Literacy center set-up and organization ideas with pictures for your Preschool, Pre-K, or Kindergarten classroom.
Literacy Center Set Up
How to set up a literacy or ABC center in your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom. Literacy center ideas and activities for teaching letter recognition and the alphabet.
What do you put in your literacy center?
The tools and toys in your literacy center should be those that the children are familiar with and which you have introduced during small group activities. This will ensure that your students know how to use the materials in your literacy center properly.
Literacy Center Learning Materials
The materials you select to include in your literacy center should be 3 dimensional. Young children learn best through hands-on experiences, 3-D objects will be more engaging and fun for your young learners.
Pictured above you can see two of the most popular alphabet toys in our literacy center, the alphabet cars and roads and the Alphabots. The kids are learning their ABCs while they’re playing and having fun – yes!
The two toys pictured above are also super popular in every preschool classroom; the Alphabet Puppy Chow activity and the alphabet fishing game.
Pro tip: Use pipe cleaners to string beads so they don’t fall over the floor!
Books in the Literacy Center
Of course, books are an important part of every center in your preschool classroom. Here I have some of the alphabet books the children are familiar with available for reading or reference when they are in the ABC center and interacting with the materials. You can find a list of my favorite alphabet books here.
Do you change out the items in your literacy center?
Yes, I do change out some of the items according to the students interests and ability levels. As the children mature during the school year you can add new materials to challenge your little learners, and remove those things that they have outgrown.
The magnetic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree pictured above is one of the items that holds the children’s interest all year long. In the beginning of the year they enjoy retelling the story and putting up the first letters in their names. As the year goes on, they begin to spell their entire names, names of their friends, and sometimes even simple words on the tree.
Click HERE to find the full instructions for making your own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree, plus download a free printable recording sheet.
Alphabet Puppy Chow Game
Another super popular alphabet activity is this “Feed the Dog” game.
Click HERE to find the full instructions for making your own feed the dog activity, plus download a free printable recording sheet.
Best Tools for Learning the Alphabet
Here are some of the most popular materials and those that children enjoy using in the literacy center over and over again. These items are also sturdy enough to hold up to daily use by large numbers of small children.
- Lowercase Lacing Letters
- Uppercase Lacing Letters
- Catch a Letter Magnetic Fishing Game
- Magnetic Letter Construction Set
- Magnetic Letters Set
- Letter Learning Locks
- Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs
The Teaching Tribe
Having an organized and well stocked ABC Center is awesome! But let’s face it, an alphabet center can’t make you a better teacher. The best place to discuss teaching best practices and get the support you need is in the Teaching Tribe. We have many printable lessons and on-demand video trainings to help you become the best teacher you can be! If you want to get on the waiting list for the Teaching Tribe, do it soon so you don’t miss the next open enrollment period!
- Alphabet I-Spy Bottles: Read the tutorial for creating your own I-spy bottles HERE.
- ABC Center Sign: Learn about the benefits of using center signs HERE.