Did you know that by labelling your kid’s stuff, you are teaching them valuable pre-literacy skills? (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience!)
Environmental print is a term used to describe the pre-reading that children do using symbols and familiar images. This reading is an introduction to the world of print, and is a way to begin to make sense of the letters they see adults reading and writing. The value of environmental print as a pre-curser to future reading ability has been well established. We know that to be a good reader, a child must understand what text is, how it works and how to use it. When a child can read a familiar logo it contributes to their positive self-identity as a reader, which then sets them up to approach more challenging reading tasks with confidence. Many parents can attest to their child’s enthusiasm for pointing out stop signs, familiar restaurants and foods in the grocery aisle that they can “read”. It may dismay you to know that marketers are acutely aware of the importance and impressionability of environmental print in the daily lives of young children and studies have shown children can “read” the golden arches and other commercial logos as toddlers…
Environmental Print In Your Home
So how does an informed parent go about replacing commercial environmental print with skill-building environmental print? How about by saturating the home environment with familiar words? Repeated exposure to familiar text teaches young children that there is a structure to language. This naturally leads to a readiness for learning about the individual sounds that letters make and, in our language, there is a left to right orientation to print. You’ll know your child has attained visual recognition of their name when they can read it off the back of a truck or on the cover of a book and when they can orient the object with their name on it so it is the right way up!
In our home, we are big fans of Mabel’s Labels. I received my first set as a gift when my oldest was a newborn. That was over ten years ago and they’ve been my gift of choice for new moms ever since. As a parent, I love that virtually everything that leaves our house has our name on it and tends to find its way back to us. As a teacher, I can tell you that I much prefer to hand a child their water bottle, sandwich container or sweater without having to hold it up auction style at the end of the day, “anyone know who this belongs to?”
Teachers who work with second language learners often label everything to increase vocabulary. Easy Daysies makes a great visual calendar that helps kids get organized and ready for their day. You can purchase their product by clicking here!
And if you’d like more great ideas on organizing your family life, come join me on Pinterest to stay up to date on tips and tricks for family life: