“Literacy is a process by which one expands one’s knowledge of reading and writing in order to develop one’s thinking and learning for the purpose of understanding oneself and the world. This process is fundamental to achieving competence in every educational subject…literacy is a necessary foundation for educational achievement.” Enclopedia.com
Literacy involves spoken and written language skills and the ability to read and write. It’s never too early to start getting your child involved with literacy activities. There are lots of fun opportunities to support early literacy development. Talking, singing, creative play, playing sound, letter, and word games, reading, writing, and playing educational games with your child are great ways to set up a good literacy foundation.
You don’t need lots of time for literacy activities. Just a few minutes a day can make a big impact! The key is to use different times and engaging opportunities to help your child learn.
10 Simple Ways To Engage, Play And Teach Your Child!
*Literacy Sensory Bins– Sensory Bins are simple to make and are absolutely guaranteed to capture a child’s interest. Find a sturdy container (a clear plastic bin with a lid works great). Add some sensory filler such as dried peas, rice, packing peanuts, cotton balls, fake grass, leaves, etc. For a Matching Letters and Sounds bin, use an assortment of plastic upper and lower case letters, letter flash cards, object picture cards, and/or mini objects to match letter sounds you are working on. Give your child a letter of the alphabet (written on a card) and have them find all the letters in the bin that match that letter. Then ask them to find objects and pictures of things that begin with that sound.
For extreme fun, use a set of Alphabots transformer letters in the bin!
For extra sensory play and learning, use Play-Doh and letter stamps.
*Play-Doh– Help your child make numbers and letters out of Play-Doh. Use it to spell simple words and your child’s name. Use alphabet and letter stamps and cookie cutters to press out letters and words. Play-Doh offers several fun activity sets for letters and sounds.
*LEGOs- Kids Love LEGOs! Let your child practice making alphabet letters by giving them a sheet of paper with a letter drawn on it. Have your child use LEGO bricks to outline the letter. Next, see if they can make each letter and spell their name using their LEGOs. LEGO makes a LEGO DUPLO Play with Letters Set to support early literacy.
*Books– Use alphabet books to teach letters and have your child point out the words that begin with each letter. Read books with rhyming and repetition. Examples: The Cat in the Hat, There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Nothing Rhymes With Orange, Jamberry. Show your child how to hold a book and help turn the pages. Touch the words as you read together, and discuss the characters and the story. Ask questions about what you read together. Talk about the pictures and what is happening in each one. Bluebee Pals are super motivational tools to engage your child in digital books!
*Nursery Rhymes and Songs– A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words. Nursery rhymes teach your child language, vocabulary, rhyme, repetition and rhythm. Rhyming is a precursor for early literacy skills. Sing nursery rhymes to play with words and sounds. Example: Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; The Alphabet Song; Three Little Kittens.
*I Spy– Help your child learn to recognize and listen for sounds. Example: “I spy with my little eye something that begins with s-s-s. What do you think I see that starts with that sound?” You can also play I Spy with books by asking your child to find sounds on the pages and in words. Example: “Can you touch all the f letters or words with f on this page?” For language, Play I Spy in the grocery store, too! Example: “I spy a yellow fruit“ or “I Spy something sweet” or “I Spy something that is crunchy”.
*Puppets– Puppets are great to use for oral language development with preschoolers. Use puppets to tell or re-tell a story, ask questions, and take turns to engage in conversations. Puppets are easily found at Dollar Stores.
*Pretend Play– Children love to role play and play-pretend! These activities offer rich learning opportunities. You can set up a shop, your own restaurant, Doctor’s office, Vet office or school classroom and have creative fun! Children can make signs, forms, lists and menus and have fun while playing with literacy. Play-Doh has learning sets which are excellent for encouraging pretend play. Sets include kitchen, barber shop, dentist, sweet shop, and more.
*Treasure Hunt- Have a Letter Treasure Hunt by hiding alphabet cards or letters around the house. Tell your child a letter sound to look for and have your child say the letter, say the sound it makes, find it and bring it to you. Have your child find something at home that starts with that letter.
*Educational Games– Games are great fun for early learning and literacy as they involve oral language, conversation, vocabulary, sharing, following directions, Wh-questions, turn-taking, and much more. If you can find literacy based games that is even better. Children love playing games with their parents and peers!
Examples: Go Fish; Old Maid, Candyland; Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Bingo! Letter Learning Game for Kids; I Spy Dig In; BOHS Literacy Wiz Fun Game; Carson-Dellosa Publishing Time to Rhyme; The Learning Journey: Match It! Bingo – Picture Word – Reading Game for Preschool and Kindergarten; Learning Resources Alphabet Soup Sorters; and Magnetic Alphabet Letters And Numbers. https://www.bluebeepals.com/apps-bluebee-pals/
Literacy, even more ideas, please visit the following sites:
- Raising Children Network https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/literacy-reading-stories/literacy-activities
- Bilingual KidSpot https://bilingualkidspot.com/2019/05/20/literacy-activities-for-preschoolers-kindergarten-toddler/
- Little Bins for Little Hands https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/early-learning-play-ideas/