Play

Pick up different items when taking a walk with your preschooler. Have them glue the items to paper. Hang this art up and talk about it when you walk by!

Talk

Talk about what you read with your child. Make the book personal by connecting it to your life. If you read a book about a cat, talk about cats you see.

Play

Practice the ABCs with a little car and blue painter's tape on the floor. Start with "A" and have your child drive the car over it. Tape all the letters!

Talk

Help your child hear parts of words. Point to a chair and say "ch" & your child finishes with "air." Then say the whole word together.

Play

Make a trail of clues by drawing places you’ve hidden the clues. Each drawing tells where to search for the next clue until the treasure is reached.

Read

When reading to your preschooler, ask if they can find "the" or "and" on the page. As this becomes easier, ask them to find short common words like "run".

Talk

Help your preschooler build confidence by speaking to staff at a restaurant or the library. “May I please have more water? I want a book about trucks.”

Play

As you cook, keep your child busy sliding rubber bands or hair ties on & off a can of food. Ask them to make a pattern with the colors.

Talk

Let your preschooler help set the dinner table and practice math. “Count the plates. Now count the forks. How many are there altogether?”

Write

Preschoolers take pride in their work. When your child makes a picture or writes a story, hang it up and talk about what you like about it.

Write

Let your preschooler pick a big picture they like. Glue it to a paper plate. Punch holes around the edges. Use yarn to “sew” around the edges.

Talk

Let your child help you sort the clothes by color when you’re doing the laundry. “This pile is for blue; this pile is for white. Where does this sock go?”.

Write

Set up a writing area for your preschooler with paper and nontoxic markers or crayons. Write notes to your preschooler and encourage them to “write back.”

Play

Let your preschooler think of an animal. Ask 5 questions to try to guess: “What color is it? Does it live on a farm?” Now you think of an animal.

Talk

Talk about what you ate for lunch. "What did you eat? How did you make it? What shapes and colors were in your lunch? What was your favorite part?"

Play

Process art is when your preschooler explores colors and textures without worrying about how the final product looks. Try this idea.

Talk

Your child learns 3 to 5 new words everyday, mostly from you. Today, describe your kitchen, noticing & repeating 3 new words to your child.

Play

Let your child pretend to be a teacher writing on a whiteboard (tape a piece of paper to the wall). Ask them "What will you teach today? Science? Math?"

Talk

As your child washes up ask: "What sound does sss-oap start with? What else starts with the sss sound?" Work together to list words like sock and silly.

Write

Practice writing letters and names in fun places! In the sand, in the dirt, in the snow outside, or on a foggy mirror inside!

Play

Play I SPY with your preschooler using letter sounds. “I spy something that starts with letter B. What sound does a B make? Buh-buh. What do I spy?”

Write

Teach your child to use small scissors to make simple cuts on scrap paper. This builds hand muscles children need to learn to write.

Read

Read it again! Preschoolers love hearing their favorite stories over and over. Ask them to tell you the story the next time you read the book.

Talk

Build your preschooler’s vocabulary by talking about words and objects. “Look at that airplane and its wings. Why do you think they are called wings?”

Write

Help your preschooler make a card for someone you know. They can draw and you can write words for them or they can scribble their own words.

Talk

Practice letter sounds during bath time. As water fills the tub, say "Water starts with W, waa. What else starts with waa?" (wet, walk, wiggle)

Read

As you wait in line at the grocery store, look at the magazines & find the first letter in your child's name and point it out.

Play

Play pretend animals. Meow & purr like a cat, roar like a lion, hang like a sloth, or slither like a snake. Pretend play helps grow imagination!

Talk

Sort a small bag of colored candies with your preK-er. Make patterns. Line up each color side by side to create a graph. Ask questions about the graph.

Write

Tear open an empty cereal box or macaroni box, let your preschooler write their own way of how to prepare cereal or macaroni.

Talk

Tell a story with your preschooler, using stuffed animals as puppets. Talk about what animal the puppet is & what kind of sounds the animal makes.

Read

Read an information book about science, real people, places or events. Preschoolers are always eager to learn new things.

Play

Give your preschooler a big bowl of water & some plastic containers & let them practice pouring. Have a towel ready for spills.

Read

Help your child make strong connections between spoken & written words. Read street signs together and talk about why we have signs on a walk.

Play

During a meal, pretend that you are at a restaurant & your preK-er is the waiter. Ask them: "What foods are you serving today? How does the food taste?"

Read

Make a grocery list with your preK-er. Let them scribble the items you say you need on paper, then check it off when you're in the store.

Play

Go on a sensory scavenger hunt with your preschooler to help them describe the world. “Find something that feels prickly, smells good, sounds musical.”

Write

Help your preschooler write a story. Your child can tell you a story, you write the words, and draw pictures together.

Talk

When you read books to your preK-er, ask questions to encourage thinking. "What will happen next? Why do you think that happened? How did he do that?”

Read

As you read aloud, run your finger under the words so your preschooler learns that words are read from left to right.

Write

Get silly by making letters with your body. Can your preschooler copy you as you make L, T and V with your arms?

Talk

Put five objects in a bag. Open the bag & let your preschooler study them for a few minutes. Let them tell you a story that includes these object.

Play

Play pretend grocery store! Gather items (cans, soap, books) & make a store. Take turns with your child being the clerk, the shopper, the manager, etc.

Read

Look for things that start with the letter A. Repeat with the other letters of the alphabet. Each day could feature a new letter, just like SESAME STREET!

Write

Connect your preschooler to letters physically by spelling their name in sand, flour, fingerpaint, or the air!

Talk

Make up a story with your preK-er at bedtime. Keep adding to it each night for a week. See if your child can help tell it on the last night.

Read

Grocery shopping? Try asking your preschooler to find examples of letters on signs on food labels. Find an A, then a B...

Play

After you read, act out what happened in the book. If you read about going for a walk, you can go for a walk or pretend to go for a walk in your house.

Read

As you read a book, pause to ask questions: "What is the bear doing? Who is he playing with? What game are they playing?"

Write

Fold construction paper & tape together to make a pouch that becomes a mailbox. Give your preK-er paper & crayons to write letters.

Talk

Say words that begin with the same sound-table, toe, talk. Hearing the same sounds in different words will help your preK-er recognize the letter sounds.

Read

Share audiobooks this summer! They help kids develop imagination and see their own pictures, an important reading skill.

Play

When walking outside, play I SPY. Say "I spy something that is green and brown and rhymes with bee (tree)." Rhyming helps your preK-er get ready to read.

Read

Read a joke book with your preschooler & help them memorize a favorite. Fun books help build a love of reading.

Write

Help your preschooler’s hand-eye coordination. Use a toy hammer to “nail” golf tees into a piece of Styrofoam.

Talk

Talk about the animals you see outside with your preK-er. "What is that animal? What color is it? What do you think it eats? Where do you think it lives?"

Read

Books in rhyme encourage preK-ers to make guesses about what the next words will be, as they read. Predicting is an important skill.

Play

Put 5 or more objects on a tray. Ask your preK-er to memorize the objects. After 30 seconds, cover the tray with a towel. Ask them to draw all the objects.

Write

After a trip to the park, library, or store, ask your preK-er to draw a picture of where you went. Write what they say about their picture underneath.

Talk

Knowing shapes will help your preK-er learn letters. Talk about & trace the shapes you see in letters. How many lines or circles are in your child's name?

Sing

Learn about feelings by taking a walk with your preschooler and singing HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT. Talk about how you are feeling.

Write

Write letters on index cards. Lay them out. Give your preschooler a fly swatter or stick. Call out a letter. Let them swat the correct card.

Play

Make a reading fort with kitchen chairs & sheets/towels. Having a fun place to read, maybe with a flashlight, makes reading exciting!

Write

Get silly by making letters with your body. Can your preschooler copy you as you make L, T and V with your arms?

Sing

Sing OLD MACDONALD with your preschooler. Start with an animal that starts with A, then B, and continue through the alphabet.

Talk

Before bed, ask your preK-er to tell you about their day. This will build their confidence for talking in school and talking about events in order.

Read

Listen to stories & books on CD. Your preschooler will learn to form pictures to go with the stories & develop an imagination, important reading skills.

Play

Add excitement to reading by acting out the story with your preK-er. They'll understand the story better and learn how stories work.

Write

Find a stick outside & write the words "Bug", "Rock", and "Sun" in the dirt. Have your preschooler say them aloud & then explain what the words mean.

Sing

Sing Itsy Bitsy Spider with your preK-er. Add verses for a big spider, a slow spider, a fast spider, and more.

Talk

When you & your preschooler are cleaning up, take turns giving directions. They will have fun telling you what to do! Practice doing things in order.

Read

Ask your preschooler questions as you read “Did you think that was going to happen?” It helps make reading fun and your child to want to learn to read.

Play

Put an object in a box or bag and have your preschooler try to identify it. Shake the box or bag. Talk about how heavy it is and the sound it makes.

Write

Write your preschooler’s name on 2 pieces of paper. Cut into individual letters. Let child match the letters to the correct places.

Sing

Help your preschooler find the alphabet in the grocery store, one letter at a time. Look as you move through the aisles and sing them aloud as you go.

Read

Read a picture book to your preschooler. Then ask your child to retell the story using the pictures as a guide to build reading skills.

Talk

Ask your child “How did you do that?” or “I wonder why…” to help your preschooler get ready to share ideas aloud and on paper in school.

Play

Put couch cushions & pillows on the floor in a line. Have your preK-er get from one end to the other & use movement words like "jump, balance, walk, etc."

Write

Write the letter “A” on an empty box. Go outside & have your preschooler find items that begin with that letter, like an acorn, then put the item in the box.

Sing

Sing nursery rhymes with your preschooler to help them develop rhythm. Click here for a list of songs to sing together!

Read

When a big, new word appears in a book you are reading to your child, say the word and stop to explain its meaning in words your child understands.

Talk

As your preschooler washes up ask: "What sound does sss-oap start with? What else starts with the sss sound?" Together, list words like sock and silly.

Read

Once your preschooler has favorite books or pages, ask them to read them to you! Even if they recite from memory, this builds their reading confidence.

Write

Use cooked spaghetti to shape letters. Help your preschooler spell their name. Sing through the alphabet while making letters together. Let them eat their name!

Read

In your home, tape the name of objects to the object, such as "chair, table, bed". Point to the word & ask your preschooler to read it with you.

Talk

At bedtime, ask your preschooler to tell you the story of their day. Get them talking by using Wh- questions: "When? What? Why? Who? Where?"

Play

Play with your preschooler at the kitchen sink. Wash some dishes or items you use in the kitchen. As you wash, talk about how you use it. Chores can be fun!

Write

Have your preschooler make a shopping list using either made-up spelling or drawing pictures. “What do we need from the store today?”

Talk

Talk about shapes with your preschooler. Draw some & ask "How many corners on a square? How many points on a star?"

Play

Count with your preschooler how many red cars you see on the way to the store. "How many white trucks do you see?" Try other types of vehicles.

Write

Before preschool or work, invite your preschooler to watch you, as you write a note. Say: “This note is to remind you I love you, to go in your pocket."

Talk

Help your preschooler put sounds together as words. Say each sound by itself & ask your child to say the word. Say SP & OON. Your child will say SPOON.

Read

While prepping for dinner, help your child read the labels of the boxes, jars, stickers, or cans.

Talk

Talk with your child about what they're going to do today. At the end of the day, talk about what they did. Planning & reviewing helps develop their thinking skills.

Read

While prepping for dinner, teach your preschooler the steps of making the meal. Use words like "first, I'll measure...next, I'll stir."

Talk

Ask your child “How did you do that?” or “I wonder why…” to help your preschooler get ready to share ideas aloud and on paper in school.

Read

Write the letters of the alphabet on scraps of paper, hide them, & let your preschooler hunt for them. "You found letter F. What sound does it make?"

Play

Explore science at bath time. Put everyday objects like a sponge, cup, spoon & colander in the tub. Ask, “Which objects sink? Which float?” Now find out!

Write

Spell out the word “DOG” on a piece of paper. Have your child copy the letters below your word; talk about the sound a dog makes.

Read

When reading a book to your preschooler, stop occasionally & ask what they think will happen next. Ask "Why do you think that?" & give them time to think.

Talk

Talk with your child when you go grocery shopping. Talk about types of food. Ask your child about meals they would make. Talk about taste, smell, color, etc.

Sing

While driving in the car, turn off the radio & sing the ABCs to your child. Sing it fast, sing it slow. Your child will soon sing it with you & alone.

Read

When reading to your preschooler, ask if they can find "the" or "and" on the page. As this becomes easier, have them find other short words.

Read

Read the clothing tags aloud at laundry time. "This tag says wash with like colors, so I'm putting it in the pile with other clothes that are red."

Play

Draw letters on paper & put inside a storage bag, sealing it. Put rice on top. Help your child spy the letters & make the sound the letter makes.

Write

Fold some paper together to make a book, have your child write the letter “A”, then have your child draw objects that start with an “A” like an apple.