Simple Early Literacy Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten Kids


Helping children along the path to reading and writing can be a bit daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! These early literacy activities are fun, engaging, AND help set a great foundation.

Be sure to add them to your list of activities for preschoolers at home or school.

collage of preschool literacy ideas with text that reads early literacy activities

Simple Early Literacy Activities

All of the literacy activities you’ll find below are easy! When I say “easy” I mean that they’re simple to set up and don’t use too many materials.

This simplicity doesn’t take away from all of the learning the kids do though!

These ideas are perfect for those at home with young children, as well as early childhood educators working with kids in the classroom.

Preschool Songs

Singing and listening to music can have a profoundly positive affect on children’s literacy understanding. Which makes them some of the easiest early literacy activities you can start with!

Songs that are focused on literacy skills, like ABC songs, allow the kids to practice those skills in a fun way.

And songs that are focused on other areas, like hand washing, give the kids the change to practice a wide variety of oral language skills.

Here are a few song lists to get you and the kids started:

Make Books with Kids

Children LOVE to be authors and illustrators, so why not encourage that interest? The kids will enjoy it AND they’ll be learning so many early literacy concepts.

You can make a book about practically any topic. In fact, just ask the children what they’re interested in making a book about.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Free Printable Books for Preschool – This post houses a variety of printable emergent readers to make with the kids.

“I Love” Bookmaking – Grab some construction paper and make a book all about things and people the kids love.

Class Pancake Book – Get the kids talking about a favorite breakfast food while making a book. You can even turn this into a cookbook, with the children crafting the recipes.

Bookmaking for a Preschool Family Theme – Work with the children to make a book about class or family names. This is a hit every year!

Related: Literacy Supplies for Preschool

Book Lists

Like singing and talking, listening to books is one of the easiest early literacy activities you can do.

Grab your kids’ favorite books and get to reading! And don’t worry, listening to the same book over and over is actually a good thing for children.

I’ve put together some book lists in case you need ideas:

You can find even more book lists for kids below:

Early Literacy Activities with Kids’ Names

Using children’s names is the perfect jumping off point for all kinds of literacy skills!

Marshmallow Name Craft – Put those stale marshmallows to use.

Name Snowman – A consistent hit with the kids! Use the free printable to make name snowmen, or craft your own with construction paper and other art supplies. Here’s a peek:

Dot Names – Dot markers are well-loved by kids, so why not use them to make dot names? You can also use cotton balls, circular paintbrushes, or even pencil erasers.

Scratch and Sniff Names – Glue and Jell-O powder are all you need for this multi-sensory idea.

Apples up On Top Name Activities – The free printable apple letters are great for this activity, but you can also use paint or paper.

Snowball Names – So much fine motor practice takes place with this activity. Grab some paper and stickers to get started.

Preschool Name Activity for a Preschool Fairy Tale Theme – Make blinged-out names with the kids.

Name Kits – Make a literacy kit focused on the kids’ names. You’ll need some paper, writing utensils, and alphabet manipulatives.

Literacy Printables for Kids

Here are even more printables you can use as part of your early literacy activities!

Story Stone Activities for The Mitten – Take a favorite story and make a retelling activity using story rocks. I cannot tell you how often these have been used!

Printable Ladybug Letter Puzzles – You can use the puzzles on their own, or consider adding them to your favorite sensory materials.

Easter Alphabet Printable – Hide letters in eggs or sensory materials. Then let the kids search for the letters and record them on this sheet.

Read-Write-Build Alphabet Printable Chart – Have the kids explore letter identification and formation in a few different ways, using this printable as a base.

Sorting Magnetic Letters – So many ways to sort letters! You can make your own on construction paper or use the free printable.

Printable Nursery Rhymes Journal – You can create these journals all at once or one page at a time.

Preschool Winter Words Free Printable – Combine these word pages with letter tiles.

Free Printable Books for Preschool – You’ll find even more literacy printables here.

Related: Tools for Prepping Printables

Even More Early Literacy Activities

Even more ideas to add to your literacy toolbox!

Alphabet Movement Activities – Get the kids moving as they learn the ABCs.

Rhyming Games for Preschoolers – Simple games that help cement kids’ understanding of rhyming.

No-Prep Activities for Teaching Syllables – You just need the kids (and some enthusiasm!) to prep for these syllable activities.

Simple Rhyming Anchor Chart – Make an anchor chart all about rhyming.

Dramatic Play Gingerbread Man Activity – Pretend play based on a favorite story leads to so much oral language development.

Teaching Word Families with Ping Pong Balls – Combine fine motor skills and literacy skills. Perfect for a ball theme.

Fine Motor Snowmen Letter Activities – Make teeny tiny snowmen using ABC beads.

Word Walls in Preschool and Kindergarten – Set up a word wall to explore letter names, letter sounds, names, and words.

Vanilla Spice Sensory Writing – We can’t talk about early literacy skills without touching on a sensory writing tray!

Fall Colors Modeled Writing in Preschool – Use modeled writing (about all sorts of topics) to explore early reading and writing skills.

Child-Made Bulletin Board Ideas with Interactive Writing – Work with the kids to write and put those writings up!

Be sure to tell me about YOUR favorite early literacy activities in the comments below!

Done-For-You Literacy Activities

Save time with these awesome resources from Preschool Teacher 101 and Home Preschool 101. Click on the photos below for more information on each product. Be sure to check out the membership options if you’re a preschool teacher.

Home Preschool Lesson Plans Bundle
I Spy ABC Scavenger Hunts
Monthly Writing Journals
3 literacy activities with text that reads fun and simple literacy

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