An Easy Way to Help Kids Advance Key Early Learning Skills

Here’s how one mom helps her 5-year-old practice the skills that are so essential to school success — without it feeling like a chore or homework.
By Ashley Austrew
Jul 26, 2019

Ages

3-5

activity books for preschool and kindergarten

Jul 26, 2019

Getting young children ready for preschool, kindergarten, and beyond is no little task. There are so many basic skills that kids need to have in order to succeed, and as a parent, it’s not always clear how to best help those skills develop. As the mom of a 5-year-old boy who’s getting ready to start kindergarten, I’m always looking for ways to boost his learning and keep him engaged with educational activities, instead of him turning to yet another cartoon. 

So when I got the opportunity to check out Little Skill Seekers activity books, I was beyond game to use them with my son. This is a series of educational workbooks for kids ages 3 to 6 that focuses on the building blocks of early literacy and math skills. The books cover everything from counting and writing letters to matching, sorting, and letter sounds. Here’s what you can expect from some of the most popular workbooks, and how they helped my own kid prep for the school year ahead.

Master the Alphabet

The Little Skill Seekers: Alphabet book combines writing practice with fun matching and word games to help children develop important early literacy skills. I love that the book includes pages that focus on each individual letter of the alphabet, with sections for children to first trace the upper and lower case version of the letters, and then practice writing by themselves. There are also games in which kids pair lowercase letters with the uppercase equivalent. Sometimes I worry about whether or not my son can identify all of his lowercase letters, so these exercises were so helpful for us to do together.

As the book progresses, it asks kids to identify the first letter of simple words, like “panda” and “hippo.” The illustrations are colorful and engaging, and the games get kids thinking about what letters sound like and how words are formed. Little Skill Seekers: Alphabet really does provide the perfect mix of foundational skills and new challenges to get kids ready to succeed with early spelling, reading, and everything beyond.

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Nail Numbers & Counting

Math can be challenging for young kids (or anyone else), but Little Skill Seekers: Numbers & Counting breaks these difficult concepts down into engaging and easy-to-understand activities that will have kids counting like pros in no time. Each number from one to 10 gets its own page in the book, which helps kids write the digit, spell it out, and take on a quick counting activity using colorful illustrations of charming animal scenes.

In addition to the focus on individual numbers, kids also practice counting and grouping through matching activities, picture sets, and numbered mazes. The best part of the book is how it creates familiarity with each number, so children aren’t just memorizing how to count from one to 10, but they’re actually learning how to identify numbers and how they function. After completing the book with my 5-year-old, I already noticed an immediate uptick in his confidence with counting and writing numbers.

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Connect the Dots

Once kids have numbers and counting down pat, they can reinforce their new knowledge with Little Seekers: Connect the Dots. This book is part counting exercise and part coloring book: It begins with simple connect-the-dot exercises that feature fewer than 10 numbers, and once the pictures are completed, kids can go back and color them in and add their own details. 

As the book progresses, the exercises slowly get more complex, until your child is creating pictures with 12, 15, and even 20 dots. What makes it really endearing to kids, though, is that it doesn’t feel like homework. To them, it’s just a fun counting game mixed with an art project!

Practice Sorting & Matching

Sorting and matching may not seem like they correspond directly to numbers and counting, but these are actually important core skills that serve as the basis for more complicated math concepts. In Little Skill Seekers: Sorting & Matching, kids work their way through dozens of different picture exercises to build these skills, starting with simple tasks like circling which objects in a group of pictures might be used in the summertime, and then progressing to matching games, identifying shapes, and counting.

This workbook helps kids learn a lot all at once. In each activity, they identify objects and animals, think critically about differences and similarities, and learn the basics of grouping, matching, and organizing. The most exciting thing about this book is that you’ll be surprised by how much your child already knows and how quickly they catch on to new tasks! My son felt a huge sense of accomplishment every time he finished an exercise, and it was awesome to watch him eagerly flip the pages to tackle the next activity.

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Sound Out Letters

One of the first stops on the bridge to reading is learning letter sounds. The Little Skill Seekers: Beginning Sounds book offers a stellar introduction to these skills that helps kids practice through picture games and basic spelling exercises. Through completing them, kids increase their alphabet recognition and further develop their phonemic awareness, or the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. The pictures are bright and colorful, the directions are simple, and the book is designed to let kids work at their own pace while growing their skills.

Overall, the Little Skill Seekers books are an ideal way to brush up on fundamental skills your child needs to succeed in school. All of us parents want to give our little ones the best possible start to the school year, but none of us want them to feel like we're giving them grueling homework. That’s why workbooks like these that find unique ways to make learning fun are so essential — and so effective.

Other Popular Little Skill Seekers Workbooks

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