Supporting Literacy

I’ve recently been asked how we support literacy in an outdoor preschool. “Do you bring the children over to tables and chairs and sit down?”

No we don’t!!!
Literacy is all about using language, numbers and images to understand and communicate with each other. This doesn’t necessarily mean we are reading or writing!

First – We need to understand that children need to practise and master their gross motor skills before their fine motor skills. So by running, pushing and digging we are preparing for writing. By doing physical activity that crosses the mid-line we are connecting the left brain to the right brain.

Second – We ensure that our surroundings encourage an understanding of literacy. We label our world so children realise that words and symbols having meanings. Literacy involves decoding patterns – so we encourage children to notice the patterns in nature and create our own patterns and symbols.

Third – Children need real-life hands-on situations to encourage literacy. They learn best when activities are connected with positive emotions – fun. Recently we have created our very own post-box for parents and our friends to post letters to us. Whether or not we can read every word, we are learning that we can send and receive messages through writing and images. We label our plants and trees and we count our pieces of lunch.

A fundamental understanding of the concept of literacy is the key to future learning in this area. There are no worksheets needed, or tables or chairs!