Early Literacy And Preschools: Take The Learning Home
Preschools provide young children with the first step towards early literacy development. Whether it's by reading books to the class, helping the kids to write their first letters or just through plenty of conversations, your child's pre-k program is building a foundation for later school success.
But the learning doesn't have to stop when your child walks out the school's door. You can continue your child's early literacy education at home, during the post-preschool hours. What can you do to extend the learning? Take a look at a few simple ways to help your child become a reader and a writer:
Act It Out
Choose a favorite storybook and act it out on a family play. Take what you're reading to your child a step farther and let the letters fly off the page. Create costumes (raid the dress-up bin to do this), assign characters, and paint backdrops onto unfolded cardboard boxes. Practice the play and then stage it for your entire family, or even your neighbors, to see.
Cozy up with your child in a cute little book nook. Designate the corner of their room, a playroom, or your living room as the "book nook." Make it welcoming, adding soft pillows or a blanket to relax in as your child reads.
Put a low bookshelf in the nook, stocking it with your child's favorites. The two of you can read together, or your child can snuggle up in their nook and read during at-home quiet time.
Help your child to learn new vocabulary words through everyday conversation. As you're cooking dinner, going grocery shopping, or walking from preschool, talk to your child. Point out different things in the area that your child may not know the word for.
Along with helping them to learn new words, you can also help your preschooler to get in a lesson on print awareness. There are letters everywhere. From the box of cereal on the breakfast table to the billboard across the street from their school, you have the chance to help your child build letter recognition skills as you go through your regular day. Simply point to the letters (or words) and ask your child to name them.
Writing Through Art
Even if your preschooler isn't writing their name, they can still practice letters. Set up an art area at home (you can use a child-sized table or even the kitchen table). Add paper, pencils, markers, and crayons to it. Let your child scribble away, building fine motor skills that they'll need to write letters and draw later on.
If your child isn't ready to write letters on their own, they can trace drawings that you have made or use stencils.
Take the preschool learning home with a few easy literacy-based activities. These will help your child to develop reading and writing skills while providing plenty of time for educational play.