Full disclosure – I am currently doing something that I never imagined I would be doing. I’m homeschooling a preschooler.
It’s true, I’m a certified teacher, but I’ve primarily taught middle and high school students. Teaching preschool, even my own preschooler, is brand new territory….scary territory.
But, enter 2020 and COVID-19 and here we are. It’s homeschool preschool time!
I did my research (check out this helpful post about homeschooling in New Hampshire!), talked to the expert preschool teachers I know, experimented to see which types of age appropriate activities would best hold my active kiddo’s attention, and came up with a plan.
Whether you’re homeschooling a preschooler or not, these ideas will keep your littles busy, learning, and happy. Here are my suggestions for five easy literacy activities for preschoolers: your kids will love them.
This game is super simple and my preschooler asks to play it constantly. Take empty plastic eggs and fill each one with a small piece of paper with a letter written on it. You can use all of the letters in the alphabet, or just a few that your child is working to recognize. Hide the eggs inside or outside, and then have your child go on an egg hunt. As your kiddo finds each egg, ask them to “read” to you when they discover the paper inside. Just make sure that one of the eggs holds a special treat. My son loves finding small marshmallows or chocolate chips in the last egg he breaks open.
2. Letter Spray
All you need for this activity is a spray bottle filled with water, chalk, and a space outside to write letters. Use the chalk to write down any letter that your preschooler is currently working on (I write mine on a deck or a driveway). Next, call out letters and ask your child to locate them. When they find a letter, their mission is to spray it away!
Add in some gross motor work by asking your child to hop, jump, skip, or twirl to each new letter. You could even add letter sounds to the game and have your child tell you what the letter says when they find it.
3. Sound Matching
Fill a bin with items that start with any letter you would like your preschooler to practice. This could be an item for every letter in the alphabet, or just a few. Next, write the letters on a piece of paper and have your child match each item with the corresponding letter. They will have to practice identifying the letters, as well as matching its sound.
If you have trouble finding an item for some of the letters, pictures work just as well.
4. Glue Letters
Have your child write a letter, or multiple letters, using glue. Find materials to decorate the letter, and there you have it! I wasn’t kidding – these are very easy ideas.
My preschooler really loves this activity and squeezing out the glue in the shape of his letter (with a little help). And if a mess happens, that adds to his fun.
Using materials that begin with the letter being created also adds to this letter activity for preschoolers. When my kiddo was working on the letter ‘N’, we went on a nature hunt to find flowers, grass, sticks, and pinecones for his creation.
5. Snowball Letter Sound Game
This is another game my preschooler begs to play (notice that all of these literacy activities for preschoolers are more like games!).
While you tape letters to a wall, have your preschooler make a bunch of “snowballs” out of scrunched up paper. Next, call out letter sounds and have your kiddo throw snowballs at the letter that matches the sound.
You can also play this game outside, attach the letters to a tree or other surface, and then have your preschooler use a real ball to try and hit the letters.
Bonus Activity: Read with your preschooler!
Even if you’re not homeschooling a preschooler, reading really is one of the best things we can do with our kids. Check out some great book suggestions from our resident librarian here.