Off the Shelf: More than just books!

Off the Shelf

Our wonderful library is laden with wonderful books.  Picture books and captivating covers fill our shelves with color and invite readers to turn the pages!  But we all know that reading surrounds us all day every day and it involves much more than books.  Little children can learn the power of print early on if the adults around them point this out.  The academic term is “environmental print” and it means just that.  Read the words that surround you in life!

Toothpaste tube, milk carton, peanut butter jar

Newspaper, magazine, license on a car

Songs from a hymnal, books of poetry

Names in an address book, a cookie recipe

Thermometer, odometer, numbers on a scale

Coupons, fliers, things that are on sale

Signs that you find on the streets and highway

Billboards, restaurants and stores along the way

I-Pads, smartphones, the size that’s in your shoe

Grocery lists, wish lists and lists of things to do

Words are everywhere, you just have to look

Words are all around us in more than just books!

The written word can also be used to help kids with planning and memories and emotions.  Some families write ” books” with kids before a new school year starts.  The book goes through the daily routine and helps the child feel secure and confident with a new plan.  You can add photos or simple line drawings to make the words come alive!  These personalized stories include morning routine, transportation plans, maybe even a photo of the new teacher or caregiver.  Behavior expectations can be included in the story as well as words of love and encouragement.  A blank notebook or a computer screen both work well!  The notebook can become an ongoing journal and the computer document can be changed or added to as needed!

Here is an example for a soon to be Kindergartner.

“I will get up at 7:15.  Mom will help me fix my hair.  I can get dressed myself.

“I will brush my teeth.  I will get my jacket, if I need it, and my backpack for school. Dad will give me a morning hug everyday and tell me I am his princess.   I will walk to the bus stop with Amy and Matt.  We ride Bus 45.  I get out at Washington School and go in Door 2.  I will go all the way to the cafeteria and eat breakfast at school.  If I have time I will play on the playground.  When the bell rings I will go up to Room 210.  First I will put my jacket and my backpack in my locker.  It is number 73.  I will bring my home folder into the teacher.  Her name is Ms. Wonderful and she will help me meet new friends.  At the end of the day I will go downstairs to Kid’s Connection. My friend Lydia will be there, too.  Mom will pick me up at about 5:45 when she gets done working and she will call me “Peanut” because she always calls me “Peanut“.  We will go home and see Amy and Matt and Dad.  After supper I will have time to play.  At 7:30 I will brush my teeth and read books with someone for awhile before I go to sleep.  Everyday will bring fun, new things.  But everyday will have some things that stay the same!”

See the words.  Use the words.  Celebrate the words!