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Early Literacy Play Tips: Print Awareness!

Early literacy is what children need to learn about reading and writing before they actually begin to read and write. Developing specific skills through fun activities help prepare children to become strong, successful readers in their future. 

Today’s early literacy skill area is: PRINT AWARENESS

Print awareness is understanding that print represents spoken language, is everywhere, and is organized in a particular way. 

Why is print awareness important? 

  • Before they can read words, children have to be familiar with how words work. That words, for example, consist of letters and that spaces appear between words on print materials. 

  • It helps children understand books and how to use them, such as how to open a book, which page to start on, that print is read from left to right, etc. When children feel comfortable with books, they can really focus on learning to read the words. 

  • Studies have shown that print awareness is an essential pre-reading skill. Without it, children are not able to successfully develop other important literacy skills such as spelling, reading, and writing. 

What are some ways you can build your child’s print awareness? 

  • By TalkingThere are words all around us! Throughout the day, describe the different types of print in your child’s environment. Look for words and letters on magazines, food labels, mail, signs, even the refrigerator!  

  • By SingingPoint to the words if you’re singing using a nursery rhyme or story bookIt will help your child make a connection between the sounds and the printed words. 

  • By Reading: There’s a lot you can do while reading together. You can point out how to read from top to bottom and left to right. They can help turn the pages or even work towards holding the book themselves. 

  • By Writing: Involve your child in your writing activities. It can be writing grocery lists, birthday cards, or fun stories and poems together. 

  • By Playing: Be silly as you read with your child. Hold a book upside down at the start or hand it to them backwards. They’ll giggle as they correct you, but it will reinforce the correct way to use books. 

By engaging in activities like these, you will help develop your child’s reading and writing skills, preparing them as they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Also, keep your eyes out for our Reader Pan and Tinker Spell’s Literacy Activities, which will provide additional fun games that you can play alongside your child. 


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