Early Childhood Literacy: Summer Learning Disguised as Fun
Summer is coming and it’s time for play. Keep literacy learning a part of each day!
Word play is fun and easy to do. Think of the words for the things around you.
Each word has a rhyme, syllable, and sound. Focus on one with the thing that you found.
When on a walk with a friend and you see a tree, say, “I see something that rhymes with three.”
“Now, it is your turn,” I say to my friend. “Find something you see that has the same end.”
A harder level, if you dare: Think of two words with a rhyming synonym pair.
A large feline is a fat cat and a rodent conversation could be a rat chat.
Once you start thinking, the pairs stream in. You might even sport a wink and a grin.
Find lots of things when out on a romp. Say every syllable with a big stomp.
When grocery shopping at the store, of syllables, see which word has more.
Say pasta, noodles, and macaroni; the third one’s the winner. Count and you’ll see.
Not much to see when you’re out and about? Think of a category with items to spout.
How about birds with three syllables? You can—chickadee, nightingale, pelican.
Now, for the smallest part of a word, the phoneme—a speech sound, a term you’ve heard.
Out on your walk. Here you go again, you see something that starts with /n/.
The number nine, a nest, a knee, there may be many more /n/ things to see.
How many names of friends start like “Scott?” Sam, Sally, Sidney…a lot!
Switch their names to start like “Joe.” You get Jam, Jally, Jidney—funny. I know.
Walk, talk, take in the scene. It’s actually better to turn off the screen.
Have fun in the sun with word play all day.
No special preparation, no cost, not a cent—yet for literacy learning, it’s time well spent.