preschool literacy activities

Kindergarten Readiness – 1 Leaf Say To The Other?

What did one autumn leaf say to the other leaf? I’m falling for you!

As a change and extension from reading books, it’s important to also tell stories.  Ask your child to choose a fall leaf. Either you or your child can be the voice of the leaf and tell about being on a tree and all the things it saw. For example: “I am a leaf. My name is Lucy. I lived at the top of a very big tree and I saw all around. One day a little boy left a bicycle by my tree. He ran off to play with a ball and the bicycle got up and started to chase the ball, too.” Or, choose 2 leaves and let the leaves have a conversation.

Telling stories instead of reading them gives kids a chance to make the pictures in their own heads first and then add the story. They practice both creating a context and the language that’s needed. Plus, they exercise their imaginations. As 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. They are usually built around one event or idea. It takes lots of experiences with stories and books for kids to figure all this out.
We can’t just leaf it to chance! Fall for some story time. What does your leaf say?

Kindergarten Readiness – Early Writing

With the family coming home for Easter, I dug out some of the decorations that the kids, almost in theirthirties, expect to see. I remembered some of the things that I used to do, too. Growing up on a farm, there was lots of family members that gathered and where to sit everybody was a puzzle. We’d solve the problem with place cards. Writing names is one of the first real writing activities of children. Kids’ early attempts at writing are often just lists of names. Place cards is a tremendous way for children to participate in such a grownup activity. If kidlets are too young for printing on their own, they can trace the letters with crayons for color or add pictures to the place cards. What a boost to their self-esteem to see their work in such an important place on the table for everyone. What’s in a name? Early writing, validation, contribution, importance and, years later, family memories, too. Happy Easter!