Play-based Activities that Build Reading Readiness

By Oscarjack 9 Min Read

Child Activities in Daycares and in Preschools

Preschool teachers can utilize these activities to encourage six skills for early reading when the children are having fun.

Preschoolers and daycare near me are incredibly active in their play. They integrate what they observe in the world around them into their play and incorporate the knowledge and skills they acquire through play into their daily lives.

This is the case in the case of reading readiness. While some students appear to be making the process seamlessly and effortlessly from being a non-reader into a reader, research shows that it’s far from easy.

Students begin to prepare to read years before they complete the task with the set of six crucial reading readiness abilities. This set of skills, also known as pre-reading or beginning reading usually developed through play. Teachers can employ the following games to develop each of these capabilities.


What is it: The words students are familiar with and use to understand everything around them, including expressive and receptive vocabulary? In the early years of preschool, vocabulary tends to expand from approximately 200 words but can reach 2000 words.

How does it support Reading: Students use oral vocabulary to understand the meaning of words they read? It is easier to understand the meaning of known and recognizable words. It also has meaning.

Activity–What’s my name? /What am I talking about?

Teachers can link this exercise to a unit of study or pretend they’re making preparations for an event such as making breakfast. It could also be restricted to what’s happening in the room.

Find an item to describe it using as much detail as you can. Each detail will add vocabulary that students can learn. For instance, in the description of eggs, you might mention, “We consume it. It is required to be refrigerated. It is usually one of twelve. It can be brown or white and fit inside the hand.” When the student has made a correct guess, it’s their turn to explain something.

What does it mean: Students’ active fascination with and enjoyment of reading and being read to?

What it does to support Reading: Students with high motivation to print read independently and might even recite books they’ve memorized by looking at the words to match them to their language. They’re more likely not to quit trying to read even though it’s difficult for them.

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Retell an Activity or Your favorite book:

Pick five to 10 books you’ve read in a group and then display them. Invite a person to retell one of these stories. They should not mention out loud the book they’ve picked. Encourage the participant to use specifics and add the start, middle, and end of the story. Finally, set a timer to run for five minutes. During the retelling session, other students can ask questions regarding the characters, plot, and setting to gain more details. If the timer is set and the student who can identify the book correctly takes his turn next.

What is it: The understanding that print is a thing that is meaningful and structured in a specific manner; for example, letters make words, words form sentences, and the spaces between them are important?

What it does to support reading: Students learn that books begin at the front of the book and that English printing is done from right to left and top to bottom. They also learn it is important that the words you use correspond with the words spoken. Students who have strong printing skills are more likely to read books before they can read.

Activity: My “I Can Read” …” Environmental Print” Book:

Students recognize the words of environmental print — which are all around them, including the logos of a popular cereal restaurant, toy, or brand, or even the exit sign of the classroom before they’re able to read words. The books that print on the environment create an artifact from all the words they have come across daily.

Each student should be provided with an assignment notebook. Make an alphabet on page one, and keep writing the rest of the alphabet onto further pages. All through the year, offer the students labels for food, posters, and other print-related items. The words they can identify and “read” for each letter can be stuck to the appropriate page throughout the year.

To make a digital version of the slide, make the Google Slide deck for each pupil, with a slide per letter. With your assistance or the help of a family caregiver, you can include photos and digital icons on the slides.


What are they? Understanding and communicating stories in a sequenced way.

What they do to support the reading process: Narrative skills help students understand the meaning and order in their stories. They also help them build into reading comprehension before they can begin reading.

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Activity: What’s My Story?

You might already have sequencing cards inside your school. If not, print some to keep on hand. Place a collection of the cards inside an envelope, offer one to each child, and request them to place the cards in a row and then share what they learned in their language. Students might not arrange the pictures in the expected order, but if they can provide you with an encapsulated story using the sequenced images, then there’s no need for you to change the sequence.

  1. Let’s Get It Right!

What is it? Understanding and acknowledging that letters differ from one another and have names and that specific sounds are associated with each letter.

What it does to support the reading process: Letter knowledge provides students with a symbol image schema that allows them to decode words with greater ease when combined with phonological understanding abilities.

Activity–Hanging up the Letter Laundry:

This game requires a minimal setup, but it is playable in groups. Use a permanent marker to apply one letter from the alphabet onto each of the 26 clothespins. Find magazine images or photos commonly used, well-known objects for gluing to index cards. You should find at least one per letter. Flip each index card over and note its name on the back. The object is on its reverse.

Place the cloth pins and the index card into bags or bins. Students then “hang up the laundry” by taking a paper by naming the image and clipping it to the clothespin that has a letter that matches the sound that their word starts with. After the laundry has finished “drying,” students can verify their work by turning over the cards to see whether the first letter of the object’s title corresponds to the letters on their clothespins.


It means the ability to listen and manipulate the spoken word sounds.

What it does to support literacy: The ability to listen to rhymes, alliteration, and word-family chunks (such as the letters -at-it, and up) aids students in transitioning from being aware to performing. Once they can play with their oral language, they can combine this with their knowledge of letters to develop an equivalent skill in reading phonemic awareness.

Activities–You can hear beats:

This is a song-clap-knee-tap game in which your students must sit in a circle in chairs or on the floor in a crisscross applesauce-like position. Create a rhythm that your students will be able to follow. It is best to begin by using something slow like the clap tap, claptrap, and clap-tap.

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