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.
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.)
- Teach phonics as your preschooler puts together his favorite alphabet puzzle. Preaparation scale: 0
- 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 preschooler "read" wordless books to you! Scared of wordless books? I sympathize. Read about how I learned to love them and get some tips. Preparation scale: 0
- 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
- Tell stories as you do the housework. Preparation scale: 0
- 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 rhymes a part of every day. Preparation scale: 0
- 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.)
- Trace letters on your child's back. This is a classic activity that I first read about in The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories (An amazing book that I highly recommend. That's an affiliate link.). Have kids guess which letter you are tracing. Start out with letters that are very easy to distinguish, like "X" and "O". Preparation scale: "0"
- 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!
- Introduce storytelling with a prop bag. Idea via Coffee Cups and Crayons. Preparation scale: 3
- 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.
Find some awesome indoor and outdoor literacy games here, too!