10 Fun and Hands on Ways to Promote Literacy at Home
Read, read, read!
Make reading part of your daily routine with your child. Invite your child to pick a book of their interest and ask questions before, during and after the story.
Fill a Ziploc bag with inexpensive hair gel and close tightly. Write a letter on a piece of paper and place under the bag filled with gel. Invite your child to use their finger to trace the shape of the letter on the bag. As they push down on the bag with their finger, the gel spreads into the shape of the letter they are trying to write.
My Name With Clothespins
Write your child’s name on a long strip of paper. Then, write each letter in their name on one clothespin. Invite your child to work on matching the letters in their name by clipping the clothespins to the letter on their name strip. While they are matching, invite the child to identify the letters in their name and spelling the correct sequence.
Write any letters or words your child is learning on a post it or piece of paper. Hide these around the house. Invite your child to go on a “hunt” looking for the letters/words. When they find one, invite them to run it back to you and write it. Then, return to their hunt.
Name, Letter or Word Freeze Dance
Choose whether your child will be working with the letters in their name, letters outside their name or words. Write one letter or word on each piece of paper and lay around the floor. Play your child’s favorite music and invite them to dance around the pieces of paper on the floor. When the music stops, invite your child to run to the closet letter/word, stand on it and FREEZE! Then, invite them to pick it up and read it to you. Continue until all the letters/words have been identified.
Choose which letter sounds your child will be working with. Then, write that letter on the outside of a brown baggie and discuss the sound with your child. After, provide your child with household objects that may or may not begin with that sound. For example, a cotton ball, quarter, cat stuffed animal etc. Invite your child to sort through there objects and decide whether the object shown begins with the letter sound they are working with. If the object does, they will place it inside the brown baggie. At the end, dump the items out and invite your child to review the sound or think of other words that begin that way.
Sing rhyming songs or recite nursery rhymes with your child. After singing, discuss the rhyming words they heardin the song/nursery rhyme. Invite your child to make up their own silly rhyming song.
Provide your child with many opportunities to write while at home. For example, before going to the grocery store, invite your child to write a list. Other examples include, writing a letter to a friend or family member or writing a recipe for a meal they will help you make for dinner. We can support children in doing this by model writing before they attempt to write.
This game can be played with uppercase and lowercase letters, letter sounds, letters in your child’s name or words. Invite your child to play a memory style game using letters or words. Write a letter or word on a small square of paper and provide its matching uppercase letter or matching word on another piece of paper. You can also write a letter on one piece of paper and cut out a picture of an object that beings with the letter sound. Place all the squares face down on a flat surface. Invite your child to turn over two cards, attempting to make a match between their letters, sounds or words. If they make a match, they keep the paper. If they do not make a match, turn the cards back over and move to the next turn. While playing, invite your child to discuss the pair they made or the letters/words/sounds that did not make a match.
Fishing for Sound
Cut out five to seven squares of paper and write one letter on each square. Review the letter sounds before beginning the game with your child. Place the letters in a bowl and invite your child to fish for letter sounds! Invite your child to use a tong or simply their pointer and thumb finger to pinch a letter from the bowl. Then, invite your child to review the sound the letter makes and think of a word that begins with that sound. For example, if they have the letter “d” they would review the sound and may provide the word “dog.”Last, review all letter sounds your child has worked with. You may also use magnetic or plastic letters instead of paper if you have those on hand.