Teaching and learning

10 EYFS literacy activities to try in your setting

Resources and activities to boost those early literacy skills
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July 26, 2017
Reading time:
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A cosy corner with books and pillows

1. Reading Nook

The Early Years literacy activity – Reading Nook by Teach Mama

Learning to read has never been cosier. Making up a comfortable spot just for book time is a great trick to create positive reading connections even for the most resistant little ones. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, just gather some fluffy pillows, pile up some books and separate your snuggly corner with a cardboard wall.

What you need –

PillowsBooksLightCosy Accessories

2. Song Sticks

The EYFS literacy activitySong Sticks by Pre-K Pages

Glue some simple symbols from your favourite nursery rhymes and songs to create the sticks. Then let kids choose one and guess what it stands for before they sing. Rhymes are not only a great way of developing listening and speaking skills but also work as a great social exercise. Perfect for quick interludes too!

What you need

  • Wide Craft Sticks (or just ice cream ones)
  • Labels (free printables available)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Small Cup

A kid tracing letter B with small stones.

3. Tracing Letters

The Early Years literacy activityAlphabet Learning with Chalk Rocks by And Next Comes L

Practice those fine motor skills as you take the learning outside. Draw letters with chalk on the pavement so that the children can fill the spaces with pebbles or erase them carefully with a fizzy mixture. It’s immersive and makes children focus on each letter for a longer time.

What you need

  • Chalk
  • Pebbles
  • Fizzy Mixture (check out the ingredients here)

A child colouring white piece of paper with paint.

4. Secret Letters

The EYFS literacy activitySecret Letters by Busy Toddler

Sprinkle a little bit of magic into your children’s day. Take a white crayon and write some letters or short words on a white piece of paper. Hand kids some watercolour paints and watch their amazement when they discover secret marks coming up out of nowhere…

What you need

  • White Crayons
  • Watercolour Paint
  • Paper
  • Paintbrush

A path of words on cards laying on the floor.

5. Follow the Word Path

The Early Years literacy activitySight Word Floor Game by Your Teacher’s Aide

Make a trail of cards with words that your kids have just learnt and turn them into a game. Let’s see who can get the furthest with spelling out all the words correctly!

To mix this activity up, you can use dice or get them to jump from one step to another on one leg to work on those gross motor skills.

What you need

  • Colourful Cards
  • Pens
  • Dice

Wooden train tracks on the floor.
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6. Train Track

The EYFS literacy activityTrain Track Word Building by Paper and Glue

A nifty way to sneak in some EYFS teaching to pure fun. Write letters on the toy train track parts and let kids’ imagination go wild with building the paths and connecting different letters to make up some familiar words. Later, encourage children to say the letters out loud when their vehicles drive over the writings.

What you need

  • Wooden Tracks
  • Pens
  • Glue
  • Paper

Kids playing Guess Who I Am.

7. Who Am I?

The Early Years literacy activityWho Am I? by Ice Breaker Ideas

It’s a classic, adjusted to our EYFS literacy needs. Tell each kid to first write down a word they have learnt recently and then stick it to their friend’s forehead so that they can guess what the word is without looking at it. Feel free to play around with the questioning rules to make sure that all the little participants can get involved!

What you need

  • Sticky Notes
  • Pens

Colourful shelves with letters and some items.

8. Alphabet Museum

The EYFS literacy activityAlphabet Museum by Parents.com

Create a DIY showcase with some cardboard boxes and write a big letter in the middle of each one of them. Have kids look for various, small items in the nursery and place them in a box corresponding to the letter they begin with. This activity can be a long lasting game if you change the ‘exhibition’ every now and then or move the boxes around.

What you need

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Colourful papers
  • Pens
  • Tape
  • Small items

A girl with a paper plate in her hands.

9. Letter Hunt

The Early Years literacy activityLearning Letters On The Go by No Time For Flash Cards

Write letters around the edge of a paper plate and cut in between each letter. Next time you are somewhere outdoors, give the kids the plates and have them fold down the letters as they spot them in their surroundings. You can create groups and turn this activity into a playful competition.

What you need

  • Paper Plates
  • Markers
  • Scissors

LEGO blocks with words written on them.

10. Spelling with LEGO

The EYFSs literacy activitySpelling With Lego by Twinkl

Good, old LEGO comes to the rescue yet again. Write two to four-letter words on the long blocks and see if the little ones can recognise the marks and find single, corresponding blocks to stick on top of them.

What you need

  • LEGO
  • A Marker

The big ideas

download pdf
graphical user interface, text, application
Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

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UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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