Literacy Advocate 04.02.2020

In my Literacy Advocate post last week, I shared some ideas for parents to engage their students in literacy activities.

But I LOVE LOVE LOVE writing, and I wanted to create a new post dedicated specifically to writing with toddlers. Here, I share five tips to engage our littles (ages 2 and 3) in authentic writing during this time. Of course, you might have to write a bit, too!

1. Create menus. What is more exciting than advertising another meal from what might be a slightly understocked pantry or fridge? Take out the construction paper, crayons, and markers, and create a menu for tonight’s dinner! Have your child use pictures and / or words. Having a few paper or online menus nearby might be helpful.

2. Make words of hope for neighbors. Let’s not let distance ourselves from messages of kindness during this time of social distancing.Why not turn your windows into message boards with words of hope for your neighbors? Or use chalk to write a hello on your neighbor’s sidewalk? When I asked my little guy what he wanted to say to the people walking by, he said, “Happy Birthday!,” “Jingle Bells!,” and “Stop!” We agreed on “hello,” which he colored and helped me tape up in our window [see below].

1 hello window

3. Have a story scavenger hunt. Ask your little to bring you 3-5 objects / stuffed animals. Then, work together to create a story using these objects / stuffed animals. This will help build your child’s imagination and can translate into drawn or written stories. Best done in forts!

4. Write song lyrics. Take out the dusty guitar or make a few instruments. Encourage your children to sing along or write their own lyrics as you play together! Come up with a funny story about the day!

5. Weather the storm. Investigate the weather for a week. Have your little draw what it’s like outside each day. You can then write relevant words (e.g., sunny, rainy, windy) beneath the pictures to help them make connections between sounds and print text.

So, stay healthy, and start writing!

I would love to hear what writing activities you and your littles are doing during this period!

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