Let’s set up a Busy Big Kid activity and let them WRITE THE PANTRY.
You and your big kid NEED this activity in your life. TRUST ME. Write the Pantry will become your new “quiet time” best friend – and one of the best ways to help your child grow in their literacy.
RELATED: Want to know more about my kids and learning? Check out my PLAYING PRESCHOOL PROGRAM.
What’s going on here?!
This is my 6-year-old son sitting in our kitchen “writing the pantry”.
What he’s doing here is furthering his relationship with letters and sounds and words as he works up to becoming a “reader”.
Give me a second to explain it all:
THE SET UP
My son is sitting at our pantry, and on his lap is a piece of paper divided in two columns with 11 rows (I ditched the letters Q, X, Y and Z – but really, I should have kept Y because J was the letter that was hardest to find!).
I taped that paper to a book to keep it steady because apparently we don’t own any clipboards.
WHAT WAS HIS JOB
His job was “simple”: Sit and look at the pantry and FIND THE LETTERS.
Search the packaging labels and wrappers for words containing each letter.
When he found a word, he wrote the whole word in the space for the letter.
Can you see on his sheet how he found Gogo for G? Beef Broth for B?
He worked through the whole alphabet finding words in the pantry that either started with OR CONTAINED each letter of the alphabet.
Spread out over the day, this took him more than ONE HOUR to do.
What you NEED to know about this activity
My son cannot read 90% of all the words he wrote. Some he recognized from the labels but most he picked only because they contained the letter he was searching for.
THE POINT OF THIS ACTIVITY IS NOT TO TEACH HIM TO READ THESE WORDS.
The point is to help him see that letters aren’t just something that stand alone.
Instead, to see so clearly that letters represent sounds and sounds become words and LOOK! Words are EVERYWHERE around us.
This is called “environmental print”
In teacher lingo, we call this “environmental print” – learning to see and recognize the words around you.
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I used to do this exact activity with kindergarteners and first graders (but in the classroom, we call this write the room).
Write the Pantry teaches SO MUCH
Write the Pantry gives kids a beautiful chance to start looking for, identifying, and gaining familiarity with the words that are all around them.
There’s so much more to reading and learning and letters than just flashcards and worksheets.
Give this activity a go!
The value in this activity is through the roof.
And the best part is – this isn’t a one-time only activity. You can try this again and again (with magazines, junk mail, and all around the house).
The goal is to get kids SEEING letters and building that relationship.
Write the Pantry does just that.