Once children begin reading and writing on their own, it can seem like a whole new world opens up to them. Signs posted along the road, magazine headlines, signs at the grocery all become sources of information. While there are many “academic” focused ways to encourage reading and writing in those early days of stumbling over new words and figuring out how to spell there are many simple and fun ways children can practice through play and truly learn so very much.
1. Picture postcards: Drawing a picture and then writing out a few simple sentences or words to describe the drawing can be a fun way for children to share their interests with friends. The extra step of taking it to the post office and receiving a picture in return can be loads of fun.
2. Shopping List investigation: Young children love to “investigate” things, so put them in charge of investigating in the refrigerator, pantry and creating a shopping list based on what they have noticed in their investigation. This is also a great independent activity as children can read and copy names of products from the labels.
3. Wish List: Encourage children to create a running list of things that they wish for and to write these down in a small notebook. The wish list can include toys they wish to have, trips they wish to take, activities they wish to do and so on…
4. Add a Line: Creating stories together can be great fun. In a game of “add a line” each person can take a turn adding a sentence to a story but the trick is they may only read the sentence directly above their own. This can be so very entertaining as a family night activity!
5. Little Notes Central: Why not set up a cute little note or message center in the house where children can leave messages to family members and vice-versa? We recently added a white board to our kitchen and my children really enjoy leaving and reading little messages to each other.
6. Secret Notebook: Give your child a notebook, and let him know that the notebook is his, and only his. He can write in it whatever he wants, make pictures, record stories etc… This is just like a journal except most children simply adore the idea of having something that is “secret”. This can also be a great go-to tool for a positive time-out / calm down time!
Does your child enjoy reading and writing?
Peace & Be Well,