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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Literacy Ideas for Toddlers

When working with the little guys and gals (toddlers), it's important to make the activity fun, simple, and developmentally appropriate so they don't get too frustrated or feel pressured and maybe not want to do it at all. So here are some of the ideas I have put together that you can do with your little ones to give them their first critical experiences with letters and words!


1. Read to your child. I know this one seems obvious, really allow the child to turn pages, point to pictures, hold the book his/her self. Read books the child picks out plus new fun ones they have not seen before. I like interactive books where my son can move things on the page, turn, push, pull, and touch because children learn better with hands-on experiences. There are some wonderful interactive books out there!  These are just a few hints to make reading aloud to your child more meaningful.


2. Magnetic letters on the refrigerator. 
3. Sing ABC songs. There are more than just "Now I know my ABCs," and tons of variations of it. Below are some I found on Amazon (Check out the great deal on 50 songs for $8.99!) or you can hit your local library and search their kids music section to see what you discover. Most children love clapping or dancing along with upbeat music.



4. Foam letters in the bathtub or water table/bin. They stick to the side of the bathtub when wet!





5. Letter stencils with chalk on a chalkboard. 

6. Dig for magnetic/foam letters in sand. You can even use cardboard cutout letters.

7. Spell child's name on cookie/baking sheet and have them match the magnetic letters.




8. Name puzzle. You can make your own by writing each letter of the child's name on a piece of cardboard and cutting it out. You can have the child paint it or decorate it to make it brighter. My example is a little messy, but I'm sure most toddlers won't even notice. You don't even have to cut around every edge.



9. Play a game with your child where one of you points to an object. You say what it is and the letter it begins with and then encourage the child to repeat the sound that letter makes with you several times. 

10. Make a  song out of the letters of your child's name. For example, to the tune of B-I-N-G-O: "There was a boy whose name was Aaron, Aaron was his name-o, A-A-R-O-N, A-A-R-O-N, A-A-R-O-N and Aaron was his name-o." Get creative!