There are a few simple ways to promote the development of literacy skills during play.
All you need to do is simply add a few extra materials to your child's play areas that you probably have laying around your house.
Check out these suggestions:
|Add to a kitchen play area to promote literacy:|
flyers, cookbooks, menus, notebook and writing utensil
- recipe box and cards
- grocery flyers
- writing utensils
- empty food containers
- books on health and nutrition
- cash register for practice with reading numbers
- take out menus
For your dramatic play area or dress-up area try adding:
- fairy tale books or books that coincide with the dress up themes in your play area
- audio books that could be used to dress up and act out a "play"
- magazines to cut up
- books about colors and/or color mixing
- books about children doing art or crafts such as Think Big by Liz Garton Scanlon
- children's books for craft inspiration such as Create with Maisy: A Maisy First Arts-and-Crafts Book
- lined paper and pencils so your child can write about what he or she has created
- materials to create his or her own story or book
- road signs
- directions for children to pretend to read and then build something
- writing utensils and paper for children to draw an idea and then try to create it with the blocks
- books that feature puzzles such as Apple, Apple, Alligator by William Accorsi or Puzzlehead by James Yang
Of course, these ideas can be applied to any play space or game you can think up! Try see how many literacy components you can add while playing vet, doctor, restaurant, "house", or even library.
How can you tell if your child is gaining literacy skills through play?
Watch for behaviors such as "playing" with books, pretending to read, flipping through pictures of a book, reading aloud, drawing, scribbling, writing, or "playing" with writing utensils - behaviors which are all sure to put a smile on your face!