One very important early literacy skill is knowing letter-sound correspondence, or what sound each letter of the alphabet makes. One creative way to do this is to take a suitcase, label it with a letter of the alphabet (a different letter each week), and fill it with objects that begin with that letter. As you put the objects in the suitcase, you can talk about each one with your child, saying the name of the object and asking them if it begins with the letter of the week (in this case, the letter “T.”) Emphasizing the first sound of the word, “t,” is helpful if your child needs that cue. To make it more challenging, you can set out other objects that don’t start with the letter of the week and have your child identify which objects start with the letter of the week (belonging in the suitcase) and which don’t. Throughout the week, you can ask your child to find other objects to put in the suitcase that begin with the letter of the week. It’s helpful to review the names of the objects and the letter of the week a few times throughout the week.
The terrific book Alphablock is a perfect companion to this activity. It’s good for young children to experience letters in different ways, using different senses, and Alphablock provides just that. The die-cut letters in the book are fun and children can get a sense of the shape of a letter and can run their fingers along the edge of each letter.
Additional activities you can do are drawing pictures of the objects, writing the names of the objects together or creating and telling a story about the objects. All those activities support literacy. The possibilities are endless. Have fun with it!