Author: Melissa Droegemueller

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers

It’s hard to believe I’ve been involved in education for nearly two decades now. I’ve gone from working one-on-one with struggling students to a classroom teacher, from tutoring small groups to teaching “mommy and me” sign language and early literacy classes. Again and again, I come back to working with preschool and primary grade students (and their parents) because it’s a crucial time to instill a love for learning that lasts a lifetime.

In our Facebook group and in my one-on-one chats with parents, I’ve noticed one skill comes up more often than others: learning letter names and letter sounds.

In my mind, the best early literacy activity is simply reading aloud to our kids. There is no program or app that has a better track record than the powerful connection of a caring adult, a good book, and a willing child.


Click here for our favorite read aloud resources.


However, in my experience both as a teacher and a mom, some skills do need a little extra direct instruction. When it comes to teaching letters to toddlers and preschoolers, I will always recommend hands-on, FUN learning activities.

From an early age, our younger daughter showed us that she preferred choosing her own activities. By rotating her toys and setting out invitations to play every afternoon, she has become confident at directing her own learning.

What is a parent’s role in teaching letter names and letter sounds?

It’s simple, really.

Filling your home with books, stocking your toy closet with open-ended toys, and understanding how your child learns best will go a long way toward early literacy success.

So which books and toys are best for letter recognition?

Read on!

Letter Recognition Activities for Preschoolers | ABC games, learning letter names, learning letter sounds, early literacy, tactile activities, learning through play

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

By nature, most young children are hands-on learners. Our five favorite TACTILE (touch) letter recognition activities are:

Wooden Letter Puzzle

Magnetic Letters

Foam Letters

Letter Stamps

ABC Cookie Cutters

My older daughter (a visual learner) also loved these two-piece letter puzzles and our ABC books:

My younger daughter (an auditory learner) loved this CD and our sign language DVDs/CDs:

Finally, some of our favorite letter recognition activities come out in our seasonal play. Leftover plastic eggs are great for making homemade ABC games!

 


Download our plastic egg activities here.


It is my sincere hope that this post has sparked some ideas for letter recognition activities that you can do at home! If you need MORE ideas, I would love for you to join our Facebook group or schedule a one-on-one chat with me.

 

Join our FREE Facebook group just for parents!

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review

It’s no secret that we love books in this house. We have stacks and shelves in nearly every room–and yet, I still add more to our collection every week or so! Not too long ago, I was introduced to Family Stories, a company passionate about representing every child and family in their stories. After visiting their website, I knew my girls would love to have a personalized book of their own.

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review : family diversity books, book review, geography for kids, teaching geography, around the world

Note: I received a personalized copy of Family Stories’ –Travels Around the World book for our own family in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. See our full Disclosure Policy for more information.

The ordering process for Family Stories is so simple and fun! I started out by choosing characteristics that match my Katie: brown hair, blue eyes, and glasses. I also got to create characters for my husband and myself. Because I wanted the book to be a surprise, I didn’t include my kids in the customizing part. (I’m sure they’ll want to help me when the next story comes out!)

Less than two weeks later, our personalized book arrived! Katie was so excited when she saw the title of the book and then realized the girl on the cover looks like her! (She also got a laugh when she saw the customized mom and dad characters.)

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review : family diversity books, book review, geography for kids, teaching geography, around the world

Over the last few weeks, Katie Travels Around the World has become one of our family’s favorite books. Beyond the fact that it’s personalized, the story is also really well done. Katie loves learning about new places and cultures! Each two-page spread has introduced us to a new location to learn more about. Best of all, the back of the book includes fun little tidbits about the language, the food, etc

We are excited to see what other books Family Stories adds to their collection. I know my older daughter would love to have a personalized book of her own in the future!


Want to get your own personalized book?

Join our Facebook group for parents and get our exclusive 10% off code from Family Stories!   

Join our FREE Facebook group just for parents!

Spring Books for Kids

Spring Books for Kids

Growing up in San Antonio, I never quite understood the appeal of spring. When the weather is pretty much the same all year long, “seasons” become more about events and holidays than the temperature outside. February is rodeo season, March is bluebonnet season, April is Fiesta season, and then it’s summer.

After two winters in Iowa, however, I’m starting to appreciate spring so much more. The trees have been bare for nearly five months now. The cold, grey skies really do start to play tricks on your emotions. Spring represents hope, renewal, and new life.

We’ve recently begun planning our spring garden and looking for signs of spring outdoors. Our mourning dove pair has returned to the area, and tulip stems are starting to peek up out of the ground.

Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

We’re also bringing out our favorite spring books for read aloud time.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Spring Books: Fiction

One of the most well-known spring books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Children of all ages love the sweet story of a caterpillar who eats and eats and eats…and finally transforms into a beautiful butterfly. If you’ve read the book hundreds of times, try this fun video featuring the author himself:

Spring Joy by Liesbet Slegers

Spring Thaw by Steven Schnur

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na

Hooray for Spring by Kazuo Iwamura

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray

Maple and Willow Together by Lori Nichols


Don’t miss our favorite rainbow-themed books! {Click here.}


Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

Spring Books: Non-Fiction and Field Guides

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston is one of our favorite nature books. It can be read at any time of year, but it usually fits in well with our garden-planting time.

Seasons: Spring

Spring Across America by Seymour Simon

How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan

Big Yellow Sunflower by Frances Barry

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Tell Me, Tree by Gail Gibbons

Trees, Leaves and Bark by Diane L. Burns

The Usborne Outdoor Book


Spring Enrichment Activities for Families | outdoor fun, spring activities for kids, lesson plans, family activities, early literacy, outdoor gross motor, STEM, family time, learning through play

Looking for more spring learning ideas?

Our Spring + Rainbow Activity Guide is for families with children ages 2-6 and includes more than 40 activities, featuring:

  • math,
  • science,
  • literacy,
  • art,
  • and more!

Get all the details here!


Before you go, leave a comment! What are your favorite spring books for kids?

Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids