Tag: auditory learning

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 favorite TACTILE (touch) letter recognition activities are:

Wooden Letter Puzzle

Magnetic Letters

Foam Letters

Letter Stamps

ABC Cookie Cutters

We also use cut-up pool noodles for a tactile spelling activity. You can start with just single letters for toddlers and preschoolers. As your kids get older, start adding in other spelling rules like double consonants, blends, chunks, etc. (Isn’t it fun when an activity can grow with our kids?)

Picture of cut up pool noodles with text: 12 hands-on ABC learning activities

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 free Facebook group or schedule a one-on-one chat with me.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine

We all agree that reading to our children is valuable, right? (Check out the benefits of reading aloud here, if you’re not sure.)

When it comes to actually sitting down and reading to kids … well, that’s when things can get a little tricky. Usually, parents mention one of these three obstacles to reading with children:

  1. We don’t have TIME to read aloud as often as we’d like.
  2. I get tired of reading the same books over and over again.
  3. My child won’t sit still for story time.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine | reading to kids, family activities, read aloud, stories for kids, importance of reading aloud


If any of those obstacles sound familiar to you, I hope our read-aloud series has been helpful for you. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

In our family, finding time to read aloud with our kids is a tricky business. We have to be intentional parents, making sure that reading to our children is a priority to our schedule.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine | reading to kids, family activities, read aloud, stories for kids, importance of reading aloud

Here are some of the ways we can all incorporate more stories into our day!

Choose just one or two a week to make reading to kids more fun.

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

  1. Start the day with a story. Invite your little one to snuggle with you, and read a great book like Sandra Boynton’s Hey! Wake Up!
  2. Read aloud while your little one gets dressed. Blue Hat, Green Hat is a family favorite!
  3. Make teeth-brushing time fly by with a fun book!
  4. Keep a children’s book of poems or nursery rhymes at the dining room table. Read one or two if you finish eating before your child. We love Tomie DePaola’s Mother Goose.
  5. Stack books up next to the couch in the living room. Act surprised when you find your little one browsing a book!
  6. Make a personalized playlist for your children. Record yourself reading a few favorite books.
  7.  Buy a CD player and some books with CDs for your child’s room. My daughter enjoys Farmyard Tales from Usborne Books & More.
  8. Leave a few books in the car for the carpool lane, waiting at the drive-through, or for taking on errand runs.
  9. Visit the library or book store at least once a week. Find a new book by a favorite author.
  10. Read a book outside while your child takes a water break.
  11. Share a book while your little one is in the tub.
  12. Snuggle up together for a book or two before bed.

 Can you think of anything I missed? I’d love to hear your favorite time of day to read with your child!


Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

Welcome to our Read-Aloud series!


Our oldest daughter is a snuggle bug. Her two love languages are physical touch and quality time, so needless to say, she’s always loved curling up on the couch for a good read-aloud session.

On the other hand, our younger daughter is a tactile/kinesthetic learner. Her body is constantly in motion, and she resists sitting still for a story. She slides down off the couch and plays with anything she can find within reach.

I used to let it bother me. I used to correct her: force her to sit next to me and look at the pictures as I read aloud.

But that’s not who she is–she’s an auditory learner, and she hears every word I say–whether I think she’s paying attention or not. I often find her later, sitting on the couch alone, rereading the book and looking at the pictures at the pace that suits her.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities, read aloud, tactile learners, auditory learners, activities for kids

I’ve learned to be okay with our differences. Now we dance for 10-15 minutes every morning before read-aloud time, and I don’t mind at all if she chooses to play quietly during the story.

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

Most of the time she brings out her favorite bristle blocks, school bus, and wooden people. When I’m done reading, I hear her acting out the story I just read with her little characters.

As parents, it’s important for us to determine if our children are deliberately disobeying us or if they simply cannot do what we are asking of them.

We also should ask, “Does this really matter to me?” After thinking about it, I realized that I would rather have a quiet, happy child listening to the story than have her grow up despising our read-aloud times because I made her sit on the couch with me.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities, read aloud, tactile learners, auditory learners, activities for kids

If you decide to provide your child with quiet activities during read-aloud times, keep in mind that there is no “magic” product or activity. I’ll share some of our favorite ideas, but honestly — the BEST activity is the one that works for you and your child.

10 Quiet Activities to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud:

  1. Bristle blocks (we have these)
  2. Puzzle
  3. Wooden people (we have these, in addition to the set with the school bus found here)
  4. Foam blocks (look at the dollar store)
  5. Pipe cleaners
  6. Water beads (we have these)
  7. Modeling clay
  8. Geoboard (we have these)
  9. Paper and crayons
  10. Quiet sensory items, like pom poms, cut straw pieces, etc. Children love to sort, count, fill, and dump little items —celebrate their contentment and read a chapter or two!  

If you have any additional suggestions for quiet activities, I would love for you to leave them in the comments!


Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?