Literacy is a part of everyday life. We are surrounded by written words when we drive, cook, eat and shop. Point out the print you see in your everyday experiences to your child. This interaction is the foundation of literacy. Here are a few ideas to build your child’s literacy in playful and easy ways:
- Point out examples of print in and out of the home. Some examples are street signs, the calendar, food packages, mail, recipes or directions.
- Play the “I Spy” game with letters or sight words. Encourage your child to find a specific letter or word in the environment.
- Give your child a choice while pointing to words. For example, ask your child which cereal he wants to eat as you point to the printed name on each cereal box.
- Encourage your child to retell his favorite stories.
- When your child “writes,” ask him to “read” what the writing says. There is no wrong way to write.
- Involve your child in making grocery lists, following a recipe or looking up a phone number.
- Mimic life skills with your child. Set up a pretend play area that follows the interests of your child (e.g. dentist, doctor, car repair, office) and think about the books, reading, writing and tools involved in this job.
- Create a language-rich world for your child. Talk all day long, read books, scribble and draw or write in the dirt, on paper or even in the air with your finger.
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