March is National Reading Month! Although we explore language and literacy all year, we have many special activities planned for our students this month. In our schools, children will reenact their favorite books, discover new characters, sing songs, practice vocabulary and much more.
Letter recognition is a core part of foundational literacy. It’s a skill that helps children figure out how printed text is associated with spoken language. Below are a few simple, easy to prepare activities you can do at home to help build a successful, confident reader.
1. Bean Bag Toss
Label a few buckets or bins each with a different letter. Provide your child with bean bags or small balls. Call out a letter and encourage them to toss the bean bag or ball into the correct bucket. This activity builds letter recognition, coordination and endurance.
2. Book Letter Race
Hand your child a favorite book and set a timer for one minute. Say a letter aloud and encourage them to search through the book for that letter. See how many letters they can find before the timer goes off. Make the activity more difficult for older children by asking them to find a word or phrase.
3. Play Dough Alphabet Mats
Write a letter on a large piece of paper. Give your child play dough and ask them to mold the dough to create the letter. They’ll have so much fun rolling and shaping the dough during this hands-on sensory activity.
4. Shaving Cream Sensory Tray
Sensory trays are a fun way to practice writing skills while also exploring scents and textures. Fill a large tray or cookie sheet with shaving cream and ask your child to use their finger to write letters in the cream. Some ideas include writing letters they know, writing letters in their name, copying a letter you show them and writing the alphabet in order.
5. Letter Scavenger Hunt
Place magnetic letters or DIY letter flash cards into an empty box. Ask your child to pull out a letter, name it and search for items around your home that begin with that letter.