even more fun with a friend, encouraging healthy competition to see who gets the most cards.
6. Word boxes
This activity will help your little one identify the sound of phonemes as well as practice fine motor skills. You will need to have:
- scissors for children
- printouts of five pairs of rhyming words (cat/hat, sun/fun, ball/tall, boat/coat, door/floor).
Explain to your child that they’re going to make word boxes. Then, show them how to draw a square on the cardboard, indicating the movements they have to make. Draw five squares. Then ask them to cut out the squares using the scissors.
Now, show them the pictures of the printed words and place one of them in the first box. Ask your child what word rhymes with “cat” and see if they can identify the pair (“hat”) by gluing it into the same box. Repeat this process until each pair of words is in one box.
7. The world of reading
Finally, this literacy activity is very simple and worth making a habit of at home. After all, incorporating reading into your child’s routine brings great benefits not only for language skills, but also for cognitive, social, and emotional ones. Also, reading will increase your child’s interest in words.
Choose a story and read it aloud. You can slide your finger under each sentence so that your little one understands that there is a relationship between the written symbols and the spoken words. Also, encourage them to ask questions related to the text. Answer with different words so that they keep expanding their vocabulary.
Then tell them it’s their turn to read the story. Even if they can’t read, let them recount the events in their own words. Take the opportunity to ask questions about the characters and events to see if they can answer.
As you have seen, these literacy activities for preschoolers can be done at home using very simple materials. They will help a lot in the development of your child, as well as provide moments of meaningful interactions with the family. These are just a few examples of Kinedu activities and games.
For more content on child development, be sure to watch our kinedu | masterclass with Dr. Julia Harper and learn from one of the brightest minds on the subject!
And if you liked this article, download the Kinedu app for free and access more than 1,800 activities adapted to your child’s age and development stage.