Getting your young child ready to read doesn’t have to only involve sitting with him and teaching him how to sound out the words. Your child can also learn through fun activities, games, and crafts, both with you and on his own. Here is an easy and fun preschooler reading activity that your child can do all by himself or with your help with just a little preparation from you:
1. Go through any magazines, flyers, or advertisements you have, and cut out any images of colorful objects. Try to choose objects that start with easy letter/sound combinations (avoid words that start with “ph” or other letters that may look different than they sound to a beginning reader). Be sure to have several objects for each starting letter (several objects that start with “a”, several that start with “b”, etc.).
2. Take 26 pieces of paper, or pieces of colored construction paper, and write
a letter on each, both in upper case and lower case (“Aa” on the first, “Bb” on the second, and so on). Write this in the upper left corner so that you leave plenty of space on the rest of the paper for the child to glue the objects.
3. Give your child some school glue (or, to avoid mess, try a glue stick), and a bowl or envelope full of the cut out images of objects. Spread the letter papers out on a table, in alphabetical order.
4. Have your child figure out the first letter of the object’s name for each picture by sounding it out, and then have him glue the picture of the object onto the correct paper for that starting letter.
You may want to start out only offering the child a few letters at a time to work on, especially if this is one of their first reading activities. For example, only set out the letter papers for A through C, or A through F. If you do this, be sure that the available object pictures are only for those letters that you choose to set out papers for.
You could also bundle the pages and staple them together into a book, and provide a lap desk and glue stick and a Ziploc bag of the cut outs, to turn this into a great car trip activity!
It might be helpful to sit with your child and assist her with the first few matches. Once she gets the hang of it, she can continue the activity alone, if you desire, making this both a fun preschooler reading activity to do with your child, and also a great self-guided activity that encourages independence and gives you a few minutes to yourself.