Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Here are some tricks and tips for helping children learn basic concepts about print.

Magic Fingers 

Have children hold up their pointer and explain that it is their “magic finger” to help them read. Put a little spritz (magic lotion) on their finger. Use the finger to touch the front of the book and the back of the book. Touch the top of the page and the bottom of the page. Sweep your magic finger under each line from left to right.

When You Read You Start at the Top
Children can sing this song to the tune of “London Bridge” as they practice the movements:
          When you read you start at the top,
          Start at the top,
          Start at the top.
          When you read you start at the top
          And go to the bottom of the page.
          When you read go left to right,
          Left to right,
          Left to right.
          When you read go left to right
          And then go to the next line.

Yummy Pointers
Give children Bugles to put on their fingers to practice following a line of print. They can eat them when they are finished.
*Pretzel sticks also make edible pointers.

Envelope Bookmark 
Cut a diagonal corner off an envelope. (One envelope will make 4 of these.) Let children decorate these with markers. Practice reading books and putting the bookmark on the upper corner to “save your place.”
Simon Says
Each child will need a book to play this variation of “Simon Says.”
          Simon Says show me the front of the book.
          Simon Says show me the back of your book.
          Simon Says show me the first page in your book.
          Simon Says show me the last page in your book…

Talking Stories 
Give each child a sheet of paper. (Younger children will need large sheets.) Demonstrate how to draw a green line down the left side. “Green means GO! We’ll always start there.” Demonstrate how to draw a red line down the right side. “Red means STOP! We’ll always stop when we get to that line.” Explain that they can use their crayons to tell a story. “First, let’s walk to the zoo. Put your crayon on the green line at the top of your page. ‘Walk’ it across your paper. When you get to the red line stop. Go back to the green line. There are some ducks swimming. Make your crayon ‘swim’ across the page.” Continue telling the story below as children make the symbols. When you are finished, challenge the children to retell/read the story by looking at the symbols.

          A Walk in the Zoo
          Let’s walk to the zoo.
          See the ducks swim.
          The monkeys are swinging in circles.
          The snakes are wiggling.
          The kangaroos are hopping.
          The elephants are stomping down.
          The seals are splashing.
          The lion roars.
          Oh, it’s late!
          We better run home!