Saturday, July 02, 2011

Writing and Toddlers

Around Valentines Day I bought this little tin mailbox from the Target dollar bin. I thought it would be a cute way to wrap David and Eliza's valentines. But I forgot to use it. And later, it got mixed in with Eliza's toys. Then I came across a great book which gave me a great new idea for it.

The book is The Write Start by Jennifer Hallissy. The author also has a blog by the same name. I really loved this book (and the blog is pretty cool too)! It is 52 ideas for encouraging writing at any age, even two! It starts with ideas that encourage letter knowledge and then builds to activities such as creating a family newspaper and making your own coupons. What I also loved is each idea is broken down by age (scribblers, spellers, storytellers and scholars) so even the youngest of writers have something to do in each activity. For example, I think one of the ideas involved keeping a journal and for the scribbler, she suggests creating a color journal...each day your toddler could pick a color and scribble that color on the page. Totally doable for a toddler and at the same time encouraging writing! There were many more great ideas in this book. Another thing to love about this book, the chapter titles: Learn, Make, Do, Play and Connect.

Reading through this book and the blog also had me thinking up some ideas of my own and I love it when a book does that. There was something in there about creating a mailbox...don't remember the idea exactly, but it got me thinking about my tin mailbox sitting idle in Eliza's toy bins. So I set up the mailbox on our bookshelf in the living room and started writing Eliza little notes. Think the kind your mom would put in your lunch box. Then I put up the red flag and told her to check her mailbox for a note from mama. I've only done this a few times, but she was just as excited as when I bring home books for her from the library. Getting letters is pretty exciting afterall, even for adults! And that I am hopefully encouraging a love of writing in the process? Even better!

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