Preliteracy skills lay the foundation for your child’s reading and writing development. Think back to your own childhood: do you recall seeing your caregivers read books? The newspaper? Make lists? Write notes or even letters (and then send them in the mail)? In today’s increasingly digital world, it is becoming less common to see these materials and behaviours in our homes and schools. Computer word processing programs have taken the place of handwriting, and our electronic gadgets can now read our emails or grocery lists to us.
Children who live in print-rich environments begin to see and understand the printed words they see and the words they speak and hear are connected. They will begin to learn print can carry a meaning, and there are many different ways to communicate. When kids see you modeling reading and writing during your daily activities it motivates them to try to communicate this way, too.
So this holiday season hold your family and friends close, cherish the spirit that abounds, and model lots of positive literacy behaviours! Have your child help with these festive ideas:
• Write a list of supplies to shop for (food, decorations, anything!) – and cross items off as you get them
• Brainstorm and write down possible reindeer treats to leave out on Christmas Eve – carrots or goldfish crackers? Gummy bears or apple slices?
• Make Christmas cards for members of your extended family – write the name of the person it’s for, decorate it, and sign it with personal flair
• Address an envelope for each card (and even stamp and mail it, if you can!)
• Make homemade gift tags, and then write the recipient’s name on each
• Of course, write a letter to Santa (we can’t forget that)!