A couple of years ago I wrote a post about teaching my granddaughters Environmental Print. Environmental Print is the name given to the print that appears in signs, labels, and logos you see in everyday life. Learning to “read” Environmental Print is an important step in learning to read print. This type of learning helps young children build confidence and transition into the world of reading more easily.
Today, while driving in the car I started pointing out Environmental Print to another granddaughter. Although our trip was filled with signs and logos that she undoubtedly was aware of, it did not engage her interest. Her only focus was when she was going to get to my house. So, “reading around our town” we will attempt on another day and try some of the ideas listed below.
11 Environmental Print Activities
- Grocery Ads – Ask children to read the print in grocery store ads to make a shopping list.
- Add Real boxes/Labels to Play – Encourage your child to play with real empty boxes and labels.
- Create a Menu Book – Using any type of notebook or paper create a menu of items your child recognizes by gluing fronts of boxes or labels. Into the menu book. At mealtime ask your child to choose from the menu to choose what they want to eat.
- Shopping Helper – Kids can bring their Environmental Print book to the store and try to locate the items on the shelves.
- Shop your Pantry – Ask your child to get items from your pantry using the brand name or a type of food. Be sure to show when where the words are on the boxes to help them “read” the words.
- Cooking in the Kitchen – Using their Environmental Print book they can collect items needed to prepare their meal.
- Create Environmental Print Book – Print out or cut out logos, box tops, names of stores, school items that are familiar to your child. If you are printing the items, be sure to use large print and proper coloring.
- Shopping Photos – Allow kids to take pictures using your phone of items in the store they like. They can then review the photos and name the products.
- Road signs – Print out copies of road signs and place around house or an outside space. Ask kids to pretend they are driving and obey the traffic signs. A great way to make them “SLOW DOWN” on a busy day!
- Puzzle Boxes – Cut up the front of boxes (ex. cereal) to make a puzzle and ask kids to put them together. Start with 2 pieces and work up to more pieces depending on the child’s age and skill level.
- Match Game – Make 2 copies of the word or label and ask kids to find 2 of the same thing. Variations can be a card game or a memory game.
With a little bit of effort and creativity we can create opportunities for kids to see print and learn to read it. Sharing Environmental Print with our kids is just one more way we can show how important reading and writing are for life. Happy Reading!
Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.