Playing games with letters and numbers will help your 3 to 4-year-old get ready for reading when they're older. There are all sorts of games you can play ranging from using the letters shapes and sounds, to learning new words that share the same first letter.
- Count aloud with your child. You could find out how many steps you need to take to get to the front door or the number of lampposts you pass as you walk to the park!
- Look out for numbers your child will recognise, such as your door number or their age, and see if you can find these numbers on buses, shops or road signs. Remember that letters and numbers are everywhere!
- Talk about the letters you can find in junk mail and old magazines. Cut some of the letters out and make a collage. See if you can find the first letter of your child’s name. If they can’t recognise the letter yet, draw it together and see if you can spot it when you’re out and about.
- To encourage your child’s early reading, use letter sounds instead of alphabet letter names. Using letter sounds when you play games like ‘I’m going to the park’ or ‘I spy’ together will help them sound out words as they learn to read.
Letter game: Going to the park!
Play a game taking turns saying what you’d take on a trip to the park.
The rule is that you can only take things with a ‘p’ sound (for example, ’I’m going to the park and I’m going to take a picnic/parrot/pencil’).
You can have more fun by changing the place you are going. For example, to the seaside, where you can only bring things beginning with ‘s’.
How to make your own playdough letters
Have a go at making letter shapes together out of plasticine. If you don't have any you make your own playdough!.
How to make your own playdough:
- two cups of plain flour
- ½ cup of cold water
- three tablespoons of vegetable oil
- one tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- any food colouring or glitter
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