Concepts of print refers to children’s knowledge of the functions of print and how print works for the purposes of reading, particularly with regard to books. In order to understand how print works, children should be exposed to print concepts on a daily basis. Children who are exposed to print concepts on a daily basis begin to understand that written language carries meaning. Children see print all around them. They can recognize print in various forms by seeing it in their environment and observing adults working with print.
Below are some activities that you can do with your child to support the development of print concepts:
Read Together Every Day
Make it an enjoyable time of the day to read a short book, pointing out the title and words as you read and using funny voices for different parts. Discuss what is happening in the book and name the drawings on each page (e.g., "That's a train. It takes people to places they need to go.").
Before you read a book to your child, talk about the front cover, back cover, and title.
While you read a book, talk with your child about the difference between words and pictures, sentences and words, as well as words and letters.
After you read a book to your child, have him/her draw their favorite part of the book. Then ask them what they drew while you transcribe what they say. Re-read the sentence to him/her and point out: capital letter at the beginning, the period at the end, space between words, etc.
While you read a pattern book (a book that repeats the same line), point to each word as you read it.
While you read a book to your child, ask him/her to turn the pages.
Examples of books with word patterns and predictability that children often enjoy:
Williams, S. (1992). I Went Walking. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Brown, M.W. (1947). Goodnight Moon. New York: Harper & Row.
Carle, E. (1969). The Very Hungry Caterpillar. New York: Philomel.
Martin, B. (1983). Brown Bear, Brown Bear. New York: Henry Holt.
Miller, J.P. (2010). The Little Red Hen. Penguin Random House
Cowley, J. (1999). Mrs. Wishy-Washy. New York: Philomel
Talk About the Words You See Every Day
Point to the stop signs, store names, food boxes in the grocery store, and signs you see around you. Your child will build an awareness of words and letters being used in every day situations.