7 literacy activities for preschoolers that will keep them engaged and learning

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Preschoolers are at an important point in their development, learning about the world around them and building the skills they need to help them start at big school. You can help your child develop these important skills by choosing reading and writing activities that will grab their attention, keep them engaged, and introduce them to new vocabulary and concepts. 

Here are seven literacy activities for preschoolers that will keep them engaged and learning all while having fun doing it!

Hands-On Books

There are several ways to incorporate books into a preschooler’s life. For example, you can read aloud to them, leaving your finger under a word as you go along so they can follow along with you. Encourage them to pretend to read, too—this is an early step in developing their reading skills

Then when they become more independent readers, they can follow along without assistance. Take turns reading out loud together, or have the child dictate the story while you encourage them; this is great practice for phonics skills.

Dramatic Play

A fun literacy activity that preschoolers can engage in is called dramatic play. During dramatic play, children use props to create a story with their imagination. By practising reading out loud, dramatic play helps young children develop listening skills, which are very important for future reading success. 

Additionally, it’s helpful for children to be able to practise articulating words and letters as they read aloud in front of others. Reading aloud from an early age will help them become more confident about their abilities as readers since it’s easy to make mistakes when first learning how to read. Children who feel confident with reading will be more likely to continue on with reading activities later on.

Educational TV Shows

Educational TV shows can help develop problem-solving skills in young kids, making them an extra way to support literacy in preschoolers. Plus, since these shows are developed with specific age groups in mind (and include many bright colours), they’re easy to understand and keep children engaged. So if they need a little down time, try turning on a show like Super Why or Sesame Street to help with their reading and writing skills. 

Free Printables

One of our favourite ways to teach preschool literacy skills is by using free printables. It’s fun to go over sight words, practice writing letters and develop a love of reading at an early age. It is super easy to find great resources online, or to even make your own. Try to keep your child’s interest in mind, if they are big Paw Patrol or Bluey fans – why not try to find a cartoon show themed sight word sheet?

Sensory Bins

Along with reading and writing skills, motor skills are a really important skill to develop in preschoolers. To help develop their motor skills, take empty plastic containers from around your house that are big enough to hold a few cups of dry rice or dried beans. 

Next, fill them with a variety of items that have different textures: coins, pebbles, sponges, silk flowers, feathers and so on. You can even add some water to make it that much more fun. Then, all there is left to do is to let your little one have a play and feel of all the different textures and shapes. 

Reading Games

You don’t have to go out and buy expensive, complicated reading games to keep your preschooler interested in literacy. Just use items you already have around your house or even your imagination to get your child playing with letters and words. Whether it is creating a story together taking turns to contribute one word at a time, or getting their favourite toys involved to recreate their favourite book, or even taking turns picking out books at the library. 

On the Go Play

This is a fun activity that preschool kids will love. Pack up a bunch of cars, trucks, trains or other vehicles. Get down on the floor and let your child pick out a few toys to play with together and let them drive them along your body like a road! As they pass over the different parts of your body (shoulder, head, knee), ask them what they think the vehicle can do there. You can also prompt the answer by asking if it could go over the bridge (your arm) or under the tunnel (your leg). Ask questions as you go, like, how many tires does this truck have? And help name colours and shapes together as you play.

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