A child who has print awareness understands that print represents words that have meaning and are related to spoken language.
Kids who have print awareness are able to do things like hold a book correctly and understand that books are read from front to back. They also realize that sentences are read from left to right.
Print awareness is one of five critical pre-reading skills. Without print awareness, children are unable to develop other literacy skills such as reading, spelling, and handwriting.
Kids who are read to on a regular basis naturally pick up many of the skills by following the examples of the people around them.
A child’s print awareness develops when those close to him point out letters and words in text found in the child’s environment. It also develops through playing word games, when you turn the pages of a book, and when you run your finger under a line of text as you read.
Here are five signs that indicate that your child has print awareness.
Your child knows how to hold a book correctly. If you hand your child a book upside down, he will turn it right side up before looking through it.
Your child understands that books are read from front to back and from left to right and knows how to turn the pages in the correct direction.
Your child pretends to write by scribbling or writing marks on paper. He understands that the “words” he is writing communicate meaning.
Your child points to text and asks what it says. He has become curious about the meaning of the printed text he sees all around him.
Your child picks up a familiar book and “reads” it aloud. He understands that the printed words are connected to the story.
The best way to develop print awareness is through a variety of print-rich experiences. Here are five engaging activities to enjoy with your child.
Teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet through the activities in this blog post. You’ll find ABC Playdough Mats, ABC Bracelets, Tactile Letter Cards, and more.
Have your child tell you a story. If your child needs a prompt, wordless picture books are great for this! Write it down on paper for her to illustrate.
Help your child create signs for the doors in the house, such as “Welcome to Lexi’s room,” “Bathroom,” “Mom and Dad’s Room,” or “The Kitchen Is Open.”
When the mail is delivered each day, have your child help you sort it according to which family member’s name is on the label. If interesting cards, ads, or magazines arrive, read parts of them aloud.
Print awareness is one of the five critical skills for reading readiness that we call the “Big Five Skills.” The other four skills are:
If you’re ready to tackle the rest of the Big Five Skills, be sure to check out the All About Reading Pre-reading program. Your student will enjoy special games, crafts, and story time read-alouds, and you will love the way your student effortlessly learns essential pre-reading skills.
Do you have any questions about print awareness? Post in the comments below!