Once a year we hold an after hours event called the Early Literacy Fair , in which little ones ages 0-5 and their grown-ups can have fun with with games and activities that promote the pre-reading skills and practices of Every Child Ready to Read.
This year we also recreated this event in miniature at one of our outreach locations Severance Town Hall.
We drove cars down the letter roads. We built finger strength using Play-doh. We practiced writing with the magnetized alphabet board. Drawing is a way to practice pre-writing skills. Use sticks to draw in the sand, use crayons or marker, or finger paint! Say finger plays to develop the fine motor skills needed to write later.
We played with puppets. We used the mirrors and emotions cards to identify and recreate emotions. Talking to your kids builds their vocabularies. The more words they hear, the more they know. The more words they know, the easier it is for them to learn to read! Let them use their own words to respond to you. Understanding emotions in themselves and others develops healthy mental responses to situations and encourages empathy.
We drove cars around and “read” the street signs.
Playing allows kids to use vocabulary and tell their own stories, developing imagination. They can solve pretend problems, increasing social emotional development and critical thinking skills. “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from
serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Mr. Rogers
We danced with scarves, egg shakers, and other instruments. We made tambourines using bells, plates, ribbons, and twist ties. Singing breaks words into syllables, making the individual sounds easier to hear. Clap out syllables in words. Make up silly songs for any occasion. Dance to music to develop gross body movements and creativity. Make and play musical instruments.
We played in the sensory bin filled with rice, letters, and numbers. We usedclothespins to complete the words. For younger children, adults could tell them the correct letter so they could search for it. The more kids are read to, the better readers they will be! Read everywhere, and read anything: newspapers, books, menus, signs, cereal boxes, etc. Point out letters and numbers.
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