Early Reading Strategies - Letter Recognition, Letter Sounds, Early Reading Fluency

  •  Ideas for practicing letter names and sounds

    Play “I Spy” by having the child look around the room for objects that start with a given sound.  Ex: “T”= table, toys, television


    Using magnetic letters or letters written on flashcards, have the child put the letters in the correct order.  This can be done with all of the letters or only part of the alphabet.


    Tape letters written on flashcards to the wall.  Throw a rolled up sock or soft object at a selected letter.  Also, make the letter sound for the child, and have him or her identify which letter sound they hear by throwing the sock at that letter.


    Give the child a letter and have them place that letter on an object in the room that begins with that sound.


    Read books together, and have the child point to the words that he or she is reading.  Count the words in the sentence, and find the uppercase letters and ending punctuation marks.


    Play “Memory” with letters or sight words that have been written on flashcards.  Each word or letter must be written on two separate cards.  Place the cards face down on the table.  Take turns turning just two cards over at a time to find a letter or word match.


    Place letters in alphabetical order.  Next, remove a letter without the child looking.  Having the child identify which letter is missing.



    Using shaving cream, spread out smoothly on a table, practice writing letters or short a words.  Ex: cat, jam, sad, cap.  ( This can also be done using salt or sugar in the shallow pan)


    Use tape on a rug or chalk on a concrete surface to write a letter.  Have the child trace, walk, hop, or jump the shape of the letter.


    Use a flashlight to allow the child to draw a letter on the wall.  State a word and have them draw the beginning sound that is heard or the ending sound.


     Use your finger draw a letter on the child’s back.  Have him or her guess the letter.


    Using water and paper, have the child “paint” a certain letter.  Also, he or she could “paint” with the water on a flat surface such as the floor, table, or window.


    Try to make a letter shape with your body.  See which letters can be formed by using arms, legs, and whole bodies.


    Form letter shapes with items you have ... Legos, string, Play-doh, pencils etc.


    Have the child listen for a particular letter sound.  He or she should clap or jump when they hear that sound.  Ex: If the child is listening for the “R” sound, say, “sleep, boat, rose, and map”.  Once the “R” sound is heard in rose, he or she should do the designated motion.


    Using magazines, cut out pictures that begin with a certain sound and glue them onto a piece of paper to make a collage.


    Using alphabet cereal, give a handful to the child.  Sort the letters into groups.  Count how many there are of each letter.


    With a highlighter, have the child find and highlight letters in the newspaper or a magazine.


    If you have an ABC chart available have your child point to each letter and say the letter name and sound.