Get ready to unlock the power of language for your little ones with these fun and engaging preschool literacy activities! SimplyFun makes learning enjoyable and memorable with games that are designed to encourage a love for reading and writing while simultaneously fostering imagination and creativity in young minds.
Whether you're seeking ideas for large group preschool literacy activities or cognitive literacy activities for preschool aged children, SimplyFun has something for all stages and ages. Read on to explore the power of language through these interactive games that will help your child develop a strong foundation in literacy.
Preschool language development
In the preschool years, children begin to understand and use more complex language. They can follow simple instructions, engage in conversations, and express their thoughts and feelings. They also start recognizing letters and sounds, which lays the groundwork for reading and writing. That said, it's important to remember that every child develops at their own pace.
The importance of preschool literacy
Preschool literacy proficiency sets an early foundation for language development, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills. Research shows that children who are exposed to literacy activities early on have a higher chance of becoming proficient readers and achieving academic success in the future.
During the preschool years, children's brains are like sponges, absorbing information and making connections at a rapid pace. This is the perfect time to introduce them to the world of language and literacy! By engaging in fun literacy preschool activities, you can foster a love for reading and writing that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Benefits of implementing a preschool literacy activity
Playing fun literacy games with preschoolers has many benefits! It helps young learners develop essential language skills such as vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. It also enhances cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention span, and problem-solving skills while encouraging creativity and imagination, allowing children to express themselves through writing and storytelling.
By incorporating fun and engaging literacy activities into your child's daily routine, you are providing them with the tools they need to succeed both academically and emotionally. These activities not only build a strong foundation in literacy but also promote a positive attitude towards learning. Win-win!
Looking for a hands on literacy activity for preschoolers? Here are some of our favorite games that support various facets of language and literacy development.
Preschool literacy activity: games that enhance letter recognition
Phonics and letter recognition are essential building blocks for reading and writing. By incorporating a preschool literacy activity into playtime, you are laying the foundation for helping preschoolers develop these fundamental skills early on.
1-4 players • 10 min • 3 & up
Skills Focus: Letter Recognition, Alphabet Sequencing
Come fly with Rooby Roo as you learn your ABCs. Rooby's banners show each letter in both uppercase and lowercase, and the order they follow in the alphabet. The banners also have pictures to help kids learn the sounds of the letter. As players draw letter tokens from the bag, they place them on the boards with the matching letter. When a player completes a board, they collect a Rooby token, and the player with the most Rooby tokens wins the game.
Rooby’s ABCs also helps with alphabet sequencing. Players learn the order in which letters follow each other in the alphabet and are introduced to left-to-right letter progression.
Why Rooby's ABCs is an excellent preschool literacy activity:
As you may have guessed, Rooby’s ABCs reinforces sound-letter correspondence and teaches early phonological awareness skills. Speech-language pathologist Erika Cardamone says of the game, "Phonological awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate sounds. Many studies consistently confirm that phonemic awareness along with letter recognition are the two best early predictors of reading success. This early learning game reinforces these exact two foundational skills." Erika recognized Rooby's ABCs with a prestigious PAL Award ('Play Advances Language.') Read the full award-winning review of Rooby's ABCs here.
2-6 players • 15 min • 4 & up
Skills Focus: Letter Recognition, Matching
Our variation of “Old Maid” has players looking for the one fly among all the colorful frogs. Select cards from other players hoping to find a match to a card in your own hand. Discard a pair when you make a match and be the last one with the fly card at the end of the game to win!
Get the Fly is great for developing letter recognition skills, as players look at the letters on their cards and try to get another card with the same letter.
Preschool literacy activity: games that foster early reading skills
One of the easiest ways to incorporate language and literacy activities for preschoolers is through early reading. Try to dedicate time each day for shared reading, where you read aloud to your child and engage in discussions about the story. This helps develop their listening skills, comprehension, and vocabulary. In conjunction, try one of these early reading games as a foundational literacy preschool activity that will jumpstart a love for reading.
2-5 players • 10 min • 3 & up
Skills Focus: Colors, Early Reading
Learn about basic colors along with word and color association in Color Huey & The Four Seasons! Match the color tokens to the color of Huey’s shoes. Then, turn the board over and match the tokens to the correct word. The words appear in different circles on each board so that kids will learn the word, not just memorize the placement.
Parent/caregiver tip: Younger children who are not yet reading can play using the side with the colored shoes to match the color to a shoe and begin working on sight word recognition. Children who can read will be able to play using the board with shoes all the same color, matching the color token to the word.
2-4 players • 15 min • 4 & up
Skills Focus: Foundational Reading Skills, Spelling
Players take turns hopping their frog around the pond on the gameboard landing on or jumping through the lily pad letters needed for their word cards. The first player to complete all 3 of their cards and hop back to the center wins!
Lily Pond is good for developing foundational reading skills as players learn to recognize the alphabet while moving their pawns around the gameboard and finding the letters on their cards. It also helps with spelling as players identify letters in the order they appear on their cards to spell a word.
Preschool literacy activity: games that support cognitive literacy
Play is one of the best ways to support a child’s cognitive development and helps refine their ability to think, understand, communicate, remember, imagine, and work out what might happen next. Preschoolers want to learn how things work, and they learn best through play. When preschoolers participate in hands on literacy activities, like gameplay, they are practicing solving problems, creating, experimenting, thinking, and learning!
1-2 players • 10 min • 3 & up
Skills Focus: Telling Time, Fine Motor Skills, Language Development
Have a fun day with Tibbar rabbit learning the months of the year, days of the week, the four seasons, and telling time. Using the colorful wooden board and the fun activity disks helps children build awareness of the key elements in their daily world.
Don't just take our word for it! Speech-language pathologist Erika Cardamone awarded My Fun Day with the PAL Award and within her review notes that "My Fun Day successfully blends play and learning into a harmonious experience that stimulates language development, introduces routines, and nurtures social-emotional regulation." Read Erika's full award-winning review of My Fun Day here.
1+ players • 15 min • 3 & up
Skills Focus: Shapes, Colors, Lowercase & Uppercase Letters, Counting
Tibbar’s Little Hands, Big Smiles is a great small group literacy activity for preschoolers and helps little ones learn preschool-ready skills and gain self-confidence while they play! This three-puzzle pack not only helps your child grow but also grows along with them while providing hours of fun to help identify letters, numbers, shapes, and colors!
Tibbar’s Big Hands, Little Smiles is a great way to introduce young learners to foundational early learning concepts that prepare them to enter school with confidence.
Instill a love for language with fun literacy activities for preschoolers
Gameplay no doubt creates a fun and stimulating learning environment that will help spark your child's curiosity and love for language, reading, and writing from an early age.
From interactive alphabet recognition and phonics to early reading and spelling, there are many games and fun literacy preschool activities that can provide young learners with the tools they need to succeed in preschool and beyond!
Don't forget that every child is unique, and their literacy journey will progress at their own pace. Be patient, provide positive reinforcement, and most importantly, have FUN!
Read more about our communication and literacy games in our blog, Communication Games for Kids.
Looking for even more board game suggestions? Check out our Board Game Lovers Gift Guide.