3 Ways to Include Literacy When Outside

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My two year old LOVES the outdoors. She loves to be in the cold, hot, rain, wind…even ice! We live in Texas so we can have it all in just one week, sometimes in the same day!

As we play outside, I tried to include activities that help her in literacy.

1. Play with sidewalk chalk

Who doesn’t love a good art session?! Sidewalk chalk is also very affordable. Many times you can find it at the dollar store. Crayola 16 Count Sidewalk Chalk is our favorite!

For K, we are working on recognizing the letters of her name and the numbers 1-10. While outside, I usually will write her name or 2-3 letters on the sidewalk and talk about them with her. Sometimes we draw pictures to represent items that begin with that specific letter. Other times, we just decorate her name or embellish the letters.

 

2. Take a walk around the neighborhood

Neighborhoods are filled with text. From street signs to names on mailboxes, you can walk the neighborhood and read! As K and I walk to the mailbox to retrieve the mail, I will read any street names or signs that I might see. She may not understand what the signs mean, but the more letters and words I can expose her to, the better!

Taking a walk in January around the neighborhood

3. Play Alphabet Basketball

What is “alphabet basketball”? It’s really simple to play! I actually use this with my students during spelling when I feel they have had a good week. I have a few Spalding NBA Mini Basketball – Blue/Green and partner the students up. If you are at home, you and your little can be partners! Have the students, or you and your little, stand a few feet apart. As a word is called out, the students alternate bouncing the ball and spelling out a word. For little ones, you could have them spell out their name, the names of letters, etc.

For example, if K and I are outside with a basketball, she and I would stand a few feet apart. I would bounce the basketball to her and say “a”. She would then bounce the basketball back to me and say “b” repeating those actions with the rest of the alphabet. You could also do it with colors (name something that is red), numbers (count to 10), or even initial sounds of words or ending sounds (name words that begin with the “ch” sound).

Have more than one little? Stand in a triangle or square, and pass the ball!

Give you big littles a chance to get in on the fun, too!

Do you have a favorite activity that incorporates literacy into it? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below!

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