Are you looking for fun games to play with your preschooler that promote early literacy skills? You’ve come to the right place! Below are fun and easy games that your preschooler will love to play at home and that will help them develop their pre-literacy skills (letter identification, identifying rhyming words, isolating initial sounds of words, blending and segmenting, word manipulation, and more!).
- Lego Letters: With 52 Legos, write one letter of the alphabet on each. Do this for both uppercase and lowercase Legos. Mix them up! Have your child practice finding the matching uppercase and lowercase pairs and put them together. Side note: you can use dry erase markers on the Legos in case you don’t want to leave the letters on. If you have a hard time taking the dry erase markers off, try rubbing a small amount of hand sanitizer on it with a paper towel.
- *I Spy
- Have familiar objects or pictures visible in your environment.
- Begin by modeling for your child: “I spy with my little eye, something that rhymes with bat… It’s a cat!”
- Then provide your child with an opportunity to try, providing them with guided practice: “Now it’s your turn! See if you can guess what I see… I spy with my little eye, something that rhymes with pop.”
- As an extension to this activity, see if your child can find something in the environment and come up with a word that rhymes with it. Another idea is to read a book that has lots of rhyming words and have your child identify what the rhymes are.
- Syllable Sort: After reviewing the concepts of syllables with your child, using picture cards, have your child say the name of the picture and clap out the syllables in each word (e.g., “fish” one clap-1 syllable; “ap-ple” two claps-2 syllables). Do this for each picture and sort by the number of syllables.
- *What starts with my sound?
- Find and collect objects that begin with two distinguishable sounds. For example, “b” and “s”. These can be everyday household items you may have laying around or toys that your child enjoys playing with (blocks, baby doll, brush, snake, stuffed animal, spoon, etc.).
- Begin by modeling for your child: “I can sort these items by their starting sound. Blocks and brush start with the /b/ sound like ball.”
- Then provide your child with an opportunity to give it a try. Say, “Your turn! Can you find the items that start with the /s/ sound?”
- I’m thinking of…
- Using items in your environment, pick an object (but don’t tell your child what it is!). Say, “I’m thinking of something that begins with “mmm” (or whatever sound the object starts with). Can you find something that starts with “mmm”?”
- Once they guess the correct object, let them have a turn and you guess!
- And while this last one may not necessarily be a game, read books aloud with your child. And on top of that, choose stories with rhyming text. There are many, many great books with rhyming! A few that come to mind are The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz, Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andrae, and Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.
*Activities adapted from Kamhi & Catts (2012)