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When I worked with preschool children, parents often asked me if I could teach their children to read before kindergarten. My answer (very nicely) was no. I did, however, promise that I would create an atmosphere rich with letters, reading, and literacy opportunities. I would excite their children about letters, books, and reading.

Children are natural learners. From the moment they’re born, they are learning, there’s much to explore and discover!

Today, I would like to share some of these learning activities here with you. Also, at the end of this post I have a preschooler literacy kit for you to download for FREE!

Check out these fun ways to teach your preschooler their letters! #parents #homeschooling Click To Tweet

Create inspiring environments for reading.

Set up a cozy corner in a room near a window with natural light. Add plants, soft cushions, and beautiful artwork. Place books in an attractive basket and rotate the books regularly.

Read to them.

Reading is probably one of the most effective ways you can teach your child their letters.

Ask questions.

When you’re reading to your preschooler, practice asking questions about the story.

Simple questions you could ask are:

– What do you think this story will be about?

– Who is the main character?

– Where does this story take place?

– Why did a certain character make a particular decision?

– How would you handle this situation?

– What was his favourite part of the story?

– If he wrote this book, what would he change about it?

Listen to audio books.

When you’re not reading to them, provide opportunities for them to listen to audiobooks (paired with the matching picture book).

Here are a few excellent choices of audiobooks for preschoolers:

Stuck – Oliver Jeffers

The Gruffalo and Friends CD Box Set – Julia Donaldson

Frog and Toad CD Audio Collection – Arnold Lobel

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble – William Steig

Label everything.

Get a label maker and label major items in the house. Label the door, a window, tables, and chairs… your child will quickly learn that each word represents the object it is adhered to.

Write messages to them.

Write little notes to your child and stick them on their door. If you want to make it especially fun, make a family mailbox out of a shoebox and place your letters in there. Your child may get into it and start “writing” messages of his own!

It's important not to rush children into reading. However, there are some fun ways to prepare and teach your preschooler to read... such as setting up a writing centre and a "post office box".

Magnetic letters.

Spell out words and messages to them using magnetic letters. Read the messages to them.

Have letters in the environment.

Frame attractive flashcards and display them in their rooms. You can even spell out their name with flashcards and display it.

When you’re on field trips or running errands, point out letters to them as well.

Provide alphabet activities and crafts.

There are many ways to make exploring the alphabet fun! Here are a few ways to get your little ones to recognize letters:

– Place plastic letters in a bin with coloured water. Add ladles and bowls. Play alphabet soup and encourage your child to scoop out different letters to spell words.

It's important not to rush children into reading. However, there are some fun ways to prepare and teach your preschooler to read... such as playing "alphabet soup".

– Laminate large printouts of letters and encourage your child to stick playdough onto the letter shape.

– Have a letter scavenger hunt. Hide letters around the room and have your child hunt around the room for them. As they find each letter, they can check it off of their companion checklist.

– Provide letter shapes and allow your child to glue collage items onto the letter. Make the activity extra meaningful by providing items that pair up with the letter (i.e., the letter P; pompoms, popcorn seeds, paper, etc.)

– Laminate letters and make a path on the floor for them to walk on.

– Place letters on the floor and have a game where they have to sit on a letter that you call out to them.

– Give your child a tray of sand with a flashcard. Prompt them to use their finger to print the letter in the sand. If you don’t have sand, you can do this with different plastic letters and a flashcard.

It's important not to rush children into reading. However, there are some fun ways to prepare and teach your preschooler to read... such as spelling out words while looking at a flashcard.

Make a theme of it.

Take a letter and pair it with a theme. For example, “A is for Apple”… explore apples in every way possible but keep on returning to the idea that Apple begins with the letter “A”.

Get your FREE downloads!

I have a few fun tools (which I described in this post) for you to download today! The downloads include:

  • alphabet play dough mats
  • a colourful sheet of letters (use as mini-flashcards, for the scavenger hunt, etc.)

All you have to do is subscribe to the Deliberate Homeschooling Newsletter (sign-up form is at the end of this post)! Plus, you’ll get complimentary LIFETIME ACCESS to my printable library… all of this for FREE! Are you already a subscriber? GREAT! Access the member-only download library HERE.

Reflect:

How do you make reading fun for your preschooler?

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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of Deliberate Homeschooling, The Deliberate Mom and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about her homeschooling journey and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.
 
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