One skill that goes hand in hand with reading is writing. You can find many ways to incorporate writing into your daily routine with your child – whether you’re making a grocery list or writing a note, you can point out the uses of writing to children, which helps them understand that writing is meaningful, and they can write alongside you! Even if your child is not yet old enough to form letters or words, pretend writing (or “emergent writing”) in the form of scribbles helps them develop the hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills necessary for writing in the future and still reinforces that writing is important.
Here are some books that incorporate writing in the story or help develop writing as a skill:
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert – This book uses large print and labels all the objects, which helps kids learn new vocabulary words and make connections between the printed words and the pictures.
Baby’s Shapes by Karen Katz – For babies and toddlers, learning shapes is the first step to learning letters. Being able to recognize the differences in shapes is the same skill used to differentiate between letters when reading and writing.
Here are some fun ways to explore writing:
• Write letters in the steam that forms on kitchen windows when you’re cooking, the frost on windows, the dust on your car, or the sand at the park.
• Make letters out of cardboard and have your child put the letter under a piece of paper. Color over the letter with crayons and watch the letter underneath the paper magically appear.
• Make letter-shaped cookies or form letters with clay, pipe cleaners, or other craft materials.
• After your child draws pictures or a story, have them tell you what the pictures are about so that you can caption their drawing or help them write a caption.
(Ideas from Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library, 2011)
You can get more ideas about how to use all five of the early literacy practices (Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing and Playing) at StoryTime at any of our branches. Here at Amelia, our StoryTimes are starting back up during the first week of February: ToddlerTime with Miss Meghann is on Wednesdays at 10:30 and Preschool StoryTime with me, Miss Cara, is on Thursdays at 10:30. We hope to see you soon!