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Opening Doors for Children & Families

The Wonder Of Words

Recently I received the best email EVER! And I get an overwhelming amount of emails.

This is what it said:

Once Clifford was reading knock knock it was puppy so they read together

The end

It took me a moment to understand what I was reading. The email was from my sister-in-law and at first I thought, "Wow she's really losing it," but quickly I realized it was an email from my 7 year-old nephew. Lack of punctuation aside I was completely impressed and proud. He really has a passion for writing and story telling and I find it amazing how much he is learning in such a short time. He has a love for letters and words and wants to be constantly challenged and learn more.

My youngest nephew also is a lover of words, letters and numbers. His name starts with an 'N' and you can't go anywhere in public without him shouting out every 'N' he sees. This is the perfect place to start when building pre-literacy with your children. Pointing out the print in their environment gets them to understand what letters are and that they have meaning.

I was visiting an ABC Head Start class today where we were examining the "Birthday Board" at the children's nutrition break. The children were pointing out their classmates names and saying things like "Her birthday has watermelons on it!" referring to the month of August which had a watermelon cake. Not only are they recognizing their own names already they are recognizing the names of their peers which is a wonderful step in the literacy skill chain. And the best part about it all was that the children started that conversation. They were excited to show me the letters they knew, they felt proud of all they were learning.

There are so many ways to get your child thinking about letters and words. Print is all around us and it's such a novel piece of the environment for children who are learning what it all means. At my sisters house when my nephew was about 2 years-old bath time included the "letter of the day." As my sister would fill the tub with water she would draw a letter on the wall of the tub. I will never forget how my nephew would run to the tub shouting "I wonder what the letter will be today!" And as a child my mom would have us join in when she was making buns and we would make our initials out of the dough (C.L. buns were the best with peanut butter and jam.) Those are just two examples of ways you can build pre-literacy into the lives of your children and I'm sure you are already doing it. What are you favourite ways to build pre-literacy skills with your children or the children you teach?

ABC Head Start Society is a registered charity which has been committed to promoting and supporting strong children, families, and communities in Edmonton for over 30 years. We know that by giving children the best possible early learning and development opportunities in life, we ensure the future well-being and prosperity of our families and communities.



What's your favourite children's book?