Inspiring Literacy Centre Ideas

Looking for more literacy station activities? Ideas for Daily 5 Word Work? Teaching inspiration for developing early literacy skills in our kids? Literacy centers or literacy centres (because I'm Australian) are a fun and engaging way to practice early literacy ideas intentionally taught during class but it can be a struggle to find new and inspiring ways to practice these concepts in purposeful, engaging small group activities. You can find our other literacy center posts herehere and here. Our literacy stations always incorporate some key focus areas - rhyme, beginning letter sounds, CVC words, letter recognition, handwriting, sight words and developing vocabulary making them ideal for Daily 5 stations too. As always, the activities often have other physical or social skills built in to them as well such as fine motor strengthening and learning to play cooperatively.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


Rhyme

After teaching rhyme, we used this Make the Rhyme printable as a literacy centre to help reinforce the concept of rhyme. You can download a free copy of it from our store.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey
For older children, these CVC Rhyming Word Mats from The Printable Princess have provided great practice at writing rhyming words as the visuals help support their early attempts at writing.


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


Beginning Sounds

I love these! Free to download, Playdough to Plato's beginning sounds free board games come with four different mats. Print, add a letter dice and counters = too easy! 


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I made these beginning sound matching cards early this year. You can grab your copy here.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

You might like our eBook



I love these I-Spy Cards from Twinkl and so do my class. There are several different ones so you can focus on beginning sounds or just build observation skills and vocabulary. Great as a literacy centre or 5-10 time filler as needed.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I bought this wooden box a few years ago from Discount School Supply in the US and it's perfect for a game of memory. Sometimes I'll use objects, sometimes objects and their initial letter, sometimes capitals and lower case letters. Today it's just matching letters.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

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Inspiring Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-8 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


CVC Words

I have some favourite TpT stores and From The Pond is one. We have used these CVC word family cards with whiteboard markers, magnetic letters, pegs and letter beads. 


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I started subscribing to Twinkl last year and I think their membership is great value. They also have some great freebies - these picture CVC cards are one of their free downloads.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

These printables are also from The Printable Princess and are a great introduction to word families.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Names

Use alphabet beads to make an I-Spy bottle and then have students search for the letters in their name or a list of sight words.


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

The past couple of years I've made each of my students a dotted name card. You can see one being used in our writing trays.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


This year I came across these Editable Name Folders (TpT file) that you can set up for each student.



Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


Handwriting

Our line rocks have survived three classes now and are such a useful resource (see how else we use them). I use them to introduce formal handwriting to my pre-writers. After teaching the whole class how to use a Venn diagram, the students can then sort the letters as a literacy centre to help reinforce the concepts.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I think this printable from This Reading Mama is genius and it's a great follow-on activity to our line rocks. I've made up separate laminated cards for children to practice on then they can use the full page to perfect their writing. You can find This Reading Mama Handwriting Help here.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

You can tell that correct letter formation has been a key focus area in our literacy centres so far this year. These mats are from another Australian educator, Learning 4 Kids.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Years ago I made these mini magnetic blocks (you can see how we made them here). They've been the perfect match for making letters on the large whiteboard in our classroom. Being small, they're excellent for encouraging young children to use their pincer grip.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


This Colourful Alphabet from No Time for Flashcards really makes children slow down as they have to match the capital letter to the coloured lower case letter.



Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Another activity that is easy to prep - draw letters on peg boards for children to pin. It's a great fine motor strengthening activity for developing hands.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Letter Recognition


This idea to use our alphabet cards to match letters to came from one of our readers, Trying 2 Montessori 2 via Instagram. It's so simple I don't know why I didn't think of it myself. 


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


I have a few car mad students in my class this year so these Alphabet Letter Tracing Roads for capital letter tracing from Playdough to Plato have proved very popular. 



Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I don't think I'll ever get rid of our old Duplo blocks. Here we used Duplo to match capital to lower case letter then sort them into order.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Our alphabet car park mats have been a hit in class. A fun hands on way to practice letter recognition. You can download our car park mats in upper and lower case here.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I'd pinned this Crocodile Snap game a few years ago from Growing Kinders. You can use the cards as a whole class game firstly then use it as a centre activity.


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


Sight Words


I've seen many variations of this mat over the years. With this version, the students select a word stick from the pile, say it then build it with some letters before writing the word. You can download our mats for free.


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Use Duplo in another literacy centre! We found five different ways to use ours to learn letters.
Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


A twist on an old favourite, these sight word pick up sticks are cheap and easy to make. Practice a word list or word family. A perfect activity to suggest for home as families can then play together. Only one rule - you have to be able to read the word to keep the stick.



Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


Cassie over at 3 Dinosaurs makes fantastic printables. I included her playdough sight word mats in our last literacy centre post. These Find a Sight Word mats just need to be printed and laminated for repeated use.



Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Vocabulary



Bingo was a favourite game with my class last year. These cards are from Early Learning HQ but you can easily make your own.



Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey


I'd made some charade cards when I first started teaching as a literacy centre but after using them a few time, I found they were too small so recently I made a new set and added more cards too. This is another fun time filler for the end of the day as well.


Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkeyLiteracy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

Our I-Spy sensory bin was a great way to build children's vocabularies both during play and as a literacy centre. You can print out our I-Spy cards here.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

I've used these simple sentences from The Moffatt Girls several times with beginning readers. I like how they combine read and writing with cutting and transformation.

Literacy Centre Ideas - activities and printables perfect for use with 5-7 year old children to help develop their early literacy skills | you clever monkey

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9 comments

  1. Hi, just wondering what the cvc word families activity from Printables Princess is called?

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    1. I've shared two of their printables. The first is called CVC Rhyming Word Mats and the second is called Beginning Sounds CVC Short Vowels. If you click through the link next to each photo that will take you to her TpT page for each file. I hope that helps :)

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  2. What an amazing list of ideas to use for literacy centres (off to pin these now)! Thank you so much for sharing my Alphabet Tracing Mats. It made me smile to see them pop up. xx

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    1. They're such a great resource Janice - thank you for making them available to other educators. My students love using them :)

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  3. What a fabulous collection of activities! Such inviting ones for the kiddos

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  4. I love those little transparent lower case letters (as well as so much else!). Where did you find those?

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    Replies
    1. Naamah I bought them a few years ago from the scrapbooking section in Kmart here in Australia from memory.

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