Yesterday I visited the dollar store. It was very evident by the colorful Easter eggs, bright-colored grasses, bunnies, baskets and candy that spring is very near. All those bright spring colors flooded my mind with ideas for some fun learning stations.
While still in the store, I began to brainstorm ideas for using these inexpensive and engaging materials in new creative ways.
Here are 10 early literacy ideas I came up with.
1. Number and Letter Sorting
For this activity I used extra small eggs. They were so cute, I could not resist buying them!
2. Syllable Count and Sort
In this activity I used regular sized Easter eggs and wrote words on them with a Sharpie. I used three cute bunny baskets I bought at the dollar store, added some grass and printed out some numbers. This is a good activity for students that are beginning to read. They are supposed to read the word, count the syllables in that word and place it the basket that has the number equal to the number of syllables in the word.
3. Beginning Sounds
This is an early phonics activity. To complete this activity students must match pictures to the letters they begin with. When they find a match, they place the picture inside the egg that has that letter written on it. Click on the image below if you would like to use the pictures I put together for this activity.
4. Compound Words
For this activity all you do is write the first word in a compound word on the top part of the egg and the second word on the bottom half. To make it easier for younger students write the two words on the same colored egg. To make it more challenging, write the first word on one color egg and the second word on a different color egg. To play this game, students choose a picture of a compound word then look for the two egg pieces that have the words that make up that compound word. Once students find the two words, they place the picture inside the egg, and snap the egg together. If you would like to utilize the pictures I used in this activity, clip on the image below.
5. Rhyming Words
Students never get enough rhyming practice. This is such a quick and easy idea for a rhyming center. Write a couple rhyming words on each egg, add a cute basket and you’ve got yourself a basket of rhymes.
Are your students learning about antonyms? This is a fun way to practice. How long will it take you to write antonyms on a dozen plastic eggs with a Sharpie? That is how quickly you can put this station together! Want to add an extra challenge? Write some synonyms too.
7. Short and Long Vowel Sort
Place the little chicks inside the eggs. Students open up the egg, read the word and sort it by short or long vowel. If you’d like to use the words I used, click on the image below to download them.
8. Picture and Word Matching
For this activity, students choose a picture then they must find the egg that has the name of that picture written on it. Once they find the picture and the egg with the matching word, have them place the picture inside the egg. For this activity, I used the same pictures from the “Egg”citing Beginnings activity.
Again very easy to put this station together. Write the two words that make up a contraction on the top part of the egg and the contraction on the bottom half.
10. Sight Word Scramble
What is Easter without jellybeans? Place jellybeans with letters written on them inside an egg. Students unscramble the jellybeans to reveal a sight word. If you’d like to use this station in your classroom, I have included the jellybeans and answer recording sheet for you . Click on the image below to download your copy.
For more ideas for using plastic Easter eggs in your stations, check out my “Egg”cellent Teaching Ideas Pinterest board.
I hope you have found some fun and inexpensive early literacy ideas to use in your classroom this spring. Now hurry to the dollar store!
Brenda EdmistenMarch 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm
Nancy, I just discovered your website and am so interested in the free downloads for the Easter egg stations, particularly the Spill the Jelly Beans but I cannot seem to find it on your website to download. Every time I click on a picture which it tells me to do in the blog post it takes me to something else on your blog. Could you please tell me what I need to do to download these? Thanks so much and these are awesome centers and wonderful, creative ideas.
Nancy AlvarezMarch 24, 2015 at 10:57 pm
Brenda, I just uploaded it. I hope it is not to late for you to use with your class.
Brenda EdmistenMarch 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm
Nancy, thanks so much for reposting these! I love them!