Sorry to anyone looking for crafts! I'm incommunicado. Visiting my mom, who just recently went into a nursing facility. She's doing great, though I don't really know if she needs to be there forever. But she seems to be dealing with it alright. Please say some prayers for her, and for my siblings down here who are dealing with some serious issues of their own.
Enjoying the view from the balcony, from our super great deal Priceline hotel (I love Priceline!).
Many people don't realize that picture recognition (a little child pointing out McDonald's before they can even make a complete sentence) is a pre-reading skill. At this age you can start printing out pictures with the word identified beneath it, and without you or your child realizing it, your child will get jump-start in reading skills. This really works! Here is a simple example:
These pictures can be taped around the house, on the fridge, all over, but just remember to put them at eye-level for your preschooler.
The argument against whole-word language is true - we MUST learn phonics. But by displaying picture cards we are creating connections where none were. In addition, you'll notice I used small letters instead of capitals. Adults often think that teaching the simple formations of capital letters is better for kids, but honestly, how many capital letters do you see on this page? The sooner they become familiar with the curves and shapes of small letters, the better!
So where is my craft project, you ask? Must you rant on about reading? Well, it is a subject near and dear to my heart, and this project is something all teachers are familiar with.
It can be adapted for ALL reading levels, from NO skills to advanced, to any abilities or different abilities.
First get a file folder. You can use a plan manilla folder, or if you just happened to find a sweet deal on decorative folders at Target, you could use those... 27 CENTS for 144 file folders. YES! really! I bought them out. I will never need folders again!
Next, assemble crayons, glue, and scissors. And now you can start to decide how hardcore you want to get...
I will describe the simple project here, then at the end I will go into some variations. But really, the whole project is super SIMPLE.
Give the folder to your preschooler or a child of similar abilities, and give them the stars that are left over. Teach them to match the colors and put the loose identically colored star onto the one glued to the folder.
This will not only help the child learn colors, but shapes as well. And if you have a laminator, I would suggest laminating the hand held shapes, for durability. Kinkos still has laminators for use to the public. In the past they were about $1 a sheet, which is what I did before I bought my $18.99 laminator at Costco, which you can see on this project or this one.
Now, here are some variations:
You could use characters from tv or books instead of stars. You could use the same character, like the stars, or you could use many different ones. You can do a multitude of shapes, or anything.
You could also have your child do the coloring, and if they are coordinated enough, you could have them to the cutting! And the gluing! So you see where I am going with this... Another idea is to use Velcro dots on each shape, so that it stays where the child puts it.
If you are really feeling the neatness bug, I would suggest heading over to the Dollar Tree, where they have a great teacher's section. For $1 you can pick up some die-cut shapes for use in color matching for this same project.