Sophie has a best friend in Bernice who just happens to be a butternut squash. They go everywhere together, even story time at the library! What happens when Bernice starts to get a little spotty and squishy?
Print awareness is noticing print everywhere! Print awareness is knowing that the squiggly lines on a page symbolize something meaningful. Print awareness is the knowledge that writing in English is read from left to right and that the text flows from the top of the page to the bottom. Another aspect of print awareness is being familiar with how a book works; that books have covers, and pages to be turned, left to right.
Helping your child develop this skill is easier than you think. Watch this video for some at-home tips:
Why not make your own book at home? You and your child can make up and write your own story, practice writing their name, or may be even paste photos of friends and family. Make a point to design the cover, come up with a title, and don't forget to add the author's name!!
Vocabulary is simply knowing the names of things. Words and their meanings are the building blocks of literacy development. The more words a child knows, the easier it will be for him or her to understand what they read. A parent can help their child build vocabulary by exploring different types of books, formats, and subjects in both fiction and non-fiction. As unfamiliar words are encountered, the parent and the child can sound them out together and talk about what each new word means. At home, parents can introduce new words into every day conversation. For example, instead of the usual, “Get in the car, we're going to the library!” you could say, “Let's get into our automobile (or vehicle)!”
Enjoy these books from our collection, chosen especially for their colorful vocabulary:
At some point in early childhood, children realize that letters are different from each other. They learn to recognize all letters, in both lower and upper cases. They learn the name of each letter and what sound accompanies each letter. This process is known as letter knowledge. This skill can be developed by every day reading and writing activities such as playing with alphabet letters on a refrigerator, reading and pointing out letters in alphabet books, naming letters on signs at the grocery store and even tracing letters on a dry erase board. This short video shows just how easy it is to fit this into any busy parent's schedule:
Try this fun idea! You can make your very own magnetic letter board. Just spray a cookie sheet a fun color and add magnetic letters!
The UAPL has a wonderful collection of alphabet books. Check these out:
One of the first early literacy skills to develop is print motivation. Print motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books. Parents can cultivate this skill early on by reading to their infants. Even though they aren't able to follow the story, they still very much enjoy hearing their parent's voice. If children witness their parents enjoying reading, they learn to view reading as a fun activity. Parents need to make books accessible, proudly display them on a shelf, as prized possessions and create a cozy spot dedicated to reading together. And let's not forget trips to the library!! The UAPL has amazing storytimes and other youth programs, and little ones can get their very own library card!!
Here are some books from our collection, chosen especially for their enjoyment potential:
Phonological awareness is a child’s awareness that sentences can be broken down into words, syllables and sounds. Music naturally encourages development of this pre-reading skill by allowing kids to play with language using rhythm, rhyming and repetition. Take a peek at this short video for more information:
Did you know that it is very easy to make your musical instruments at home? Check out some great ideas from Nancy Stewart!
At the UAPL youth department, we have an extensive collection of children’s music. Check out some CDs and have your very own sing-a-long at home.
Today’s children are expected to have strong pre-literacy skills before they enter kindergarten. How can parents ensure that they are providing the right experiences for their children to develop these skills? Many parents don’t realize that literacy education actually begins in infancy.
The good news is that helping your child attain such skills is much easier than you may think. Almost ANY activity that you do with your child is helping them develop literacy skills. It can be as simple as talking and singing to your child, reading to them, or even describing to them what they are feeling, hearing, tasting, touching, seeing and doing.
One simple activity to start with is looking at pictures. Look at family photos, or pictures from books and magazines and talk about what you see. Better yet, check out some of the UAPL’s wordless picture books. Snuggle up in your favorite comfy chair, look at the pictures and make up your own stories! This activity helps your child develop narrative skills. We have many wordless books, but some of our favorites are:
Create some fun, engaging sensory bottles for your baby or toddler. These are easy to make and let your child explore how different objects move and sound inside the bottles. Your baby or toddler can roll them, bang them, and watch the objects move around. Adding water or corn syrup to some of the bottles will create a different effect.
Below are pictures of the ones that I made. You can use a variety of different materials – just look around your home to see what you have! Just be sure to hot glue the caps on so the materials stay safely inside.
- Empty Water Bottles
- A variety of materials for the bottles: brightly colored puff balls, rice, beans, popcorn, glitter and water, aluminum foil pieces, buttons
- Hot Glue Gun
- Water or corn syrup
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
This week's storytime was a blast! We shared books, rhymes and songs about bugs. All of the material we use in our storytime can be found in the library–we shared:<!–break–>
- Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas (this is an interactive book that will get your little one laughing!)
- Sleepyhead Bear by Lisa Peters
- The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain
- Open Shut Them by Songs For Wiggleworms
- Jumping and Counting by Jim Gill (Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense)
- If You're Happy and you Know it! by Songs for Wiggleworms Wiggleworms
- Ups and Downs by Jim Gill (Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee)
- Skae Your Sillies Out by Raffi (More Singable Songs by Raffi)
The Lane Road Library recently held a Construction Party for preschoolers to celebrate the “Dig into Reading” Summer Reading theme. If you missed the party, below are some books and activities you might enjoy.
Hammering Activity: Not only is this fun, but it is great for hand-eye coordination.
- Blocks of styrofoam
- Golf tees
- Toy hammer
Just put the golf tees in the styrofoam and hammer away!
Also, what preschooler doesn't love digging with trucks? All you need is a plastic tub, rice, beans, or seeds, and shovels and construction vehicles. Instant fun!
Finally, check out the books below to share with your construction-loving preschooler. Happy Building!