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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Making Literacy FUN for Preschoolers

Here are some simple ways that are fun for your kids and at the same time help them to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Introducing / Recognising Alphabet Letters for READING

*Magic / Feel Bag:
What you need - A bag full of Alphabet cut outs
Get your child to take out one cut out letter at a time with her eyes closed and then try to recognise it. Or she can put a hand in the bag and feel a cut - out letter to guess what it is.

*Guess The Letter:
Using a board, hide one large letter at a time behind the board. Slowly reveal the letter a bit at a time, so that your child can only see part of it and have to guess which one it is.

*Bingo Game (Best played in a group of 3 or more children)
Each child has a card with numerous alphabet letters on it. Call out a letter and the children will have to see if they can find and identify the letter on their cards.

*Matching cards:
Play the "Snap" card game or other memory games likes "Pairs" etc.
You could also get your child to match pictures with similar beginning letters, later advancing to match pictures with correct ending-letters or even medial sounds.

*Word Wheels:
Prepare simple blends such as /it/at/ip, on the outer wheel, and letters on the inner wheel that will make simple three-letter words. To make a complete word, let your child spin the inner wheel to match up the letter sound with the outer wheel sound.

*Letter Fans
Let your child hold small cards with letters or sound blends on them. Call out an object or a letter, and prompt your child to hold up the correct letter or blend.

Introducing Simple Writing Techniques

*Sand / Sealed Bags of Paint:
Allow your child to trace letter shapes in the sand, or watch paint smudge around the inside of a large plastic bags as she make letter shapes - please make sure that the paint bags are sealed tightly...

*Guess The Letter

This game is easy and fun and needs NO equipment except for your fingers and the palm of your child.
Trace a letter on your child's palm of her hand with her eyes closed or you could choose to trace it on her back. Then ask her to guess the letter.

*Describe The Letter
Describe how a letter is written, and then have your child follow your verbal instruction to write that letter correctly. For e.g. for the letter /n/, say : "Start at the top and go down, back up to the top and around and back down again.

Encourage more Speaking and Listening

*Sing / Say:
Sing along with your child nursery rhymes, recite poems and read stories.

*Silly Rhymes
Encourage your child to create her own rhymes or silly sentences. There is sure to be lots of laughter and fun while your child learns to associates like sounding words.

*Story Time

Once you have read a story to your child or read the story together with her. Ask her questions about the story. This will encourage her to listen and pay more attention whenever a story is read. Encourage her to retell the story. Change the start of the story and ask her to come up with her own ending etc. - This encourages her to use her imagination and creativity.

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