Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Early Literacy Exploration Station Evolving

Submitted by Sarah Cournoyer, Horicon Public Library

As part of a revamp of our Children's Room completed in September, we added a children's writing desk. I named it the Exploration Station. My intention is that it is a place to encourage children and their caregivers to explore the five early literacy practices that help grow a reader - Play, Read, Sing, Talk, Write. To this end, I put out passive programs that visitors to the library can choose to do. Sometimes I have two activities out at the same time. Sometimes I change it weekly, biweekly or monthly. It depends on the use I see being made of the activity or the time that I have to set up the next one. Some activities can be prepped well in advance.

Some examples of the activities I've done so far in 2015:
  • Feed the Alphabet Monster
  • Habitat Sorting
  • Self-Portrait Collage
  • Holiday Coloring Book
  • Tell-a-Story Crafts for Goldilocks, The Three Little Pigs, and The Mitten with magnet pieces on a cookie sheet and coloring pages with scissors, tape, and craft sticks for take home extension pieces
  • Magnet Matching Games for flip-flops and acorns with numbers
  • Welcome Winter coloring sheet and writing activity
 I try to include an explanation of the activity if it needs one along with some tips and ideas for extending the activity.

For 2016, I've developed an improved sign that allows me to explain the activity, has a footer with the early literacy practices, and space for tips and ideas.The two activities I have planned for January are Color Sorting with pompoms and colored toilet paper tubes and Paper Plate Crowns. I gather ideas from many places like Pinterest, The Artful Parent Facebook feed, librarians' blogs, books, magazines, and also those spawned inside my active brain.


Most of these activities take just a bit of preparation and engage children of many age ranges beyond toddlers, preschoolers, and their caregivers. I've seen elementary age kids and tweens coloring, making collages, creating ratios and statistics for their matching rates, and telling stories to each other or younger siblings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful ideas. I too am at the beginning stages of developing an early literacy center with limited space, so your ideas are very helpful. I love your signs.