You may have noticed the beautiful new train interactive wall in the Youth Services Department! We are very grateful to the Friends of the Library for making this purchase possible. And while it is definitely a lovely addition to our department, the train is fueled by early literacy practices that can help your child get ready to read!
The Magnet Car
These magnets feature food items representing each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Knowing the letters and their corresponding sounds helps your child sound out words when learning to read. If your child is old enough, she can put the magnets into alphabetical order. Children can also sort the foods: what would they eat for breakfast? What foods do they like and dislike? Which foods have they tried before or never heard of? Or ask your children to sort the magnets into their own categories and describe the groups to you. Sorting is a mathematical concept; classifying and describing the groups strengthens both problem-solving skills as well as verbal skills!
The Engine of our Early Literacy Train has two features: the egg-shaped word parts and the driver’s panel. There are 4 beginning consonant eggs and 4 endings; mix and match to make real or silly words! When your child makes “jar” or “car” using the eggs, ask him what other words rhyme. It’s okay if he makes up a word (“lar”) or knows a real word (“far”). Rhyming is a skill that focuses on the smaller parts of words (phonological awareness, if you prefer) and helps children sound out words that they may not know. The driver’s panel has the words to our favorite bus song and windshield wipers that can go “swish, swish, swish.” When you play with your child at the train, ask them what the weather is really like outside. Would we need to use the wipers today? Be sure to read the Bus Rules; they make us smile!
We can’t wait to see you and your children play with our Early Literacy Train! When you interact with your child there, you are using four of the five early literacy practices of reading, writing, singing, playing and talking. Maybe you can go home and write about your time at the Library!