Did you know that movement can be a great early literacy tool? Use dancing, walking, jumping, arm waving, wheelchair rolling, toe pointing, etc to teach concepts to your kids - they'll learn quickly and remember for longer!
According to Rae Pica, movement's incorporation into learning waxes and wanes in popularity; however, "[Children] still need to physically experience concepts to fully understand them, and that includes concepts falling under the heading of literacy and the language arts." Pica, in a 2012 article "Linking Literacy and Movement" in Early Childhood News discusses research that demonstrates how children learn through creating meaning, and that meaning can be especially created through movement. For instance, demonstrating words like over, under, around, up, and down by moving throughout the room (or dancing!) is much more effective than teaching a group of children sitting down.
Here are some more fun tips from her article:
"Beginning in infancy, when we label a baby’s actions (“You’re making your arms go up and down!”) we are making vital connections. Also, consider the simple act of children forming letters of the alphabet with their bodies or body parts – individually or with a partner. Such an activity leads to greater awareness of the straight and curving lines that comprise each letter and the difference between upper- and lowercase letters."
"When children clap the rhythm of words or rhymes, or move to the rhythm of a poem, they are increasing their knowledge of both rhythm and language. Clapping, stamping, or stepping to the rhythms of words can also familiarize them with syllables."
You may have noticed that we do a lot of these things in our storytimes, but you can import the ideas to your home as well!
Note: Do you think you can find this chalkboard in our library? This drawing is currently up!