Words, Words, Everywhere

January 23, 2019

Consider this. Long before they can read, many children effortlessly learn the logos of favorite products. And thanks to the ever-present STOP sign, the word stop is often one of the very first words children learn to read. These facts demonstrate the power of written words in a child’s environment.

Preschool and Kindergarten teachers often harness this power by placing labels on objects in their classrooms so that children begin to associate written words with the items that are labeled. Here’s how it works. At first children suss out the connection between objects and labels. (“This label is attached to a lamp, so it must say lamp.”) Later, once they’ve learned letters and their sounds, they’ll understand that the word on a label not only represents a particular object but also the sounds we use to describe that object. And so begins the road to reading.

Want to try this at home? It is quick and easy to do. Just search online for free-to-print labels and attach them to objects in your home. Although children do not learn to read via osmosis, labels in their environment can be beneficial (especially for struggling readers). Try it at home and see how long it takes your children to learn to read the labels you post.