We recently shared these five different Phonological Awareness activities for kindergarten readiness. And if your big focus this summer is preparing your Pre-K child for kindergarten, you won’t want to miss these Alphabet Knowledge activities:
Alphabet Knowledge Activities: “I’m a letter investigator!”
Alphabet knowledge focuses on recognizing and naming letters. It also includes the knowledge that letters represent speech sounds.
Alphabet knowledge is a foundational building block in early literacy development because alphabet letters represent the sounds of our language. And letter-sound relationships are key for reading and writing. In order for children to become fluent decoders, they need to be able to quickly identify names and know the sounds those letters represent.
Before starting Kindergarten, children should be able to:
- Recognize upper and lowercase letters in the alphabet
- Name upper and lowercase letters in the alphabet (out of order)
- Match upper and lowercase letters (out of order)
- Understand that letters represent sounds
These activities are as fun and easy as A-B-C! Check out some of our favorite alphabet knowledge activities to help prepare your children for kindergarten:
1. Find the Letter in your name!
The letters in your child’s name are a great place for them to start learning the alphabet!
Place letters in a sensory bin or basket of rice, beans or sand. Or, simply place them in a bowl. Write the child’s name and place it above or next to the bin for their own reference while they search for their letters. Once they find a letter in their name, ask them to place it on the matching letter on the written name tag. Begin by modeling and explaining what you’re doing.
2. The Hungry Monster Returns
The Hungry Monster we used for a phonological awareness activity is still pretty hungry, but this time, he’s craving something different: letters!
Use that monster voice you perfected and announce the letter he’s ready to devour. “I am so hungry! I want the letter T!” You can then guide your children by saying, “I’m looking for the letter ‘T’. This letter has one big line that goes down and a little line that goes across the top.” Once they find the right letter, it’s time to feed it to the monster.
Check out this video of the Hungry Monster in action.
3. Song: Where is…
Here’s another nursery rhyme you can use as a letter recognition activity. Sing this one to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin.”
Before starting, lay out or prop up cards, each with a large letter on it, so it’s easy to see. Begin by singing letters that match the cards: “Where is M? Where is M?” When your child finds M, they should pick it up and sing, “Here I am! Here I am!” Then you both sing, “This is letter M. This is letter M. Yes it is. Yes it is.”
4. Go Fish!
Hook, line, and sinker! We’ve got a great letter recognition activity using magnetic letters and fishing rod — which you can make using a magnet, some yarn and a wooden dowel.
Spread the letters on the table and name the one you want your child to fish for. Encourage them if they need extra support, describing what the letter looks like. For example, if they have a hard time locating the letter ‘E’ say, “this letter has a big straight line that goes down and three little lines that go across.”
Check out this video to see this activity in action.
But wait, there’s MORE! We’ve already conquered Phonological Awareness and Alphabet Knowledge… what’s next? Check out these five Emergent Writing activities to try this summer.