Sprouts Development » Early Literacy: Preschoolers

Early Literacy: Preschoolers

Preschool ages are generally considered to range from three to five, so preschoolers come in all shapes and sizes. Even though their language skills have improved a lot they often still rely on our facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures to help them understand how things work. As they get older their vocabulary continues to grow quickly. They begin to be more in touch with their body and can tell you how they feel and talk about their ideas. Preschoolers love to tell stories, have conversations and are curious to know more about everything! They generally ask lots of questions and are interested in the meaning of new words.

We hope this video and the corresponding tips to the right help add to what you’re already doing with your little ones and highlight why the skills you see each day are important in building a foundation for literacy!

Video & Tips

Receptive Language

Expressive Language

Environmental Print

Pretend Play

Probing Questions

Hand Dominance

Receptive language is being able to listen to and understand what people are saying through their words, gestures and facial expressions.

Expressive language means being able to communicate with others using words, gestural cues and facial expressions.

This is the print you and your child see in everyday life. It’s the name on a cereal box, a STOP sign or other labels, logo signs and colors we all learn to recognize. Environmental print is everywhere and is a great starting place for children to make connections by “reading” within the context of their every day experiences.

Pretend play is playing make-believe and taking on different roles, trying out new expressions and other voices and dressing up. It can also be substituting an object to represent something else, like pretending a block is a telephone.

Probing questions help children to process and problem solve. We can help them figure out how something works, instead of doing it for them, by asking probing questions like “what do you think will happen when you put that next big block on the tower?”

Hand dominance refers to whether a child uses their left or right hand to write, use scissors, hold a fork and other self-help skills. Hand dominance is determined before a baby is born.

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