Early Literacy in Everyday Places: The Mall – Part One
The mall has a wealth of early literacy potential. From the basic concepts of counting, shapes and sizes to more detailed concepts of basic arithmetic, spelling and reading.
In the car
Point out all the print you can see from the car; on signs, buildings, inside the car, etc. This activity builds print awareness and can help develop vocabulary. Talk about what you see outside of the window. Discuss shapes, sizes, colors. Ask them to point out cars that are their favorite color (count the blue cars!) Ask them to narrate what activities they see going on outside of the window. This activity will help foster narrative skills. You can recruit older children to help with spelling games. Ask them to spell STOP when you are at a stop sign. Talk about the difference between STOP and YIELD.
Other options: Listen to audiobooks, or a children’s nursery rhyme CD.
Humpty Who? A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes for Clueless moms and dads.
100 Favorite Nursery Rhymes
In the parking lot
While you are driving around looking for a space to park, ask your child what they notice about the parking spot. Are the spots straight or diagonal? Is where you parked near or away from your destination? Count the floors as you go up the ramp in a parking garage.
Cars by Anne Rockwell
Caillou: The Shopping Trip by Nicole Nadeau
Walking to your destination
After you’ve parked, talk about the road safety in the parking lot. Ask them to gauge if other cars are driving quickly or slowly down the lanes. Have your child guess how many steps it will take to arrive to your location. Have them count their steps or recite the alphabet to see where they end up when you arrive. Talk about your day. What stores are you going to, what do you plan on buying, who is this item for? Are you shopping for clothes, shoes, kitchen appliances?
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathon Franklin
Curious George Saves His Pennies by H.A. Rey
I just want to make a point that when looking for picture books about shopping, it was very difficult to find anything about shopping that wasn’t in a grocery store. It was even harder still to find a book about shopping with the father instead of the mother. Is this the only shopping that takes place in our lives? Moms at the grocery store? We all know that is not the case. I’ll be on the look-out for books that deal with shopping in other locations. If you know of any titles, I’m all ears! Please let me know what I’m missing.
© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me on Twitter @TheNovelWorld.