What brings parents and children from all over the city to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. This month we're highlighting Writing.
Before children learn written letters they are aware of shapes. Before they have the coordination to hold a crayon and write, they can move their arms, legs and entire bodies.
Hand your toddler a scarf and ask her to make big circles in the air. Using her extended arm and a colorful scarf to draw a circle in front of her is the perfect precursor to the small motor skill of drawing an O with a crayon on a piece of paper. It’s a fun activity that is secretly preparing them for learning to write. Continue the pre-writing lesson by encouraging her to use the scarf to make up and down movements, as if she is making mountains in the air (Ms). Or down and up movements (Ws). Don’t rush her and keep it fun. Learning through meaningful play is always the goal.
Remember writing includes scribbling. When your child brings you a page of scribbles ask him to tell you what it says. Then take the time to write down what he told you. This helps him to understand that the written word represents the spoken word.
When your older child is ready to start replicating all those delightful words you’ve exposed him to through sharing books every day, let him write “in” a variety of mediums. Shaving cream smeared on a cookie sheet or directly on the counter top is a great way to combine learning to write with sensory play. For less mess, grab a freezer bag and squirt in some washable finger paint. Seal the bag and tape it down to the table with a piece of white paper under the bag. Your kiddo can now practice writing his letters over and over with his finger or a cotton swab. Remember - keep it fun!
For more great ideas check out our Literacy & Meaningful Play board on our Pinterest page.