Early Literacy Ideas. 5 Easy and Fun ways to encourage your Preschooler

Apr 20, 2012



Here are 5 simple ideas (that you could do at home) to encourage a love of writing, drawing and creating for your Preschooler.


1. ALLOW EASY ACCESS

I have tried lots of different methods for having books and papers kept organised and tidy yet available for use whenever she gets the urge with not a great deal of success, but this idea (below) has been the most successful.
If your child has to stop and ask for something to write/draw on there's a chance that they just might not bother. PLUS- when it's something special for them, they are much more inclined to want to use it.


paper storage, writing storage, way to help kids write, kids writing supplies
 This is an old file folder that I've turned into a way for Maddie to easily access all her writing, drawing and creating papers/books. It has press studs (which even I find hard to close) so I stuck velcro tape along the underside of the flap so that she can easily open and close it herself.

 In each file space there is something different.
- Plain white paper      -Coloured paper
-Black paper                -Coloured circles
-Coloured squares             -Lined paper
-Newspaper            -Scrapbooking paper
-Lined notebook               -Sticker book
-Drawing book &       -Adventure writing book. etc
You could add whatever materials your child needs or regularly uses.



2. PERSONALISE & RECORD

Personalising books yourself is not hard. It makes it much more special and exciting for children, therefore, they are more likely to use it.
Show interest in your child and record details about them in a written format that they can see and "read" over. This gives you something to talk about, personalises it even further and makes a wonderful keepsake.

Make a drawing book for each year and give to them on their birthday. 
(Print out a picture/design/photo and stick to the front of a good quality drawing pad. Cover with contact paper to make it last.)



 You could do something like this inside the front cover of the drawing book.
At the start of each year, fill out a profile of your child and see how the answers differ from year to year. This was done on her 3rd birthday in Jan. We love reading over it as even now (3 months later), her answers have changed. We also trace her hands and date it.


3. WRITE TOGETHER

Your preschooler (most likely) can't write by themselves (and if they can it's probably fairly limited), so if you don't write with them they'll never get the chance or experience.

Try collaborative writing experiences like the one shown below and have other family members, relatives and friends help out too. If asked, they should be more than willing to sit down and let your child dictate their story to them.

Make a personalised writing book where you can record stories and adventures as made up by your child.
This is just a blank notepad that we drew a cover for together. It doesn't look professional but it doesn't need to.

All the stories in here are recorded exactly as dictated by Madeline.
Sometimes she uses stickers as inspiration and for pictures and other times she illustrates her stories herself.
Once again, it's not fancy but that's not the aim. We LOVE reading over what is written and continuing or adding more adventures whenever she gets the urge.



4. MAKE IT SPECIAL AND APPEALING

When I was teaching in a classroom, I loved the uniformity and organisation of matching pencil, texta, crayon pots/tubs etc. It helped reduce fights and was easy and practical. At home however, this isn't needed and I've found that the more creative I am with housing her writing and drawing implements, the more keen she is to use them.


Try storing fancy or special textas, pens etc in different tins/containers.
The more special the implement, the more special the container. :)
This was an old biscuit tin (she added a sticker). Things like chocolate boxes, recycled containers, old lunchboxes etc are all great to use. If they are plain, let your child decorate them.

Standard textas in a recycled plastic tub with a ribbon tied around it

For birthdays/Christmas' etc, you could ask relatives for different and exciting writing tools.
These animal, finger puppet crayons came from her Grandma and are used not only for writing and drawing, but also to ride in toy trains, live in Duplo built houses, stack together, have conversations and SO much more.


5. CREATE INVITATIONS TO WRITE/DRAW

While your child is sleeping or otherwise occupied, create an invitation for them to get creative by setting up an area with everything they need, all laid out. Once again, the more appealing you make it look, the more likely they will get excited and be inspired to create.


Here I set up an invitation for some creative story writing.
(In the box to the left are a whole lot of different stickers and cut out pictures from magazines.. it used to be a chocolate box)


Most important of all... HAVE FUN!


What tips and tricks have worked for YOU to encourage your preschooler to write? Please share them with us.




Happy playing,
Debs :)



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57 comments:

  1. Faboulous! How inspiring for any child!

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    1. Yay! I made your comment come back, lol. Thanks so much Leeanne :D

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  2. Wonderful post! Great photos and ideas. Love it.

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  3. I really like the drawing book idea for birthdays. My daughter loves to draw. So I got her a Draw, Write, Now book. She tries to copy everything in the book even the writing.

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    1. That was wrapped up with a whole bunch of great markers and pencils etc from my SIL (who is also a teacher) for this birthday. They've taken responsibility of making her one each year. It's a lovely keepsake :) I must check out the Draw, Write, Now book. Haven't heard of it but sounds good. Thanks for the tip and the comment :)

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  4. Such a great tips that are easy for almost any parent to implement in the home!

    I was nodding my head when you were talking about special pencils at school. I had the same rule in my class, and parents would be so confused. I would tell them to save the special writing materials for home.

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    1. Thanks Rebekah. That is what's so fun about being at home now... you can play by your own rules and try and experiment with ideas you may not have been able to in a governed classroom :D

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  5. what great ideas! i really would love it if you linked up to my tip-toe thru tuesday party! *pinning*

    also...i love the list of all her fave things!

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    1. Thank you Andie! Boy, how that list has changed in a few months! lol. I think I need to do them a little more often because they will be hilarious to read back in time. She wants to be an astronaut now lol. Happy to link up :) x

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  6. I love your creative writing book with the child drawn pictures and you scribe the story. Great use of stickers in there too. You make their use so much more deliberate by scribing the story to go with the stickers, instead of just a page of randomly stuck stickers! I bet this is an often asked for bedtime story book!

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    1. Thanks Amie. It's things like that, that don't look glamorous or photograph well etc, but it's not about the appearance, it's about the content! I only hoped that ppl would look past the visual and appreciate the value of the learning for the child. Looks like some people have! yay! Thank you

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  7. These are all fantastic ideas and so simple to implement. I love the file folder for holding all the art supplies - so perfect when space is limited and the "year book" idea is just brilliant. Going to do that for sure! Thank you for sharing these. :)

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    1. You're welcome Ness. You wouldn't believe how many different strategies I've tried over the past year or so trying to make things accessible yet organised and neat at the same time. Not easy! lol. Glad you found an idea you can use yourself. Thanks for the comment. Debs :)

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  8. This is fantastic. I think you are so right about keeping things accessible. My favorite part of this post is the combination of materials she can use independently and then the opportunities for expanding language later with mom as she describes what she's drawn or created and you record.

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    1. Thanks Kim, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It's all about a balance these days I think, of independent "work" and collaborative pieces. Both just as valuable as the other. :)

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  9. this was my favorite link from last week's tip-toe thru tuesday party! it'll be featured tomorrow!

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  10. I love your ideas - especially the personalising. I think a big thing for my boys is the time spent with mom and dad as well as the creative bit.

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    1. Thank you. I totally agree. I think the greatest gift a parent can give to their child, is their time. :)

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  11. I love you ideas! I think I would like to journal and write more if my writing notepads and pens were set up like your daughter's! Dictating stories to family members is a wonderful way to spend quality time with the kiddos! So glad I found this on Tuesday Tots! Pinning it for my little one when he gets a bit older.

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    1. I appreciate your comments Gina. Thanks for taking the time to let me know :)

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  12. Bobo uses the dry erase board b/c he likes using markers, repeating and being able to erase. I like the writing book for each year and will be implementing it for the next birthday.

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    1. Thanks Courtney. Yes, thanks for mentioning that! We also love using our whiteboard, chalkboard, aqua doodle and magnadoodle for writing or drawing because as you said, it's so easy to erase and start again. Perfect for practicing and experimenting! These things are out and available all the time at our house too. I'll bet many parents have something like that at home too. Thanks for reminding us all :)

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  13. What a wonderful idea!! My son has something similar he enjoys very much! Have a great week!

    Mama Of Many Blessings

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  14. Excellent ideas! Writing and creativity are such a big part of the Early Literacy process. Making writing and art personal is an ideal way to encourage kids to get creative. Great post!

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  15. This is a great post on writing! I agree. My boys are much more into writing when I make it inviting and I'm much more agreeable when it is all organized. You gave me some extra ideas for organizing our writing time.
    Oh, and I love the Pirate Pete story. I've been reading A LOT of Pirate Pete lately!!!

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it, Jackie. I have an imaginative pirate play post coming up soon haha

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  16. I really love this post especially the idea about making a special book together. Have you heard of the recent release No Bears (it reminded me of that book!)? I will be pinning this to my Children's Bookshelf board.

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    1. I've not heard of that book before but I sure will be looking it up, haha. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Bethany. I'll be coming over to check out your board shortly :)

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  17. I love the profile and easy writing prompts you incorporate - and of course, adding color! Always so important with kids. Wonderful post to show parents how easy it is to get kids motivated to write. thanks!

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    1. You're welcome Jacquie, and thanks for your lovely comment :)

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  18. Fabulous post, it is so important for children to learn to write as well as have literacy experiences at home, and dictating stories is a great way for children to understand what writing is. Personalization really helps learning, too
    Excellent work! Carolyn

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  19. Nice! It's so important to give children access to writing materials! Thanks for sharing some great ideas. I really like the old file folder idea to keep different kinds of paper.

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    1. It's the best method we've used yet for storing all the papers and books etc (and I've tried so many different ways haha). Thanks for the comment, Michelle :)

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  20. I just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my Weekly Kid's Co-op post! Thanks again for your inspiration!

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  21. This is FANTASTIC!! I'm featuring your post at Thrifty Thursday this week! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Thank you kindly, Katie :) You're more than welcome and I look forward to reading the write up. Debs :)

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  22. I love, love, LOVE the art journal idea. I can't wait to make some for my kiddos. Thanks so much for the inspiration and for sharing with the Kids Co-Op!

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    1. You're welcome Krissy and thanks for the comment. Happy you were able to find some inspiration :D

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  23. Saw this post featured at Thrifty Thursday and had to stop by! Wonderful ideas!! My son would love to have some type of art portfolio so he can do things at his leisure, because right now he does have to ask... and I see that it does put a damper on his wanting to be creative... right now! Thanks for sharing! Pinning this!

    Kristina @ School Time Snippets

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    1. Thanks Kristina and you're welcome. Happy you were able to find an idea to use :D

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  24. Great tips! Thank you for posting on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll share some more tips this week.
    -Mackenzie
    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com

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    1. You're welcome Mackenzie and thanks for the reminder. I'll come and share again :)

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  25. Debs,
    What a great post. I simply loved all ideas and so wonderfully put. There are rare post where I want to read each word. this is one of them. FAB!

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    1. Mansi, thank you so much. I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

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  26. Brilliant - thank you! I'm now going to have a special sticker book for my girl - it'll save on our paper recycling! and she'll definitely love re-reading our stories too - thank you!

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    1. You're welcome. So glad you found something you liked :)

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  27. My stepson is a bit of a perfectionist so to help with the inevitable disappointment when he couldn't draw something "properly" we tried using baking paper and having him trace whatever he was trying to write/draw.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.