Your child watches you write everyday. You make a grocery list, sign a credit card bill in a restaurant, or sign for a package delivery. Families and teachers can take advantage of these experiences to help children understand that the marks we make on a page have meaning. For example, when signing your name on a credit card bill at a restaurant, talk to your child. Tell your child that these marks are the way to write your name.
|This child mimics his parent by writing on a receipt.|
Extend the idea that writing is meaningful whether at home or in school. Have children play restaurant. Set up stuffed animals around a table. Have your child decide what food he or she would like to serve in their restaurant. Invite your child to create a menu. Remember, it doesn’t matter if the markings on the “menu” resemble words or even the alphabet. (See our post from July 16, 2013: Encourage Writing). The important concept is for children to connect writing and meaning.
|This preschooler is making "random marks" on his menus. This is a developmentally-appropriate way of writing.|
Encourage your child to hand the newly created menus to their restaurant guests.
|Children learn that the marks on a paper have meaning.|
By taking the “orders” from the animal customers, children further their understanding that writing is talk written down!
|The literacy "play time" is complete. The child takes food orders!|
We love when imaginative play and literacy combine in a developmentally-appropriate way!