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Monday, September 19, 2011

Low Cost Literacy Tools

Bringing literacy to little ones is very important. It is also great to be able to have different ways to introduce them to litarcy. The following guest post is written by Shara Lawrence-Weiss from Shara gives parents and teachers some ways easy and low cost ways to bring litreacy to your little ones.

Low cost literacy tools: Make them at home!

Over the years I’ve taught various literacy workshops for parents, moms and children. Often times I find that people are not utilizing simple tools, at home, that are right within their reach! Here are a few ideas you may like to implement, for little or no money:

Photo albums

Do you have small photo albums or ‘brag books’ lying around? Can you buy one at your local Dollar Store, perhaps? Place a photo into each slot on the right. Write simple words on paper and slide those into the left pockets. We learn to read from left to right so this is one great way to teach pre-reading skills, using personalized photos – to draw your child to the words! Use “Mama” and “Daddy” or “Sister” or “Grandma.” Etc.

Label your toys

Write words on slips of paper and attach them to toys: Bike, Game, Marble Run, Legos, Ball, Truck, Cups, etc. Tape the words on and point them out to your child when the item is picked up. “Look! You have the blue ball!” or “I really like that red truck!” This simple game is highly effective for teaching word recognition – and it costs you nothing more than a little paper and your time!

Make a placemat

Print photos from your computer or use real photos. Attach them to paper and write words under each image like, “Love” and “Family” and “Kindness” and “Dinner.” Whatever you’d like. Cover the placemat in contact paper (can be purchased at Wal-mart for around $3) or lamination (some teacher stores will cover something for around $1). Use the placemat during meal time, in the car or anywhere else! Talk about feelings, family and unconditional love.

Index cards

Buy a cheap pack of index cards at the store, if your child enjoys flash cards (my eldest son was always asking me to drill him with flashcards – he actually thought it was fun!). Write words on one side and draw images on the other. Show your child the image side and ask, “What’s this?” Flip it around! Make this a game and see how quickly the words can be learned, based on the images you drew together.

Flip rings and cardstock

Get some cardstock from your paper drawer or from the store (around $4). Cut into equal sizes. Glue photos to one side and write words on the other: “Family” or “Hugging” or “Pets” etc. You can even write numbers or colors on the back, that correlate with the photos: “One” if the photo shows ONE family member or “Two” if the photo shows TWO family members, etc. Put the cards onto a flip ring (buy these from an office shop for around $2 per pack). Now you have a fun flip ring game to use at the store or during long drives! The photos will engage your child and he/she will learn the words without even realizing that reading is taking place.

Happy reading, learning and communicating!

Shara has offered the readers a free learning game (a $4.95 value) from with the coupon below. Thanks Shara!


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Denise said...

Excellent ideas!

Miss Lisa said...

awesome suggestions! now i want to go make them all! thanks for sharing :]

Lina said...

Absolutely awesome suggestions. Sitting your children on your lap as you read to them their favorite story also works wonders.