Before young children can read, they will often read logos on signs for often-seen business or logos on product packages that the family uses. Though your child may not be able to read the word “target,” he likely can read the Target sign as you drive by (or go in and spend way too much money).
This recognition is a great thing, and it means that your child is developing pre-reading skills. There are several activities you can do to encourage this skill.
While you are driving, ask your child to identify familiar signs such as a favorite restaurant or a stop sign. Ask your child, “what does that sign say?” or “can you read that sign to me?” By phrasing it that way, you are letting your child know that she is reading, not just identifying a picture, thus building confidence in the process. If your child knows most of the signs in your neighborhood, you can make things a bit more challenging. Ask your child to find a sign that starts with a particular letter, or ask your child to holler out each time she sees a particular word in a sign, such as “the” or “and.”
At home, you can provide your child with a magazine and ask him to point out signs (often advertisements) he can read. You can cut the pictures and words out for your child or allow him to develop his cutting skills with the use of safety scissors. Help your child make an “I Can Read” book by gluing the signs he’s identified on sheets of paper and folding or stapling them together. Then he can show off all he knows to other family members and friends.
Fun activities that provide development of pre-reading skills like these help your child follow directions and work on letter and word recognition. Go out there and see what your preschooler knows!