Literacy on the go
Tips, ideas, activities for families
Libraries and schools aren't the only places your child can “brush up” on their brain-building skills. There are plenty of activities that you can engage in with children at home, in the car, or yes (!) even on vacation.
The National Research Council recommends that children enter school with these six early literacy skills that serve as a foundation for learning to read and write. Children who enter school with more of these skills are better able to benefit from the reading instruction they receive when they arrive at school. The six early literacy skills are:
• Narrative Skills: telling stories together, pretend play, asking your child to be a storyteller.
• Letter Knowledge: identify the letters in your child's name; find letters from their name in other places, such as parks or street signs.
• Print Awareness: show your child how to hold a book and turn the pages.
• Vocabulary: choose books with new and exciting words and learn the names of different vegetables when going to the grocery store, for example.
• Print Motivation: find books that match your child's interests and share them often.
• Phonological Awareness: sing songs, play games and share rhymes to help your child play with the smaller sounds in words. Music is great for this!
Some of my favorite ideas that parents can do at home or on the go include:
• Baking cookies in shapes of the alphabet
• Using a cookie sheet and magnetic letters to create your own magnet board
• Identify letters using different license plates from around the country (easy to do here in Yuma)!
• Go on a rhyming hunt! “Let's find words that rhyme with clock…” search for items in the home that fit that rhyme. For instance, a sock! Try with different words: shoe, floor, coat, wall, and door
• Story Bags! Put several items in a bag. Each person must pull one item out of the bag and create a story using the “prop.” Begin with “Once Upon a Time…..”
• Grocery list fun! Before you leave for home, help your child make a list of things you need to get at the grocery. As you get them, have your child mark them off the list you've made.
As you can see, planting the seed early doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive. Incorporating some of these tools into your daily routine will help your children become a better learner and reader as they grow older and begin school. It's never the wrong time to engage in educational play – try one of these ideas and watch the brain build!
Literacy on the Go