Preschool Literacy Activities

Preschool literacy activities for teaching toddlers how to read! Part 6 of this 7 Part Series Preschool Reading: Teaching Your Baby How to Read!

1. Reading by 2 (see video) 2.

Is your toddler at risk? 3.

Benefits of Reading 4.

Baby Reading 5.

Early Reading Skills 6. Literacy Activities and Reading Games

7. Reading Curriculum

There are a variety of preschool literacy activities and reading games that can help your child become a successful little reader and writer. Yet the most important ingredient is to keep it fun!

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Preschool Alphabet Activities

“Letter Crawling”

“Letter Crawling” is a great preschool literacy activity that helps children learn to identify uppercase and lowercase letters as it gets them moving.

Objectives: To recognize, identify, and match letters. (upper to upper-case, lower to lower-case, or upper to lower case letters)


1. Foam letter puzzle

2. Upper case letters

3. Lower case letters

4. Plenty of floor space.


1. Say the name of each letter aloud, as you put the puzzle together with your child or class.

2. Announce the name of the letter as you hold up a letter card, and ask your child to crawl to the “matching letter.”


1. Hand your child the letter cards and have them place them on top of the foam letters as they announce the names of the letters.

2. Use lower case letter cards and have your child put them on top of the corresponding upper case letters.

Additional Resources:

1. “The Alphabet Book,” by P.D. Eastman

2. ABC’s by Dr. Suess.

Extra Tips/Suggestions and Comments: These books are fun to read and are perfect for repeated readings. Having your child point to the letters in the books as you read aloud, adds a kinesthetic element, which enhances retention.

Preschool Phonics Activities

“Real & Silly Words”

Objectives: To make “real” and “silly” words using the 25 top phonics word families


1. Alphabet letter cards (upper or lower case)2. Pocket chart, or clear space on the table or floor


1. Choose a “word family” and place the letters in your “play area.”

2. Make a “play pile” with the remaining consonant letters.

3. Take one letter from the “play pile” at a time and place it in front of your “word family” letters.

4. Help your child say the beginning letter sound of the first letter and the sound of the “word family.”

5. Blend the beginning sound with the “word family” letters to make a “real” or “silly” word.

6. Separate your “real” and “silly” word into two separate piles

7. Have your toddler count the cards in each pile once you have finished going through the “play pile.”


1. For children who have mastered “onset” or beginning letter sounds, using consonant blends from your “play pile” enhances phonics skill development.

Additional Resources:

1. Pocket Chart

2. Letter tiles

3. Boggle Jr.

“Clapping to Syllables”

Objectives: To clap to each syllable in any given word. To categorize


1. Two toddler hands.

2. Imagination!


1. Say your child’s name and clap with each syllable.Example: Mateo would be Ma-te-o (clapping on each syllable)

2. Ask your child to clap on each syllable of the word mommy, daddy, and any other family members, or friends.

3. Continue to take turns “clapping to syllables.”


1. This preschool literacy activity can be done using any topic imaginable: names, animals, toys, things at the park, in your neighborhood, in the ocean, in nature, or on a farm. The potential topics are endless.

2. This activity can be done using the images in picture books as well.

Additional Resources:

1. Picture books

Preschool Vocabulary Activity:

“I Spy an Animal…”

Objectives: To identify physical characteristics of animals and recall known facts about various animals.


1. Animal Picture Cards (go to

2. Pocket Chart, large table, or floor space.


1. Spread out the animal picture cards

2. Say “I spy an animal with…”Example: “I spy an animal with a long trunk and big ears.”

3. Your child or student then says and points to the word “elephant” written on the elephant picture card.

4. Take turns repeating steps 1 – 3 until you have identified each animal.

5. Celebrate each time an animal is identified correctly.


1. Once your toddler is successfully “sight-reading” the corresponding word cards, then use the word cards for a more challenging activity.

2. This preschool literacy activity can also be done, using a book with animal pictures.

3. This same activity could be done on a walk through the park, or on a “nature walk” through a forest preserve, or along the beach.

Additional Resources:

1. Animal picture books

Reading by 2

Objectives: To learn to “sight read” words that your child already has listening comprehension of.


1. Thematic sets of “Word Cards” (visit “


1. Sit facing your child or with your child on your lap.

2. Flash the words in front of your child 10 – 12 inches away.

3. Read the words aloud, with excitement and expression as you “flash” them.

4. Celebrate after you have gone through 5 – 7 word cards

5. Repeat the process with 1 to 2 more sets word cards from the same or different thematic set.


1. Create and use slide shows to “flash.”

2. Use the best early reading software to “flash.”

Additional Resources:

1. How to Teach Your Baby to Read book (

CLOZE Reading:

Objectives: To finish reciting sentences in familiar books and develop rhyming skills.


1. Any rhyming book that your child is very familiar with.


1. Sit facing your child or with your child on your lap.

2. Read to your child aloud with joy and expression.

3. Pause at the end of rhyming sentences, allowing your child to finish the sentence.


1. Switch roles with your child once they are independent readers.

2. Move your finger under the words as you read them aloud to help your child follow along.

Additional Resources: These are some of our favorite books to use, when doing this preschool literacy activity in our home.

1. Hop on Pop

2. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

3. Green Eggs and Ham

4. Stand Back said the Elephant, I’m Going to Sneeze

5. Any Mother Goose books

Preschool Writing Activities

Objectives: Draw pictures about various journal topics. Write corresponding journal entries using correct and creative spelling.


1. Picture / Writing Journal

2. Large pencil with an eraser


1. Choose a journal topic, or allow your children to create their own.

2. Ask them to draw a picture that represents the journal topic.

3. Assist them as needed, as they write their journal entry.

4. Share their journal entries with loved ones.


1. Collaborate with your children to complete each journal entry together.

2. Turn the journal into a “Free Writing” journal with no topic suggestions.

3. Use “Journal Coloring books”

Additional Resources:

1. Journals

2. Character pencils

3. Dinosaur Journal

4. Animal Journal

When we approach all preschool literacy activities, as “play,” its a lot more enjoyable and the “results” are astounding.

Keys to Successful Preschool Literacy Activities

• Keep it Fun!

• Be consistent.

• Add variety.

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