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Positional words

Bean Bag Words
under, beside, on top of, on

Give each child a bean bag. Have the children put the beanbag "on top of their head", "under their chin", "beside their shoe", "on their shoulder", etc.

To help children associate the written word with the spoken word.



*Name Recognition

Welcome Sign
Make a welcome sign for your classroom ( Welcome to Kindergarten--grade or room number). Print the childrens names all around the welcome sign.

Letters In Your Name

Write the child's name in big letters across a sheet of construction paper. Start with a capital letter than lowercase letters. Laminate. Lay the name strips on the floor around the room. The children find their name. Give the children small animals, uniflex blocks, or cubes to cover the letters in their name.



Find Your Name

Need: Hanging Pocket Chart, cardboard (the size of paint color sample cards), camera.

Take a picture of each child. Print the child's name at the bottom of the picture. Print the child's name on the cardboard strip.

Before the children arrive place their name cards on the area rug. Place their pictures on the outside rows of a pocket chart.

When the children arrive they find their name card on the area rug and place it next to their picture in the pocket chart. The name cards left on the rug are the children who are absent. If you also use name tags place a table by the pocket chart and after the children place their name cards in the pocket chart they find their name tags on the table.

Store the pictures and name cards in the top slots of the pocket chart.

Flower Names

Use this activity with 3 year olds and 4 year olds to practice name recognition. Get paint stirrer sticks from the hardware store (can ask for a donation).

Paint the paint stirrers green. Then make a flower head for each child with their name on it (1st name for 3's and first and last for 4's). Laminate the flower heads.

Hot glue the heads to the green paint stirrer sticks to make a flower. Then get a plastic flower pot (medium sized) and fill it 2/3 full of rice. When the children come to school in the morning they find their flower and "plant" it in the flower pot. The children love this

Colored Salt Names and Initials
Need: salt, food coloring, paper, paint brushes.

Place salt in a zip-locking bags (about one cup) add food coloring. Close bag. Have children vigorously shake the bag until all the salt is colored. Open the bag and spread the salt onto paper towels to dry.

Have children write their names or their initials using large paint brush with slightly deluted white glue on paper. Immediately, have them sprinkle on the colored salt. Let dry, then shake off the excess salt

Hand & Foot Book

To reinforce reading each other's names make a hand and foot book. Paint 1 child's hands (or foot) and make a print. After it has dried, put This is ________'s hand (foot). Then bound them together. Then the children get them and compare hand size and names. They even take the book to the attendance chart that has pictures and names to see whose name is whose. Later they even use the hand and foot book to copy names and letters. They always remind me to print the new children in class so they can be a part of their favorite book.

Name Table

Scan photographs of each child in the group and place them, along with the child's first name onto the writing/drawing table. Cover each name and photo with clear contact paper so they don't get in the way of the children working, and suddenly I have many children who are interested in not only writing their own name but forming letters and learning other children's names.
If you are unable to get the children's photos just print the names on construction paper and place on the table. Cover with contact paper. Later in the year change by adding the child's first and last name to the table.

Name Star

Name headbands. Print children's name on the star. Have children cut along dotted lines.
Give children strips of constuction paper to decorate. Measure child's head with constuction paper strip and mark front center. Glue cut-out star to construction paper strip. Tape or staple together to make a headband.

Star in box (right click to save)

Hidden Name
Need: White crayon, white paper, water paints, paint brush
On the back of white paper print in small letters the child's name (so you will know who to give each paper to). On the front of white paper print the child's name with a white crayon. Give the children the papers and water paints. Tell the children to tell you when they have found something.

Learn Friends Names Songs


Rainbow Words

Rainbow Words

Turn weekly words into rainbow words. Print the word with a pencil then trace over the word with different colors of crayons until you have created rainbow words.

Learning To Read
Needed: Flash Cards and Bright Colored Markers

First write down an letter of the alphabet on each card. Then on the back write a word that makes the sound of the letter, and underline the beginning letter.

Have the children hold up their hands if they can identify the letter. Then help each child make the sound of the letter. After they have learned the sound have them sound off the word on the back of the card.

Words such as D-Dog, E-Egg, F-Fog, etc... Then once they have established this pattern, make up more words from one particular letter or make a family of words, such as: the og family (fog, dog, log, bog, frog, slog). And they will be off to reading in no time! Contributed By: Carla M. Nelson

Reading Wall

Start a "Reading wall" the children bring in anything from their home that they can "read" such as a McDonalds bag or a cereal box. Place it on the "Reading Wall" as something that they can read. The children will love the idea that they can "read" these words!

Personalized Book (journals)

Let children begin to “write” and illustrate their own books from an early age. Here is all you need to make the book cover:

2 same size sturdy pieces of cardboard
metal hole punch
1 piece of scrap cloth per cover sheet to wrap hospital corner style of each piece of cardboard then spray mount a piece of paper on the inside covers. Spray Mount works best and should be used all over the front cover fabric for durability. school glue or spray mount pretty ribbon or yarn or those metal rings that come in all sizes-really anything to hold it together and make the pages easy to turn paper of the color and amount of pages of your choice.

Children as young as 2 or 3 enjoy illustrating their own books that they can look at over and over. At that young age, you could also use construction paper with a laminate or contact paper cover and hole reinforcers. By March in PreK4, my children cannot wait to finish snack and at their own pace find their journals and a comfy seat to write and draw in. Be sure there are lots of picture books with corresponding words and labels with pictures all over your classroom. The excitement they feel in “reading” and sharing their own books with everyone begins to build a love for writing that can last a lifetime. Do not worry about misspelling at this stage unless the child asks you specifically to spell a word for them.

One VERY important tip: do not write or draw in their journal unless they specifically ask you to write in a word. Sometimes it is best to write it on the chalkboard and see how well they transfer it to their own paper. The point is they made it and they own it! Contributed By : Betsy G.

Picture Board

To help children associate the written word with the spoken word, use this exercise:

Look for interesting pictures in magazines, cut them out and mount them. Choose one and hang it in the classroom for a couple days without comment.

Then ask the children if they have noticed the picture and what they think about it. Take down their comments and post them with the picture. I have used one of the milk ads (famous people with milk moustaches), a GAP ad (with a cute kid), animal pictures, etc.

Reading Tree

To inspire preschool children and excite them about literature build a reading tree every month. For every book you read you add a leaf to the tree.

Tape a paper tree trunk in a centrally located area. The leaves of the tree are tied into the calendar, for example, for March use shamrock leaves.

As you read a book or two daily write the title of the book on the "shamrock" then tape it to the wall above the trunk. Slowly the tree grows as the month goes on. The children love this and become so excited! They often will remind you to fill out the leaves for the day and they participate in hanging the leaves on the tree!

Puppet Story

Collect puppets, stuffed animals and toys for all the animals in Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Let each child choose a toy and "read" that part of the book as the teacher turns the pages. Later, put out lots of different toys and let the children make up their own parts as the teacher writes them down. The children draw the pictures and we make our own book.

Writing Center

Add a writing center in your room, but call it "The Office." This is a very motivational title for the children. Have a telephone there and lots of writing materials (i.e. pencils, markers, colored, pencils, seasonal pens, etc.). Also place stencils, paper, children's dictionaries and old order forms there. They love to go and play office and they are experiencing literacy while they are there. This will be a very popular center in your room.

Story Time Notice

Start your circle session every morning with the children sitting facing the easel - I sit alongside it - and as they watch I model writing by printing up our notice for the day.

Today's notice read as follows:

"Good morning my little wiggle worms. Today is Thursday, the 9th of October, 1999.

Could you please make sure that you finish off your apple picture and start the one for the letter B. Don't forget to start joining the broken lines where the x is."

You could type up each day's notice and add pictures for clues. Children love trying to guess what each days notice says.

Children will begin to write and post their own notices on the easel for you to guess and read out to the class.

Baggie Book

Staple six baggies together at the bottom of the bags and put a strip of masking tape or colored tape over the staples to form the spine of the book.

Cut pieces of tagboard or construction paper an appropriate size for fitting into each baggie.

Let children dictate and illustrate a story to go on the pages and then place them in proper sequence inside the baggies.

Stories can be changed easily by removing current pages and replacing with a new story.

Popular stories can be used as models for children to imitate, for example, Brown Bear by Bill Mortin can be Black Cat.

*Listening Skills

Sheep Hide-and-Seek

Learn several nursery rhymes about sheep--Little Bo Peep, Mary had a Little Lamb and Baa Baa Blacksheep. Make small tagboard sheep and put each child's name on a sheep.

Then hid them around the room (under the table, behind the door, in the blocks,etc.) Then gave each child verbal instructions where to find their sheep. It really reinforced listening skills and they really had fun playing the game.

Following Orders

Have the children stand around the square. Now give commands, such as: Jump inside of the square. Hop up and down on both feet. Leap out of the square. Hold hands and walk around the square. Continue on with seven or eight more commands.

Game A-Jump
(Invite the children to form a circle. Perform the actions in the song. Encourage children to create their own verses with actions.)

A-jump, a-jump, a-jump,
a-turning around and then,
A-jump, a-jump, a-jump,
a-turning around again.

A-clap, a-clap, a-clap...
(in the above verse replace A-jump with a-clap)

A-slide, a-slide, a-slide...

*Tips and Tricks

To help children recognize words. Label items throughout the room with paper signs. Such as place the word chair on the chairs. Label the shelves, door, window, cabinet...

Poetry Play For Preschoolers

By Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Poems and activities to challenge
and enhance children's creativity.
An A to Z Kids Stuff Ebook Exclusive.



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