Literacy and Communication Activities

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ABC Day

ABC Day

Have your child choose a letter of the day! For example, if the letter was “s” you can eat sausage for breakfast and have strawberries as a snack! You can play softball, watch Sesame Street, and skip to the park to go on a slide!

  • Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes spread throughout the day
  • Materials: Objects that start with the letter you choose!
  • Subject: Language Arts
Bathtub Animals slide

Bathtub Animals

Have your child fill the bathtub with their favorite stuffed animals and toys. Supervise them as they let their imagination run free! Are they on a boat in the middle of the ocean? In a spaceship heading to Mars? Encourage them to think outside the box!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Your child’s favorite stuffed animals and toys
  • Subject: Imagination
Bubble Wrap Road slide

Bubble Wrap Road

Use leftover bubble wrap to create a pathway around your house. Tape down the bubble wrap with masking tape. Have your child follow the path, stepping on as many bubbles as they can! Have them count how many bubbles they popped!

Go on a Safari!

Go on a Safari!

Set up an indoor safari by placing stuffed animals, plants, and paper cutouts of trees and insects around your house! For more fun, search the Internet for some safari sounds to play in the background.

Guide your child around your homemade safari! Encourage them to point out what they see, hear, smell, and feel!

Go to the Beach! From Home...

Go to the Beach! From Home…

Go to the beach in your living room or back yard!

Lay down a towel and relax with the sounds of the ocean from your phone! If outside, bring out the sprinkler or hose for fun with water!

Re-create a vacation you might have missed during this time.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Towels, sunglasses, swimsuits, a cooler, anything you might bring to the beach!
  • Subject: Imagination and Play
Guess the Sound!

Guess the Sound!

  1. Fill portable coffee cups or closed containers with different household items
    • Some examples might be to fill them with coins, M&Ms or candy, cotton balls, uncooked pasta, dice, water, rocks, marbles, sand, shredded paper, carrots, balloons, glitter, marshmallows, and jelly beans!
  2. Have your child shake the closed container and guess what item is inside!
  • Estimated Time: 15-30 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Closed containers (portable coffee cups, empty plastic Easter eggs, storage containers, etc.)
    • Various small household objects
  • Subject: Sensory Play
I-Spy Bag

I-Spy Bag

Fill a ziploc bag with rice, sand, or sugar. Leave room to add a few small miscellaneous objects. Some of these might be puzzle pieces, pebbles, beads, coins, small figurines, small pieces of paper, ribbons, leaves, sticks, magnets, or dice. Create a list of these small objects and ask your child to find each of them in the bag by shaking, shifting, and moving the bag.

Letters to Yourself!

Letters to Yourself!

Encourage your child to think ahead! Have them write letters to their future self! If they can’t write yet, transcribe for them or have them draw pictures! They can open these letters when they finish elementary school, middle school, high school, and so on.

Have them write and draw about what they hope to accomplish and about what they want to be when they grow up! What are their favorite hobbies, sports, and tv shows? Who are their best friends? What words of wisdom can they offer their future self? Store these away for them to read in the future!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, pencils, and envelopes
  • Subject: Writing
Make a Reading Nook!

Make a Reading Nook!

Encourage your child to read by creating fun space for them! Designate a corner of your house as a “reading nook.” Add pillows, blankets, and some lights. Encourage them to decorate it with “do not disturb” signs and fill it with their favorite books!

Make an ABC Collage!

Make an ABC Collage!

Grab some old magazines and newspapers and create a collage of the alphabet! Ask your child to go through magazines and newspapers to find every letter of the alphabet. Have them cut or tear out these letters and glue or tape them to a piece of paper. When finished, they will have an amazing collage of the alphabet!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Magazines, newspapers, scissors, paper, glue
  • Subject: Alphabet
Pipe Cleaner Words!

Pipe Cleaner Words!

Use pipe cleaners to practice letters and words! Practice upper and lowercase letters, sight words, and spelling words by bending and twisting pipe cleaners into letters and words!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Pipe cleaners
  • Subject: Literacy
Play Memory!

Play Memory!

  1. Place 10 sets of two numbers face down on a table
  2. Have your child flip over cards two at a time until they make a match!
  • Estimated Time: 20–30 minutes
  • Materials: Deck of cards
    You can make your own cards with paper! Draw pictures on the cards instead of numbers!
  • Subject: Memory
Play-Doh

Play-Doh!

Use Play-Doh or molding clay to create shapes. Have a competition! Build a snowman, a giraffe, or a dog! Practice shapes, numbers, and letters by rolling the dough into figures!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Play-Doh or molding clay
  • Subject: Art, math, and reading
Scrabble Letters

Scrabble Letters

Make your own bag of scrabble letters! Cut small squares out of paper and write one letter of the alphabet on each square. Repeat so that you have three of each letter. Place your squares in a cup or ziploc bag. Have your child choose seven letters and rearrange them to make words! Have them write down the words they make. How many words can you find in a minute? Who can find the most words? How many three-letter words can you find?

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, scissors, pen, and a ziploc bag or cup
  • Subject: Literacy
Sensory Blocks

Sensory Blocks

Turn your plain blocks into exciting sensory objects for your child! Glue objects with different textures to each side of the blocks for your child to feel and touch. These objects might be buttons, different fabrics, plastic gems, googly eyes, foam stickers, small rocks, plastic, felt, or string.

Sensory Board

Sensory Board

Create a sensory board for your child. Cover a poster board with objects that have all different kinds of textures. These could be buttons, sandpaper, fabrics, string, gems, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, and foam. Give the poster board to your child to feel and enjoy!

Sensory Rice Bin!

Sensory Rice Bin!

  1. Place miscellaneous objects in a bin of rice or sand
    These objects might be small toys, figurines, balls, different types of uncooked pasta, marbles, candy, sticks, etc.
  2. Give your child a spoon or scoop and encourage them to see what is inside the bin!
  • Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Materials: Rice, a container or bin, miscellaneous small objects or toys
  • Subject: Science and Sensory
  • Source: Sensory Rice Bin
Sound Scavenger Hunt!

Sound Scavenger Hunt!

Use your phone to record sounds from objects around your house. These sounds could be a stapler clicking, the refrigerator door closing, a cabinet opening, a sink turning on, the garage opening, or a drawer slamming. Play these sounds for your child and encourage them to find the source of the sound!

Storytime with Astronauts!

Storytime With Astronauts!

Watch these bedtime story videos from astronauts in space! Listen to an astronaut read a story as Earth floats in the background.

Learning At Home Activities slide

String Telephone

Have your child create a telephone out of string and plastic cups! Cut a hole in the bottom of two plastic cups and tie a long string to them. Have your child hold the cup to their ear in another room while you speak into your cup from a different room. Have them tell you a story through the phone!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Plastic cups, scissors, and string
  • Subject: Imagination
Learning At Home Activities slide

Three Topic Story

Ask your child to come up with three random objects, people, or animals. Create a story that involves each of those things! For example, if they said a lion, a pineapple, and a train, you might create a story about a lion who loves to eat pineapples on trains. Switch it around! You come up with three objects and have your child create the story!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: None
  • Subject: Imagination and creativity
Word Bingo!

Word Bingo!

  1. Create a 5 X 5 bingo board and fill each square with sight words
    • You can create your own using pen and paper or find one online!
  2. Encourage your child to get bingo by reading and sounding out each word.
    • You can increase difficulty by putting more than one sight word in each box!
  • Estimated Time: 15 minutes
  • Materials: 5 X 5 bingo board with sight words in each square
  • Subject: Reading
Write a book slide

Write a Book

Have your child create their own book! Help them create a story with a plot and characters. Give them some paper and markers and encourage them to draw and write each page out. Once finished, staple their book together and have them read it to the family.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, markers, and a stapler
  • Subject: Writing
Write a poem slide

Write a Poem

Encourage your child to observe the world around them by writing a poem! Teach them about rhyming words. If they want to talk about their dog, help them find words that rhyme. These words could be log, fog, or clog. Be creative!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Pencil and paper
  • Subject: Writing
Writing Letters!

Writing Letters!

Have your child make a list of the people they care about (e.g., friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents).

Encourage your child to write/draw a positive card for each person on the list and mail it to them! Teach your child about how mail works by having them address the envelope and place the stamp on it.

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, writing utensils, envelopes, and stamps
  • Subjects: Writing and drawing

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2020