Literacy is one of the most important skills a child can develop. Providing activities for children to help develop this lifelong skill is an exciting responsibility when you have access to the resources you need.
Educators can definitely use help when it comes to fresh ideas and approaches to developing literacy skills. Effective resources may look different from age to age, family to family, teacher to teacher, and center to center. These resources may include a collection of online sources, a field trip or guest speaker, or a collaborative sharing space for colleagues.
There are many great online sources that can provide different ideas on integrating and encouraging literacy in young children. HiMama, for example, has compiled a list of various types of engaging activities!
Below is a list of specific activities offered online:
This activity involves writing the child’s names on doilies or snowflakes that the children have created. They can then search for each letter of their name and put them in order to spell out their name. Children will take responsibility for their own learning and feel like experts!
This fun activity helps peers and teachers get to know a child better while reinforcing literacy. A “concept cube” is rolled to encourage children to complete the sentence based on their preferences and mood. This enables children to practice literacy skills along with important social-emotional learning.
In this activity, children will learn about a specific color as they walk a letter trail to review the color. This literacy activity combines both physical movements with self-paced learning.
Vocabulary cards are a wonderful way to help a child develop self-awareness about their body. Pairing literacy with knowledge about self is a wonderful foundation at any age.
Literacy is more than reading. It is about building vocabulary and understanding communication. Learning to sign can help children with literacy as it allows them to recognize the effectiveness of language and communication. Signing will also foster social skills in children.
This activity introduces children to a new shape and challenges them to create the shape with their body. This activity combines literacy skills, mathematical skills, movement, and spatial recognition.
The local library
Don’t forget that your local library is more than willing to provide activities to promote literacy in young children. Libraries can arrange for a guest reader to visit a center to read a book or speak on the exciting adventures that literacy enables us to embark on. Zoom is also an option for authors to have a book reading with children. Children do not even have to watch a person read, simply listening to an exciting story will help foster their love for reading and language. Libraries have a large collection of audiobooks that can be used.
You can also partner up with a library to arrange a field trip so young children become comfortable with the library environment and all it has to offer. Local libraries will often have a designated community storytime for young children and these times are typically posted on their website. A trip to the library will also help young children develop necessary social skills. Most libraries will have a specific children’s corner with an inviting set-up (such as kid-friendly seating and bookshelves) to help families become more comfortable encouraging their children to read!
Collgeaues and teams
One great way to build a resource center for literacy activities is a shared space online for educators. This may look like an email thread or a shared folder or document. The idea is that as educators create and implement effective activities for developing literacy skills, they share for the benefit of the community. Each educator can bring something new to the table in terms of literacy skills, goals, or even topics. Everyone will be able to add to the shared resource space and also gather ideas to implement or personalize within their own classrooms.
Another great step would be to have a specific shared folder or an allotted section on the daily report that parents have access to. Children’s families will be able to try some activities at home or even extend activities that children have been engaging in at childcare. Educators can simply include links like the ones listed above or mention local events at the library that a family might be interested in. Continuing the development of literacy skills at home will lay a strong foundation for the children.
Developing literacy skills at a young age takes a collaborative effort and having access to varied resources will help. Be open to trying new activities and combining other skills to create a memorable and effective opportunity for children to learn!
Do you have a favorite activity for teaching literacy to children? Comment below!