Why is story time the best time for early literacy? It is a time for a group of preschoolers or young children to engage with books and reading. Early literacy doesn’t happen overnight. It is cultivated with amazing picture books and stories.
But how can parents and educators promote early literacy at home. As early as 5 months, babies are able to distinguish between languages. More amazingly, bilingual babies can identify an apple whether it’s English or Spanish. Whether it’s simple picture books with colors, animals, or shapes, reading can be fostered at home.
Early literacy is more than promoting reading simple books. It is the gift that parents can give to children to become independent thinkers. It promotes print awareness, phonetics, vocabulary, and critical thinking. It is even more important for bilingual preschoolers.
Besides reading fun books, there are other ways to incorporate early literacy. Puppets are amazing learning tools. Flannel boards allow children to engage in different ways. And dramatic play is a fun way to use different costumes to express their feelings.
What are some ways to create puppets or a puppet show?
- Use recycled materials like old blankets or sheets to create background scenery or a particular season
- Use 2 chairs or the back of a sofa to use as a theater
- Make use of old socks or gloves to display puppets
- Use wiggly eyes and different materials to create facial expressions
- Use yarn or scraps of ribbon to create hair
- Use paper bags to make hand puppets
2. Flannel boards
What are some materials to use for a flannel board?
- Select different scraps of materials for texture such as velvet, corduroy, suede, leather, rubber, or other interesting items
- Adhere Velcro to attach other than flannel
- Use a poster size or an 11×8 inch board to display them easily
- Use an old wool glove to use small flannel pieces
3. Dramatic play
What are some great costumes to use?
- Use old clothing as police officer, dentist, veterinarian or other career job
- Use kitchenware to pretend cooking or preparation of foods
- Add different hats to display different people
- Use different clothing for each of the seasons
- Incorporate umbrellas, scarfs, shoes, socks, and other accessories to show their several uses
Whether reading a Spanish, bilingual story or listening to a favorite song, incorporating puppets, flannel board, and dramatic play can enhance early literacy. And many of these learning tools are excellent supplements to any language class.