Pre-Reading Skills Focus: Letter Knowledge


Welcome to the Pre-Reading Skills Focus Series!  This is the last post in a 6-part series. Six pre-reading skills have been focused on individually and I hope that you have learned some new information for helping your pre-reader!

A series on the pre-reading skills needed for preschoolers to become successful readers.

In case you missed them, here are the previous posts:

 Print Motivation

Narrative Skills


Print Awareness

Phonological Awareness

Pre-Reading Skill Focus: Letter Knowledge

What is Letter Knowledge?


Understanding that each letter is different and that each letter has a name and a sound associated with it.

pre-reading skills

To help your children learn about letters, here are some ideas for multiple age groups:

Infants & Young Toddlers

-Let babies play with different shapes (letters are just different shapes afterall!).

-Read books about shapes and alphabet letters.

-Talk to toddlers about things that are the same and different.  This can later translate to how letters are the same and different.

-Provide letter shapes for your child to play with (not too small, as to avoid choking hazards).

Toddlers (2 & 3 year olds)

-Show your child his/her letter (the first letter of the first name).  Make this letter special by placing it on his/her door, chair, cup and other items that your child uses.

-Play with magnetic letters on the fridge, or foam letters in the bath.

-Read alphabet books.

-Point out letters in your environment, like the letters on a stop sign.

-Show your child two different letters and ask if they are the same.  Show letters that are the same and letters that are different.

-Write your child's name on his/her paper when doing painting or coloring.

-Use letter cookie cutters to play with playdough or letter stamps to make a letter collage.

-Sing the Alphabet Song often.

Pre-Readers (4 & 5 year olds)

-Give your child access to lots of different alphabet books and hands on alphabet pieces (magnetic, foam, blocks, etc).

-Draw letters on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.  Have your child jump on the letters as you call out the names.

-Talk about the letters that begin family member's names.  For example, D is for Daddy and M is for Mommy.

-When talking about letters, make the sound that accompanies that letter.  Therefore, helping your child associate the shape of the letter with the sound.

-Examine alphabet letters.  Which look the same?  Letter O and Q?  Are there any letters that can be turned to look like another letter (b and d)?

-Make letters from playdough or draw letters in shaving cream.

-Look in books to find a favorite letter.

-Play 'I Spy' with different letters.  Can your child find the letter you call out?

-Is your child struggling with a specific letter?  Have a special letter day!  Focus on the troublesome letter all day long!  Where a shirt with the letter, cut the letter out of cheese for lunch and hunt for the letter all day long!

Have other LETTER AWARENESS ideas?  Please share in the comments!