Reading and Writing

Reading, Writing, and Language Early Learning Activities

Fairy Writing Fun – Fairy and Elf Activities #17 for Boys and Girls

Not all kids are interested in pencil and paper activities, but it helps to turn them into play – like this fairy writing fun. Have you ever seen any? Who knows what fairy writing looks like? Since none of us have ever seen any, one idea is as good as another. We can ask kids the question and let them show us what they think.

fairy writing fun
photo courtesy of MFair

Kids can choose something they would like to write with. Paper and crayons are one possibility. Markers are nice and big and easy for little hands to use. Some kids will like to use only one color, while others will want to use them all.

fairy writing fun

Fairies and mythical beings are small, but their writing might not be. After all, they can use the whole sky. For bigger writing, kids can use chalk on a chalkboard or easel. A whole sidewalk is bigger still, but not as big as a whole driveway. Watch for cars to be safe when playing on driveways.

fairy writing fun

Kids can also try fairy writing with sticks in the dirt, or fingers in sand, or brushes and paint. play in sand and dirt

Children’s first early writing is scribbling. They will pass thru several stages as they develop writing skills. About the age of 2½ to 3½ years of age, we may notice lines and patterns in the scribbling. For children who have looked at lots of books as we read to them, they gradually use scribble shapes that resemble letters. All kids need lots of play experiences with tools and books so the brain can become familiar with how letters look. Fairy kids would need to look at fairy books. fairy writing funOne of the most important things for kids to understand is that writing tells us something. The squiggles and scribbles are ideas written down. When kids are creating their fairy writing, we can ask what the fairy –or elf, imp, sprite, leprechaun, gnome, or whatever creature most interests your child, is trying to say? Since we are not fairies, we can’t read it so we need kids to help. For a play-of the-day, might your child like to try fairy writing fun?

For more fairy fun, come and play on the 123kindergarten blog.


Telling Fairy Stories – Fairy and Elf Activities #11 for Boys and Girls

We’ve all heard of fairy tales, which are not always about fairies, but instead of reading about these adventures, how about telling fairy stories? This activity can be done inside, or outside, like we did on a forest and garden tour. Once upon a fairy…

Did you know that making up stories with your child is a super learning activity as well as lots of fun? Once upon a time there was a fairy who lived in a house in the forest…

fairy-houseAs adults, we take the basic structure of a story for granted but children are only beginning to understand that stories have a beginning, middle and end sequence. Some of them have dialogue. Stories are usually built around one event or idea. When you tell your child a story you will use this same structure even if you are not aware of doing so. As with so many things, kids need to experience this same pattern over and over before it gets recorded into their thinking strategies.

Telling stories instead of reading them gives kids a chance to make the pictures in their own heads instead of putting the book’s pictures in their minds. This is called visualizing. Creating pictures also exercises their imaginations, plus they link words and images using context and language. You model for your little one how to think on one’s feet and build on resources that are immediately available.

These are just a few of the ways that telling stories promotes development and early learning. As parent or caregiver you have extensive knowledge of what interests your child. You can start with a level and things that are familiar and expand them. 

telling fairy storiesYour stories can be about fairies,  faeries, trolls, elves, gnomes, sprites, imps, leprechauns, pixies, or other mythical creatures. Sometimes, kids will make up their own beings. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are over 200 years old. These stories come from ones told orally for hundreds of years before that. Stories and the story-telling tradition link us to the past and people all around the world. That’s  the magic and power of fairy dust. Could telling fairy stories be part of your child’s play today?

Fairy & Elf Activities #2 for Boys & Girls: Children’s Fairy Tales and Stories

Fairy tales are not politically correct and we may be concerned with the violence in them but children’s fairy tales and stories are still worth reading. They introduce kids to the magical world of dragons, castles, wishes, fairies, and animals that talk. Kings, queens, princesses and princes lead charmed lives and magic gives power. At the same time, the heroes are often the ordinary people who succeed with determination despite the odds. Often, the children save the adults.

fairy tales and stories

Even though the Disney versions are quite different from the Grimm’s and traditional fairy tales, at least, they have kept the stories from disappearing altogether. Knowing how the old stories go is part of enjoying ones with a new twist. Here are some wonderful stories based on the familiar ones to delight girls and boys, and the grownups reading them.

children's dragon books

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Tim Bowers, tells the coming of age of a young dragon who will now breathe fire. Except he doesn’t, despite the name of Crispin. Instead of lighting his birthday cake candles with a flame, Cripsin adds whipped cream. His misadventures continue, with bandaids for the doctor’s office, marshmallows on a field-trip, and more. His family and neighborhood finally come to terms with Crispin’s unusual and untypical power.dragon movement activities

Another dragon story is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. A prince is captured by a dragon and this time, it is the princess who saves him. Instead of fighting the dragon with bravery and a sword, she uses bravery and words. Unfortunately, the prince complains about her unusual appearance and the princess again has to use something sharp—her tongue, as she tells him her opinion of his behavior.valentine story books for kids

In The Princess and The Pony, written and illustrated by Kate Beaton, another warrior princess wants a big, strong, brave pony for her birthday. She ends up with a rolly-polly pony who farts. This story is hilarious and so fun.fairy tales and stories

Mo Willems, who writes of the two friends Elephant and Piggy, changes the three bears into three dinosaurs, in Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Jan Fearnley writes about a wolf who wants pancakes for breakfast in Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes, but has a terrible time. He can talk, but struggles to read, write, and count.fairy tales and stories

These and other books, are based on the world contained in children’s fairy tales and stories. Has your child visited this world?

Visit the world of play each day, on the 123kindergarten blog.


Magic Wishes for Early Learning #4: Access to Books for Kids

When parents were asked to share one magic wish for early learning, parent Catherine, hoped for more access to books for kids. Here’s an article for why this is so critical for early learning and development. Journalist and parent, Amy K. Williams explores some of the reasons in this guest post.   The Importance of … Continue reading Magic Wishes for Early Learning #4: Access to Books for Kids

How to Steal a March 8: Play Turns Letters into Familiar Friends

Like numbers, letters can be challenging unknowns for kids when they arrive at school but early play turns letters into familiar friends. When young children arrive at school, their biggest challenge will be learning to read, this is figure out what the lines and squiggles on a page mean. It’s a huge task and it … Continue reading How to Steal a March 8: Play Turns Letters into Familiar Friends

How to Steal a March #2: Reading Books to Kids Builds Brain Power

One of the most important activities you can do at home before children go to school is to read books because reading books to kids builds brain power. Books are superfood for brains. How much reading do you have to do in a day? While some jobs are mostly hands-on, many ordinary tasks involve reading. … Continue reading How to Steal a March #2: Reading Books to Kids Builds Brain Power

Lion and Lamb: March Opposite Fun Play-of-the-Day

Today’s play-of-the-day is March opposite fun. Learning opposites isn’t a black and white challenge, it’s really quite complicated. Opposites aren’t only one thing or the other, like on-off or black-white. They often depend on the context. For instance, the temperature outside can feel too warm if you are wearing a parka, hat, snow pants, and … Continue reading Lion and Lamb: March Opposite Fun Play-of-the-Day

February Friendship #4: Kids Can Be Friends with Books

Kids can be friends with books, and that’s another very important one to have. This is friendship month and we can share some great books with kids. Eric Carle is one of my favorite children’s authors. A fairly recent one is Friends. This is the story of a two friends. To get together one of … Continue reading February Friendship #4: Kids Can Be Friends with Books

Kids Imaginary Journeys – New Year’s Word #9: J for Journey

What fun with kids imaginary journeys! Today’s new year’s resolution word goes on a journey with children’s author and Storytime Pup creator, Bill McManus. This is an on-line interview with Bill about both real and imaginative journeys. No need to pack, come enjoy the trip. To start, I’d like to ask: What journeys did you … Continue reading Kids Imaginary Journeys – New Year’s Word #9: J for Journey