12 (Almost) Effortless Preschool Literacy Activities

Long time followers of this blog know that literacy and reading is one of my passions. My kids are no longer preschoolers, but I thought it would be of interest to many of you if I pulled together a bunch of super easy preschool literacy activities. These ideas will help lay a solid foundations for pre-readers, and best of all, you can totally do them.

Preschool literacy ideas for parents that take very little preparation. Easy to do at home!

It’s easy for parents to feel overwhelmed by an overload of information about how to make sure you give your children a good foundation for learning. Just take a stroll through Pinterest and you will find tons of creative ideas to teach your kids. Unfortunately, I can get lost in the flood of complicated ideas that require lots of preparation. Ideas I know I will never complete.

If you are like me, don’t despair! (Not that you were actually despairing.) We, too can be awesome teachers. In fact, I’m so confident that even parents who don’t own a hot glue gun can do these literacy-building activities at home I’m including my own Preparation Scale. A “0” is no prep at all. Nothing. Nada. You can do it where you are. Right. Now. A 10 would include a trip to your local Michael’s, and then an hour crafting your own homemade, decoupage alphabet letters and washi taped home literacy station.* Nothing here is above a 4 on my Preparation Scale.

Ready? (Tip: clicking on the orange links below will take you to more information about the idea.)

  • Introduce the concept of journaling. This does not even have to include the formation of letters in order to be valuable. Journalling is a fabulous pre-literacy tool and teaches kids that writing is fun. Preparation scale: 2
  • Have your alphabet puzzle pieces or letter magnets handy when you read books and match letters as demonstrated by The Pleasantest Thing. Preparation scale: 1
  • Hang the alphabet up on a clothesline. If you don’t have letter cards, you can hang up homemade ones that are a cinch to whip up. Preparation scale 3 (4 if you have to make your own letters.)
  • Make a salt tray. Pour a container of salt onto a cookie tray. Preschoolers use their fingers to “write” in the salt. They can make letters if they want, or just scribble. Preparation scale: 2 Clean up: 3 (Be sure to include the kids in clean up.)
  • Jump out the syllables of words in puddles! (Idea via Playdough to Plato) Preparation scale: 1 if it’s raining and you have to put on rain gear; 0 if you just jump wherever you are right now!
  • Read books. Read books. Read books. There is no greater preschool literacy activity, none that takes so little effort on your part, than spending 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening reading picture books to your preschooler. Preparation scale: 0

What do you think? Can you do these ideas? What is your very favorite activity to enhance your child’s literacy?

*Note to crafty moms and great activity planners: you are awesome, too.

For more literacy activities for preschool and beyond, connect with me on Pinterest:
Follow Erica • What Do We Do All Day?’s board Literacy and Reading with Kids on Pinterest.

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  1. says

    I love this! Pinterest can be defeating sometimes, because while there are great ideas there, it can all be overwhelming. But you don’t have to be crafty or even trained as a teacher to do simple literacy activities with toddlers and preschoolers, and these are great examples of that!

    • Erica MomandKiddo says

      Thanks Emma. I do admit that I love Pinterest, it’s nice to have a reminder that we don’t have to be as perfect as a photo to teach our kids great stuff!

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