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Words everywhere!


Reading starts before children know the letters.Children learn to recognize signs, symbols and other written signs very early on. When the child learns to differentiate the designs on the bathrooms « men/women », in a certain way, he is already reading. Store signs and symbols, packaging labels, road signs along the highway are like « words » that the child learns to « read ». Point them out and name them.


Recognising clues, identifying objects and understanding the meaning of an arrow are abilities than can be developed by following a treasure hunt map, or by creating a course. Use a drawing to indicate to the child where he can find a surprise or an object. Place an X on top, at the bottom, to the right, to the left, in the center, or even an arrow to show « behind ». Add another coded message at that place to continue the game. This activity is a way of using writing to transmit a message before the child can actually read.


Using puppets to recreate a story is an excellent way of checking if the child has really listened! Tell the story again, exactly as the first time, or change the chain of events. Add a different ending; use a new word, ask the child to suggest a solution to a problem, etc. It is possible to create puppets with paper bags, socks, wooden spoons, or cardboard glued on little sticks.