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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Back to school in your reading corner

Back to school is on everyone's mind, even very young children who will continue to attend daycare. Some may have an older brother or sister who will be heading back to school or starting kindergarten. Others may simply be fascinated by the bright colors of all the back to school items on the shelves of big-box stores. Why not take advantage of the current buzz surrounding back to school to spark an interest in books?

 

Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Purchase several small colourful backpacks and slip a few books inside each one. Ideally, have one backpack per child and encourage them to select a different one each day. Children will love to wear the backpacks and use them to transport books throughout the daycare, in your backyard, to the playground, etc. If you wish, you may even let them take their backpack home at the end of the day. Older children will enjoy pretending they have homework to do.

  • Explain to your group how many schools have their own library. With children's help, transform your reading corner to represent a library. Arrange books on shelves and display racks along the outer walls. In the centre of the space, set a few small tables and chairs. Make pretend library cards for the children in your group and encourage them to spend time in your little library. Among other things, you can invite children to visit their daycare library to help them calm down after a physical activity. After all, silence is required in a library setting.

  • Install several small tables and chairs in one or two rows to represent a classroom. Whenever you read a story to your group, invite them to sit at their "desk". At the end of the book, give each child a piece of white paper and ask them to draw something in connection with the story. For example, they may draw the main character, a scene from the book, the main trigger, or even a different ending. Repeat this activity several times to encourage children to pay attention to the storyline when you read to them. Just like at school, reward children for their work by giving them a sticker they can place at the top of their piece of paper.

  • If possible, invite a 7, 8, or 9 year old to come read a short story to your group. You can, for example, invite an older brother or sister or a child who attended your daycare in the past. The children in your group will be impressed to see that, in just a few years, they will be able to read independently, like your guest reader. This may motivate them to "read" books and spend time in your reading corner.

  • Just like traditional school pictures, photograph the children in your group individually and as a group. Have children stand in front of a bookshelf and encourage them to hold their favorite book in their hands. Print the pictures and display them in your reading corner. Give each child a copy of their picture and the group picture to take home in a clear plastic bag. They will be happy to show the pictures to their family members. Invite children to look at the displayed pictures, find the books their friends chose, and discover why their peers appreciate them. This method may encourage children to select books they would not normally be attracted to.


Patricia-Ann Morrison

 


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