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Literacy activities for your preschooler

15 Early literacy activities to do at home

1.Use long strands of yarn or cooked spaghetti noodles to form the letters of the alphabet. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can glue the letters onto paper and make them into a colorful alphabet display.

2. Try some activities that will help teach your child the vocabulary for the concepts of quantity, size and measurement. Read stories such as The Three Bears or the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Act out the stories using small, medium, and large stuffed animals. Identify items in your home that are small, medium, and large. Gather them up and have you child sort them according to size.

3. Play “I Spy” with your child using words that describe an objects position. For example, “I spy something in the living room, under the table, next to the cat.” You can also try “Simon Says” using directional words like, “Simon says put your arm above your head.”

4. Stories before bed is a time honored tradition, but what about stories other times of the day? Try reading at bath time, snack time, while waiting at the doctor’s office, or in the car. Even five minutes of reading has lasting benefits.

5. Put pancake batter into a plastic bag and cut a small hole into the corner. As you pour the batter into the pan, make the letters of your child’s name. Talk about the letters before enjoying breakfast! You can try this with cookie dough too.

6. Sing the alphabet song throughout the day. Have fun trying out different voices; sing the song mad, happy, silly, loud, or soft.

7. On a sunny day, take a bucket of water and a large paintbrush outside and help your child paint letters onto the house, sidewalk, or driveway.

8. Go on a nature walk and collect leaves, nuts, and other things you find. Then sort them by color or size.

9. Make a grocery list with your child. Ask your child what they want from the grocery store (within reason, of course) and spell out the letters of the words as you write them down. As you add these items to your cart at the store, have your child check them off the list.

10. Create a restaurant with your child. Have your child decide what will be on the menu and let them watch you write it down. (You could even look in a magazine or use clipart to create pictures.) Only have a few items so your child can memorize which item is first on the list and so on. Then have your child take orders from the other members of the family, marking it on the list.

11. At night when your child is in bed, have a puppet visit and talk with your child about the day. Have the puppet ask you child to tell it a story about something that happened. It’s always interesting to hear what your child thought was important about the day.

12. Write a letter with your child. Choose a cousin, grandparent or friend that you don’t get to see very often or a favorite author or illustrator. Have your child dictate the letter as you write it down. This is also a great opportunity to explain to your child how mail works. You child will enjoy helping you address the envelope, putting the stamp on, and placing the letter in the mailbox.

13. Show your child how a map works. Are you going on a trip or perhaps just around the neighborhood? Have your child trace the route you are taking on the map with their finger.

14. Help your child label the important things in his or her room, like the furniture.

15. Pretend you are going on a picnic and pack a basket or bag with only things that start with one letter. Try starting with the first letter of their name. If they enjoy the game, continue with another letter.

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