The early years (during preschool) are important to the development of literacy. Exposure to literacy materials encourages awareness of print, phonics, narratives, and development of oral language. Supplies for your daycare business do not have to expensive. Starting a daycare business can be expensive which is why many daycare owners search for daycare grants and other sources of funding. There are many sources for low-priced literacy materials and remember: A little creativity goes a long way.
Inexpensive Literacy Materials:
Crayons, chalk, markers writing paper, index cards, construction paper, tissue paper, playdoh, magnetic Shapes, letters and numbers, sponge letters, play dough, tempura paint, yarn, and pipe cleaners.
Finding Inexpensive Children’s Books:
Used children’s books can be extremely inexpensive. Thrift stores and garage sales. Many garage sale holders will sell an entire crate of used children’s books for an incredibly low price. Your local library may hold a Friends of Library used book sale which is another great resource for cheap children’s books. Also try buying used book from amazon.com which can be purchased for as little as $.01 plus shipping.
Preschool Literacy Activities:
Here are a few literacy simple literacy activities using inexpensive materials:
Prop Boxes for Dramatic Play
Prop boxes for dramatic play can support literacy learning. Children can set up scenes using the contents of the boxes to create environments such as an office setting or post office setting or a restaurant. In these settings children will naturally practice or mimic writing and handle a variety of literacy materials.
An office dramatic play prop box might include: Paper, pens, pencils, stapler, memo pad, junk mail, typewriter, old laptop, rolodex, phone, stamps, and calculator.
A Post office dramatic play prop box might include: Pens, paper, pencils, Envelopes, postcards, stamps, packages made from empty boxes, junk mail, scale, stickers, hole punch, cash register, postal worker uniform, and packing tape.
A restaurant prop box might include, among other things: Pens, menus contain food pictures with the words beneath the picture, ordering pads, pencils, and restaurant signs.
Creating and Practicing Letters
Children can practice making letters from a variety of very inexpensive materials. Paint, pudding, sand, rice, chalk, and shaving cream are all very economical and can be used on a variety of surfaces. Children may make letters out shape letters out of items such as felt, construction paper, blocks, pipe cleaners, clay, and playdoh.
Dry Erase Board Activities
A magnetic dry erase board and dry erase markers are great, reasonably priced literacy tools for a variety of literacy activities. Children can practice writing letters, tracing letters, drawing pictures and scenes which they can then narrate. In addition children can use magnetic letters on the board to create words and sentences.
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