I don’t know about you, but when school is back in full swing, life gets extra crazy. I found myself wondering how to fit in activities that support my preschoolers’ literacy learning at home. When free time seems nonexistent, the last thing I need is some lengthy project with lots of prep work that my kiddo probably won’t be interested in anyway!
What was I to do? I reached into my former English and Special Education teacher bag of tricks and came up with some ideas. Here are my suggestions for five ridiculously easy and engaging fall themed literacy activities that you can do at home with your preschooler.
This project is super simple and a great way to introduce the letters in your kiddo’s first name. To start, go on a backyard colored leaf hunt with your child and then let them crumple their findings into small pieces. Next, take a piece of paper, write their name in glue, and have your preschooler decorate the letters with the broken leaves.
When the project dries, they’ll have a finished project fit for the fridge – and hopefully increased letter identification and awareness. This activity is great for working on those fine motor skills, too.
Another simple way to sprinkle literacy work into your home? Decorate a pumpkin, but make it letter and word focused. Take a small pumpkin and then round up paint, markers, stickers, stamps, glitter – any art supplies that you have on hand. Help your preschooler write or trace their name on the pumpkin. You can write words that describe them or things that they like. If your little one would rather make their pumpkin a little bit spooky, show them how to write Halloween phrases or quotes. Have your child decorate around the words to create a fall masterpiece they can display at home.
This activity will strengthen literacy skills and is also great for sensory work. Take a cookie sheet and spread a thin layer of salt or sugar to cover the surface. Use food coloring to change the substance into a fall color such as orange, red, or yellow. You could also use colored sprinkles if you happen to have them on hand.
Next, gather up small letters. You can write your own on paper slips or take alphabet magnets, blocks, or stickers and then put them in a hat. When your preschooler pulls out a letter, challenge them to copy it on the tray using their fingers. You can also let them write using objects like spoons, straws, or toy trucks to spice it up a bit. Another easy option – shape each letter selected out of autumn colored playdough.
Halloween Dance Party
Using songs and rhymes at home are fun ways to fit literacy into everyday life. Music helps kids learn new sounds and words while providing numerous benefits to their development.
Make your music fall inspired by playing Halloween tunes and then have a dance party. Your kids will work out their energy and work on their literacy skills at the same time. Need some song suggestions? This list will appeal to kids of all ages.
Curl Up with a Fall Book
My personal favorite, grab a fall themed book and cuddle up with your little ones. We use a rotating seasonal book basket at our house and have collected titles everywhere from local bookstores, to online thrift shops, and library book sales.
Need some fall reading updates? Our resident librarian has terrific suggestions for Halloween books for every age. Head to your local Seacoast library for additional options your family members are sure to love.