6×6 Skills: Notice Print All Around You

A key skill in learning to read is to understand that words have meanings – not just in books, but everywhere you see them. Experts call this print awareness, and it includes understanding how a book works.

Your child will develop this skill if you let them handle books and help you turn pages (and even chew on them when they are babies!). If you point to words as you read them, your child will understand that we read from left to right, front to back and top to bottom. Look at signs and words when you’re out and about, and have all sorts of reading material at home – newspapers and magazines as well as books.

Activities to help notice print

Play puzzles

Use ones which have pictures and letters or words.

Talk about authors and illustrators

Explain who wrote and drew pictures for the book you’re reading.

Write the shopping list together

When you’re in the grocery store you can match your list to the products you buy.

Get baking

Get your child to help you bake by reading the recipe together.

Look at the words around you

Talk about road signs, food items, t-shirts, store names.

Play at dining out

Show your child a menu in a restaurant, and then play at dining out when you’re home by getting them to pretend to be a server and take your order

Information on this page was adapted from the 6 by 6 program developed by Johnson County Library.