I found bananagram letter tiles in our office and decided that would make a great (and free) early literacy tabletop activity. When I used to tutor young children in reading, we used those tiles to practice making words and I wanted to do something similar.
I typed out some sight words in a Microsoft Word table and also some Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) words in a separate table. I printed them, cut them out, and laminated them. I learned with my color sorting activity that laminating is a must if I want to get more than one use out of paper activities.
I put all of the words on the table next to the bananagram letters and left them there for a couple of weeks. This activity wasn’t as popular as the color sorting one, but I could still hear kids playing with them and even spelling their own names with their parents’ help. My favorite thing I overheard was a kid not wanting to leave before the library was closing because he was busy making words. His mom told him that they have the bananagrams game at home and she can make words for him to practice spelling. That made the whole thing worth it.
Even though it wasn’t quite as exciting as the color sorting, I will still be putting this activity out in the future because it is so simple, is great for letter recognition, and is such good practice for them to practice spelling and reading words.