Print Awareness is an exciting and important piece of the early literacy puzzle. Children need it to learn to read. It includes knowing that print has meaning, knowing how to handle a book and noticing that print is all around us.
You can help your child see print all around ~ on signs and billboards, in storybooks, menus, magazines and newspapers. Point out environmental print such as the giant “M” on the McDonald’s arches or the big STOP letters on a sign. Play “I Spy” games while traveling. Encourage children to look through store flyers and point out product names ~ “Can you find the Cheerios?”, or “Where is the Coca-Cola bottle?” Let your children see you read and write often.
Read to your child often. Introduce books by their title, and draw attention to the author and illustrator. Select books that have at least one word on each page, with large bold print and predictable, repeated text. From time to time, point to the words as you read. This will help your child learn to:
- Hold books correctly and turn pages in the right direction.
- Understand the difference between words and pictures.
- Know that each word on a page represents a spoken word and that spaces appear between words.
- Understand that text is read from left to right, and from top to bottom.
Be sure to celebrate this successful beginning to a lifetime of reading!