Things to Do

Find fun activities to do with your child

Playing

Play is how children learn, and how they come to understand their world.

Playing Tips

  • Learning about different shapes, and recognizing them, helps your child learn how letters are formed and prepares him to learn the alphabet.
  • Choose a “Letter of the Day” and point out everything you see, all day long, that starts with that letter. Find and name letters in books, on signs and labels, on toys, food boxes and other objects all around.
  • Print and books should be familiar and everyday items in your child’s environment. Allow your child to explore books by keeping a variety of books within reach. Keep some books in your child’s toy box. Start a little library for your child keeping books on lower shelves.
  • Sharing nursery rhymes and poetry is one of the best ways to introduce your child to rhyming words. For very young babies, try rhymes that involve a gentle touch, such as patting their feet. Play with your child by making up short rhymes and poems together.
  • Play with magnetic letters on the refrigerator or on metal baking trays. Arrange the letters in alphabetical order. Remove a letter and ask your child which one is missing. Can she put the letter back into the correct space? Or, arrange the letters incorrectly and ask your child to put them into the correct order.
  • Play games with alphabet blocks, felt or foam letters, or letters cut from newspapers or magazines. Try making simple words or your child’s name. Letters can also be made from string or cooked, cooled spaghetti. Your child may enjoy playing, writing and drawing in sand, pudding, sugar or flour.
  • Help your child roll clay, play dough or plasticine into thin “logs.” Ask your child to use the logs to form the letters he is learning.

Six skills that get your child ready for reading

Liking books

Children who enjoy books will want to learn to read.

Hearing words

Hearing the smaller sounds in words helps children sound out written words.

Knowing words

Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.

Telling a story

Learning to tell a story helps children develop skills in thinking and understanding.

Seeing words

Familiarity with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and reading.

Knowing letters

Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children sound out words.