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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Early Literacy Activities

Here is a guest post by Lisa who gives some good tips to helping your little one become a readrer.

Early Literacy Activities You Can Do With Your Preschooler at Home

As a parent of a preschooler, you probably want to set your child up for academic success in the future. In kindergarten, your child will learn the basic building blocks of literacy. By the end of first grade, your child should have the fundamental building blocks of literacy down and be able to read a variety of age-appropriate books on her own. Reading isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to learn, though. Learning to read takes a lot of work on your part, your child’s part, and the part of her teachers. One of the best ways to give your child a head start when it comes to reading is to start exposing him to basic literacy concepts in preschool. Here are a few activities you can start engaging your child in now to help making learning to read in kindergarten and first grade easier:

1. Read simple, repetitive books together.

Pick out some books that feature the same, basic words on each page. These are the kind of books your child will read in kindergarten. They’re books that focus on words like “the,” “come,” “here,” “at,” “what,” “where,” etc. These basic, everyday words are called sight words, and your child will be expected to memorize them in kindergarten. Reading simple, repetitive books that feature these words with your child will expose your little one to words she’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future.

2. Create an alphabet book together using environmental print.

You can make an alphabet book out of construction paper together. Write each letter on each page, and they have your child practice writing each letter under your model letters. Don’t be surprised if your child has some difficultly writing all the letters. It’s completely normal for a preschooler to find writing challenging.

After your child is done writing all of the letters on all of the pages, go online and find some pictures of things that begin with each letter. Environmental print is basically pictures of things like cartoon characters, store logos, and even food and drink related images like Captain Crunch and Pizza Hut. Just pick out pictures you know your child is familiar with and print them out. Then you and your child can glue the pictures on the pages of your alphabet book, based on what letters those pictures start with. Children usually have more fun with environmental print than they do with pictures that are usually associated with the alphabet, like apples, bears, and caterpillars.

Once you’ve finished your alphabet book, you can punch some holes in the sides of it and bind it with string. After you’ve done this, you can flip through the book with your child and practice letters and sounds. Learning letters and sounds is essential to reading success in kindergarten. If your child learns letters and sounds in preschool, he’ll be ahead of the game.

3. Read fun, interesting books to your child.

Reading simple, repetitive books together will be useful, but your child won’t think it’s as fun as having longer, more interesting books read to him. So, be sure to read lots of fun books like those by Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, and Shel Silverstein. It may also be good to add some non-fiction books into the mix about dinosaurs and other science related topics, if your child is interested in those topics. The purpose of reading fun, interesting books to your child is to instill a lifelong love of reading in her, which is arguably the most important thing you can do to set your child up for academic success!

Author’s Bio: Lisa is a mother and guest post writer on the subjects of parenting, child development, and even things like throwing your child the perfect Mario birthday party.

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