Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Supporting Early Literacy On the Cheap!

Many thanks to Jodi Bird from the Menomonie Public Library for this great little piece about easy, cost-effective, space-saving ways they are supporting early literacy in their library.  Inspiring, huh?

It seems like everywhere you look people are talking about early literacy.  We began to wonder what do we do or, better yet, what can we do to promote early literacy concepts.  We know we offer great story times for children and families and we also have puzzles with shapes, colors, numbers, etc., but what else could we do?  There’s not much wall space in our children’s room,  so we had to get creative.

 First I brought in a kitchen play set and some dishes from my house (I do enjoy getting toys out of my house that my kids no longer play with).  We then purchased some play food and set it all out in the middle of the children’s area.  This has been more popular than we ever expected. Kids of all ages are playing with the kitchen.

We then decided we wanted to have a magnet board, but with no wall space we weren’t sure where to put it.  That’s when we thought of the front of the Children’s Desk.  We purchased a piece of sheet metal that fit the front of the desk and added alphabet letters.  Throughout the day kids can be seen spelling their name or talking about what color the letters are. 

Our most recent addition is a “felt board” to the bottom of our oversized bulletin board.  We simply put felt on the bottom of the board with a bucket of flannel pieces in different shapes, sizes and colors nearby.  There are so many excellent benefits to playing with a felt board including improving fine motor skills, feeling the texture of the pieces, using creativity when placing the pieces on the board and increasing language skills when “telling” a story with the pieces. 
With limited resources and space we feel like we’ve added a few small things that can really have a big impact on our quest to promoting early literacy.

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