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