Promoting Literacy Outdoors

There seems to a common assumption amongst childminders that we must have a box of books placed outside all year round in order to promote literacy outdoors. With the unpredictability of the English weather (gales and heavy rain this week)  I don’t much fancy this(!).  I would be heartbroken if one day I forget to bring a lovely set of books in from the garden and they were rained on.

I think there is much more to promoting literacy (reading and writing) and having a print rich environment outside. These are just some of the ways here at Aston Childcare that children can explore reading and writing whilst outdoors –

  • On our nature walks the children take nature worksheets and tick off what they find, this involves reading or for younger ones seeing the printed word.
  • Looking at and reading road signs, young mindees will often ask me “What does that sign say?” when we are out and about
  • In the school playground there is lots of print
  • In the village shop – posters and flyers in the windows, magazine and comic covers, food packaging.
  • Trips to the mobile library
  • Visiting local attractions with welcome signs
  • Signs up at the park
  • Writing and reading Plant markers
  • Making signs for the chicken coop
  • Buying plants at the garden centre
  • Mark making in the sand
  • Mark making outdoors using clipboards and pencils
  • Writing and painting on easels in the garden
  • Reading and looking at seed packets when growing flowers
  • Shut the gate signs
  • Looking at and reading road and street names
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