Literacy Fun at Home

10 Easy & Fun Activities for Families to do at Home to Promote Children’s Literacy Development

Invite your child to:

  1. Pick a book of their interest. Ask questions before, during and after reading. (What do you think the book will be about? What do you think will happen next? How do you think the character is feeling, how do you know? What did you learn from the story/book?)
  2. Read different types of text along with you (newspaper, circulars flyers, read a recipe before preparing a meal).
  3. Go on a letter hunt using newspapers, magazines, food containers or letter cut-outs.
  4. Explore the letters in their name by writing a letter on each bottle cap and place the caps in order to spell their name correctly.
  5. Explore writing/ drawing by using pencils, crayons, markers, and paper.
  6. Write a list before going to the grocery store, or write a list of their favorite things.
  7. Write a letter to a friend or family member to mail.
  8. Sing rhyming songs and nursery rhymes along with your child.
  9. Match objects in your house that begins with the same letter and letter sound.
  10. Respond to questions using full sentences (Why do you think? Can you explain, Why do you feel that way? Can we do this a different way, how?)

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education1, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not.

Fun with Letter Learning

Instructional Objective: TLWBAT recognize letters by identifying them correctly after throwing a cotton ball into a muffin tin labeled with individual letters.
New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards: RF.PK.1dRecognize and name many upper and lower letters of the alphabet.
RF.PK.3aAssociates many letters with their names and their most frequent sounds.
Materials needed for activity:
  • Muffin tin
  • Cotton ball or marble or rock
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors
Procedures: Beginning: T will invite learner to play muffin toss game. T will demonstrate how to play by tossing a cotton ball or small rock towards muffin tin. T will then identify letter that the rock lands on. Next, T will invite learner to throw object towards muffin tin. Object will land on one of the letters that are individually labeled in the tin.

Middle: Learner will identify letter. T will then ask learner if they know what sound the letter makes. Learner will identify sound.

End: If learner is able to identify letter sound, T will invite learner to toss object towards muffin tin containing sight words. Learner will toss object and whatever word it lands on, T will ask the learner to identify the sight word.

Letter Sounds

Instructional Objective: TLWBAT identify letter sounds by choosing a letter from a bowl.
New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards: RF.PK.3.a Associates many letters with their names and their most frequent sounds.
Materials needed for activity:
  • A plastic bowl or a small plastic container
  • Pen or marker
  • Clothes pin (if a clothes pin is not available the child can use their fingers.)
  • Sheet of paper
  • Scissors
Procedures: Beginning: Using the scissors cut out five to seven squares. Afterwards using a pen or marker write five to seven random letters on each square. Once the letters have been written on the squares, introduce and/or review the sound for each letter.

Middle: Place the letters in a bowl, then tell the child lets fish for some letter sounds. The child can use a clothespin to fish for the letters or use their pointer finger and thumb to pinch the letters (like a crab). Once they have chosen a letter the child can identify the letter and the sound for that letter.

End: Review the letter sounds one last time then ask the child to identify one or two new letter sounds they learned.

Name Puzzles

Instructional Objective: TLWBAT use bottle top letters to spell out the letters in their first and last name.
New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards: English Language Arts:
RF.PK.1 d Recognize and name many upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.
Materials needed for activity:
  • Bottle tops - any kind
  • Zip lock bag
  • Index card/paper
  • Words for the week
Procedures: Prior to activity: Collect bottle tops, any kind! Soda, milk tops, orange juice, peanut butter, water etc.

Beginning: Review student’s name on index card or words for the week. Go over each letter with the student.

Middle: Invite student to use the bottle tops to put the letters in their name in order. Encourage student to say each letter as then organize them on the table. (If the student is familiar with their first name, work on the last name, if the student knows the letters in their first and last name, begin to work on words for the week.)

End: Celebrate the student’s success in knowing the letters in their name or using letters to make words they know! Put all the letters for the students name back into the zip lock bag and encourage them to play with the game again in the future.

Muffin Mixers

Instructional Objective: TLWBAT match uppercase to lowercase letters by moving tops to the correct letter in muffin pans or create sight words by moving tops with letters in the correct order to spell each word.
New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards: English Language Arts:
RF.PK.1 d Recognize and name many upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.
Materials needed for activity:
  • Muffin pan
  • Softener tops
  • Marker
  • White paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • List of sight words.
Procedures: Beginning:

  1. Trace several softener tops on to white paper
  2. Cut out the circles
  3. Write uppercase and lowercase letters on the circle

Middle:

  1. Tape the letters to the tops and bottom of the muffin pan

End:

  1. Move the tops match the correct letter in the muffin pan