Tips for reading readiness can make learning letters much easier. These 10 Tips for Reading with Kids will have your child playing with alphabet activities, playing alphabet games, name games, creating phonemic awareness, writing the alphabet, learning alphabet sounds and generally learning letters!
Kids Activities Blog is excited to welcome Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day as Quirky Momma for the day sharing her tips for reading.
- Read, read, read. Oh, yes, and read some more!
- Write, write, write. Write down the children’s dictations about pictures they draw. Write a class thank you note for a field trip. Help the children write their names. Let the children help you write about their art work. Incorporate writing everyday!
- Make name kits with the children. Click here for more detailed information about name kits.
- Write each child’s name on a sentence strip. Have the first letter in a different color, with the remaining letters written in block (so as to visually highlight the first letter of each name). In small groups, or as a whole class, you can sort the names based on their first letter, how many letters are in each name, etc. You can also play games with the names — have each child hold his name, then call out letters and an action (ex: “if your name starts with M, jump up and down”). More information on name work here.
- Make a class alphabet book. Have a page for each letter of the alphabet, with both the uppercase and lowercase letter represented at the top. Over time, add children’s names in the book based on the letters in their names. For example, my first name is Mary. So my name would be on the pages for Mm, Aa, Rr, and Yy.
- Sort magnetic letters with the children. It sounds so very simple, but it really helps kids to focus on how letters are alike, how they’re different, and what shapes they are comprised of. Ideas on how to sort the letters — by color, uppercase versus lowercase, letters with holes versus letters without holes, letters with straight lines versus letters without straight lines, etc.
- Sing songs related to the alphabet. Yes, of course, the ABC song is a great one to sing, but don’t limit it to just that one. Sing the alphabet to different tunes and rhythms. Also, check out people like Dr. Jean and Jack Hartmann. They have fun, silly songs and dances for the alphabet (as well as many other concepts).
- Use environmental print. Have children bring in pictures that represent stores and places around town that they recognize. This could be cereal boxes, favorite snack boxes, ads from chain stores and grocery stores, pictures of road signs, etc. These pieces of environmental print could be used for sorting based on initial letters/sounds, and they could also be made into their own bulletin board. This would be a great resource to refer back to throughout the school day.
- Have an alphabet chart up for reference. A good alphabet chart should have the letters in alphabetical order, should have both uppercase and lowercase letters listed, and should have picture cues for each letter. Refer to the chart when you’re reading or writing (“oh, the word ‘run’ starts just like ‘r-r-rabbit’!”). Run through the chart a few times a week, saying the letter names, letter sound, and picture prompt (“A, a, /a/, apple”) — this shouldn’t take but a few minutes.
- Play games involving letters — letter bingo, letter matching games, letter memory, name bingo.
Mary Catherine is a Mama to a kindergartener who keeps her on her toes. When she’s not chasing after him she is a teacher, and avid reader. You can find her blogging at Fun-A-Day!
More Tips for Reading
Learning letters activities and more tips for reading can be found throughout Kids Activities Blog because we are passionate about making learning to read fun. Here are a few of our favorites…