Set up a new literacy centre for kindergarten every two weeks with our selection of alphabet learning activities and printables!
Whether you are teaching in a traditional kindergarten classroom or looking to organize a homeschool room, literacy centre stations make a great addition to either!
Below, we have collected over twenty literacy centre ideas, which means that even if you change them every couple of weeks, they will last you for a whole school year!
But first things first…
What Is a Literacy Centre for Kindergarten?
A literacy centre is an area in a classroom (or a homeschool room) that is set up with all the appropriate materials for students to come and work independently (or, in come cases, in small groups) without direct teacher’s supervision.
Literacy stations are popular in Montessori classrooms, where students have a choice of an activity to work on, but they’re also useful in traditional classrooms.
Successful literacy centres are organized so that students could engage in self-directed learning without supervision. Those literacy centres have a built-in system for students to check on their own progress. At the same time, the literacy centre activities are usually engaging and creative, allowing students of different levels to participate.
Learning the alphabet and letter formation is an important part of the literacy program in kindergarten, and so this collection of literacy centre ideas focuses on entertaining ways for children to practise their letters, while playing with their favourite toys – LEGO, Magna-Tiles, pattern blocks – and other readily available materials – popsicle sticks, buttons, and so on. It will give those old toys new life, while encouraging children to learn a new skill.
Popsicle sticks are one of the most common craft materials, but did you know that they could also be a powerful literacy tool? With the help of 52 printable cards, students can build the whole alphabet from popsicle sticks and progress onto names and words!
Challenge your students to build letters with pattern blocks! They are great for learning the alphabet, but also for developing the spatial and problem-solving skills that are so useful in math and engineering, so it is literacy and math combined. The printable pattern block cards come with a variety of scales and design difficulty.
If you have animal lovers around, this DUPLO alphabet features letter designs coupled with designs of DUPLO animals that start with that letter. As a bonus, children will also find a fun animal fact, regarding such matters as sleeping habits of whales or whether one can win a staring contest against a snake.
Form letters from play-dough with these printable play-dough alphabet mats. Each mat features a letter with basic instructions for forming it, a selection of images depicting words that start with this letter, and a line for tracing the letter. If you laminate the mats, they can last for a very long time!
A more imaginative uptake on making letters out of play-dough, this pack is centred on a playful activity around a word that starts with a certain letter. For instance, here we see that pizza is for p, and the students are encouraged to finish the pizza with play-dough. What would you put on your pizza - pepperoni or peppers?
While snap cubes are famous for hands-on math learning, they can also be used as a literacy tool. Set up a snap cube literacy centre with printable cards that feature a snap cube letter design together with a picture of a word that starts with that letter and a simple tracing activity.
Encourage children to spend time outdoors collecting twigs, then use them for making the twig alphabet. Notice how some twigs are naturally curly, and some are straight? Works great for building letters!
Letter case: No printable. The photo you can print for inspiration features uppercase letters.
Children enjoy using a salt tray to practice forming letters. It provides a pleasant sensory experience and gives them a low-stress opportunity to practice writing the letters. But what materials other than salt could you use in a writing tray? This post features a variety of creative ideas!
Letter case: No printable cards. Make whatever you choose.
Make letters from perler beads. If used with adults' supervision, children can melt their finished designs into letters. Even without the melting step though, the combination of perler beads and a tray can provide kindergarten students with an engaging alphabet learning activity that will also strengthen their fine motor skills.
Letter case: No printable cards. The inspiration photo features uppercase.
This peg board activity also heavily relies on fine motor skills as students build letters. The dice adds an entertaining component to the activity! In truth, all the literacy centres on the list could use a die like this for some extra fun.
Letter case: No printable cards. The die for prompts.
These free alphabet mats are great for all the activities on the list that don't have letter cards included. Additionally, you can try either of the creative manipulatives, suggested by the article - coins, mini erasers, bottle caps, or many others!