Wednesday, April 9, 2014

All Aboard the Literacy Train

Thanks to YSS member Colleen Crowley from Chippewa Falls for this guest post!
Child and caregiver enjoy the Phonics Train Game together

The Chippewa Falls Children's department has a yearly literacy event for 3--6 year-olds every April. Each year the children's department staff picks a theme and creates activities or games that children ages 3-6 can explore with a parent or caregiver. In 2012, we invited the community to a literacy themed picnic, in 2013 their theme was Itza Pizza, and this year's event was All Aboard the Literacy Train. 

We had a variety of stations with mostly train-themed activities. The station I coordinated was the iPad. We projected the iPad screen onto a wall in our storytime room, so all the kids could see what was going on. It did indeed generate some excitement and several kids stood in line for their turn to explore the app Bugs & Buttons. One of the many games in that app does involve placing letters in a sequence on moving train cars, but the majority of the children enjoyed using eye-hand coordination skills to pinch, grab and sort the bugs from the moving conveyer belt into jars. 

Another popular station was the craft where kids put together a train scene and used puffs of steam to practice writing the letters of their name. The stamping table is always a hit, and it is the one station that we have every year, regardless of the theme. Some of the games we make ourselves, like the memory train car game, but some things we purchase in advance like the Rhyming Sounds Phonics Train game which we will circulate as a kit now.  
All the stations!

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