Preschool Learning: Map Out Your Town
What you need:
- A driveway or sidewalk (If you don't have either, a few sheets of large construction paper taped together to create a large space will do!)
- Toy cars, dolls, action figures, etc.
- Take a stroll or a drive around your neighborhood with your child. See what signs, symbols and words he can decipher from the world around him. When you get home, talk about those words and encourage your child to think about other labels and logos that he knows.
- Talk to your child about what signs and symbols are found on these types of buildings. A barber shop might have a red and white post out in front. Signs for a hospital usually have an H on them. The post office has a flag on or near the building. Some familiar stores might have orange letters, a backwards R or a big M on the sign.
- Explain street names and their meanings. If you live on Stonehill Street, draw in some rocks and hills. If it's Old Farm Road, maybe it's because the area was once an old farm. Or if you are on Third Avenue, you can say it's between Second and Fourth Avenues. (Math bonus!) This helps your child make sense of the contextual clues in the environment and how it connects to words.
- Now, your child should be good and prepped. So when you come home, you and your child can draw roads, buildings, homes and other objects found in your neighborhood with the chalk. Draw in the post office, library, school, restaurants, even playgrounds and churches and label them as you just talked about.
How this builds brains:Whether either of you realize it, your child is already reading print. She's recognizing letters, numbers, shapes and colors in the world around her on signs and logos. When children can understand clues in their everyday environment and apply them to actual words, it makes reading even easier!
Get more brain-building activities for your kid! Check out our Brain Building Boot Camp with Dr. Christine Ricci.