I am all about using what you already have on hand at home to create a great learning environment for your little ones. Tupperware and rice sensory bins are a favorite! But there are some literacy tools that just can’t be created at home. These tools form a foundation for what you will need to be successful in your at-home literacy endeavors. I have found some of the best tools at the best prices that won’t leave you scrambling for an activity while you have dinner in the oven and laundry in the dryer. Come take a look at these essential literacy tools and some ideas for how you can use them at home.

Mother and son playing with magnetic letters on their fridge. A must-have literacy tool.

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Why You need a Literacy Tools Stash

There are so many items at home that you can use to create literacy resources for your little one. I love making cards with letters on them for different games or using shaving cream, sand, and even some craft supplies to make letters with.

However, writing a letter on a card cannot take the place of your child actually being able to manipulate a magnetic letter. When they actually get to hold a letter in its true form, they get to explore the differences in the shape and size of the letters, comparing and contrasting as they go. In some cases, they can compare the colors and textures of the letters you are using for an added sensory experience.

This manipulation helps them to begin to discriminate between the different letters. It also aids in their ability to learn and recall letters and their matching sounds. Other tools provide this same experience and exposure. The more to manipulate, the more engaging and enriching the learning experience.

Your Foolproof Foundation to Toddler Reading Success…Even When You Don’t Have Time!

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    Top Literacy Tools

    Magnetic Letters

    This literacy tool is the first one I am mentioning for good reason. There are so many different activities that can be done with one set of letters that your small investment will be well worth it. This set is a little more extensive, but it has everything you will ever need, including a white board for once your little one gets ready for Kindergarten. A grow with you set, the white boards and letters will provide so many literacy rich opportunities for you and your child.

    Whether your child is sorting letters by shape, matching letters, and spelling words, these magnetic letters will keep them playfully learning and setting a strong foundation for their early literacy skills.

    Photo Cards

    You can collect photos and pictures from magazines to serve this same purpose…but if you don’t have the time to spare to curate a collection of images, this set is for you.

    Photo cards are the perfect way to practice skills such as sorting, phonological awareness, and letter sounds. There are so many ways that you can have your child sort pictures, which is why I found this set of cards to be comprehensive enough to grow with your toddler. With 156 cards, this will simplify your approach to literacy activities at home.

    For the younger toddler set, I recommend getting these starter picture cards. They are touch and feel to provide a sensory experience and they also have language producing questions for parents to ask on the back. A great support that simplifies!

    Book Subscription Box

    My final must-have would be a book subscription box. There is something so fascinating to a little one when they receive something in the mail. So why not make it books? They will love receiving a package filled with books chosen just for them. Having a subscription box also means that their libraries will be filled with a variety of new books. They will always have something new and exciting to read with you.

    There are two boxes that I love. First is Amazon. Theirs is tailored to your child’s age and you can choose whether to have books delivered every 1, 2, or 3 months. Best part? Plans start at just 16.99.

    The second box I love is called LillyPost. Even more affordable than Amazon, LillyPost offers boxes starting at just 15.95 for either 4 board books or 3 picture books. They also have a wide age range that they serve. The best part? They donate a book to a family in need for every box purchased.

    Baby's hand reach for a magnetic letter on a refrigerator. Best literacy tools to have in your home.

    Subscription boxes make it so easy for you to provide engaging, appropriate, and rich literature to your child without the stress of driving to your nearest bookstore. While I love browsing for books in person occasionally, I do have to admit that not having to worry about refreshing my son’s library really simplifies my approach to books and reading.

    Ready to Read

    So there you have it! My top 3 literacy tools you need to have a simplified and successful at home literacy environment. All three of these “grow with you” literacy tools will support your little one in a variety of activities, making the small investment completely worth it.

    Keep on Reading on,

    PS–Don’t forget to share!