Preschoolers are learning SO much during the school day. But, as parents, how do we extend concepts our children are learning into our homes? This may seem like a daunting question, but it shouldn’t be! Today, I want to focus on a few strategies and activities that can help extend your child’s LITERACY skills!
Letter Search: Either at home, driving in the car, or at the grocery store, you can play an “I Spy” game with your child. Ask your child to help find different letters with you!
Use Labels: Label items with pictures and words around your house. This will help your child associate items with words. You can also label items with your child’s name (like a cup, for example) and spell your child’s name together.
Make an ABC book: Encourage your child to help find or draw a picture(s) that begins with each letter of the alphabet.
Listening for Letters/Sounds:
Make words together: Use a dry erase board or magnetic letters to make words with your child. Start with simple, 3 letter words that you and your child can sound out together while building the word. This also helps your child listen for beginning, middle, and ending sounds.
Nursery Rhymes: Read, sing, or say nursery rhymes from your childhood. Help your child learn them. Point out the parts that rhyme or have worlds you like to say or hear.
Beginning Sounds:Point out ways words begin or end. Compare words that start with the same sound, for example, tomato and taco. Ask: “Tomatoes and tacos begin in the same way. Can you hear the t in tomatoes and tacos?”
Rhyming: Read books with rhyming words, such as those by Dr. Seuss. Let your child fill in the words as you read them again and again. Also, make up riddles and guessing games using words that rhyme or words that start with the same sounds. For example, “What kind of cake would a snake make? He might make a lake cake.” The rhymes can be silly and fun and will get your child thinking about words and listening for rhymes.
In the community…
Shopping Lists: Write a shopping list with your child. While you prepare a shopping list, give your child a paper and pencil and let them “write” items down as well. This shows the relationship between expressive and written language.
Environmental Print: Does your child recognize logos like Starbucks or Sam’s Club? Although children aren’t “reading” they are learning to recognize the relationship between words and visual representations. Encourage them to read environmental print at the store, during road trips, etc. Your child will be so proud s/he can read!