Literacy Activities for Toddlers in Spring


I have created a list of literacy activities for toddlers in spring. Two things have arrived at my house; spring and the terrible twos. While the warmer weather has been a pleasant switch, my youngest son changing from a lighthearted little guy into a demanding, opinionated toddler has been exhausting. 

I think I blocked this stage from my mind the first time it happened with my oldest son, but it’s all coming back to me now! This time I’m going to face the situation head on with some new activities to keep my toddler so busy he won’t have time to be challenging (at least I hope). 

As a former classroom teacher, I always try to sprinkle literacy into activities whenever I can. It’s so important to reinforce essential skills like listening, speaking, vocabulary building, sounds of language, and awareness of print and letters with our littles at home. Laying the foundation for future reading and writing is important work that parents can do with their kids. 

Five Spring Literacy Activities for Toddlers 

Some of the spring themed literacy activities that I tried with my toddler worked and some definitely did not. Here are the activities that were successful with my son and how you can implement them at home with your little ones. 

Sensory Bin for Vocabulary 

Sensory bins are pretty easy to make and usually a big hit with toddlers. They’re designed to let children play and explore with at least one of their five senses. You can use anything you have to fill the bin’s base; water, sand, beans, pasta, rice. Toss in items that your child will enjoy and then let the fun begin. 

For a spring sensory bin use objects like plastic ducks, fake flowers, toy eggs, bunnies, safe gardening tools, bird seed and more. A trip to the dollar store is an inexpensive way to find items that you don’t already have at home. For my bins I chose a bug theme. I used water beads and plastic insects with different sized cups and scoopers. 

literacy activities for toddlers in spring of 2022
Spring themed sensory bin.

The vocabulary building part of this activity can come naturally. As my toddler was exploring his bin, I made sure to talk about each item, using different adjectives to explain the bin’s contents. I used words and phrases like “smooth beads”, “green bug”, “squishy bee”, and “empty cup”. My toddler happily repeated the words, unaware that his fun was full of literacy learning. 


My toddler is majorly on the move and it can be hard to hold his attention for long! I’ve found that using a puppet – or a stuffed animal – to tell stories and sing songs is a great way to get him to stop long enough for a sneaky literacy lesson. 

It’s a win win. While your toddler is busy being entertained by a cute puppet, they will also be working on oral language and listening skills. Using spring books and songs is a perfect way to celebrate the season. A few of our favorites spring stories and tunes include A Very Hungry Caterpillar, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Five Speckled Frogs”, “Five Little Ducks”, and “Old Macdonald Had a Farm”. 

Word Games

Playing word games with your toddler is a great way to fit in literacy at home. Try a spring version of I spy or a spring scavenger hunt, both great for language development. 

Play the games outside and encourage your little one to find things related to spring. Use a mix of old and new vocabulary words and make sure you explain anything that is not familiar. Add new adjectives to the games to take it a step further. 

Spring Sticker Letter Decorating 

This literacy activity was super simple to make and also (bonus!) able to hold my son’s attention for more than a few minutes.  All you need is some paper, a crayon or marker, and spring themed stickers. Write a large letter and then show your little one how to decorate the lines and paper with stickers shaped like flowers, baby animals, bugs, rainbows – anything that looks like spring. Not only is this activity an easy way to start early letter identification, it’s also great fine motor practice. 

literacy activities for toddlers in spring of 2022
Decorating a letter with spring stickers.


When in doubt I always say – read, read, and then read some more with your kids! I’ve found the trick to reading with my toddler is to make sure the book has some level of interaction included. My little one loves touch-and-feel books, lift-the-flap stories, books with sounds, words that rhyme, and look-and-finds. 

Luckily, there’s no shortage of spring themed books that fall into those categories! Some of the spring books we’ve been loving at my house include Who’s in the Garden?, That’s Not My Duck…, and Five Little Ducks.    

literacy activities for toddlers in spring if 2022
Spring themed books that my toddler loves to read.

Don’t forget to visit your Seacoast library! Your local librarian will have tons of wonderful recommendations and it will be easy to locate spring books that your toddler will enjoy. 

What are you doing with your toddler to promote literacy at home? 

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I’m a Maine native and after a long stretch of time living in Chicago, I feel lucky to again call the Seacoast my home. I currently live in Kennebunk with my husband, two sons, and a spaniel mix who truly believes he is a furry big brother to our boys. I hold a Master of Education degree from the University of Maine and as a certified English and Special Education teacher, a passion of mine has always been helping students and connecting them to reading and writing. Free time is best spent in the sunshine with family and friends, curled up with a good book, eating my husband’s incredible cooking, or creatively writing for the kids in my life. Being a mom is the most challenging and amazing job I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.


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