Holidays are a great opportunity for preschoolers to bring some fun work home! This FREE preschool Christmas Bingo was designed for just that!
It can’t already be time for Christmas/Winter break, can it? I feel like I just finished publishing the Thanksgiving Literacy Bingo! Somehow the Christmas holiday is already upon us and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season already have moms across the country trying not to pull their hair out.
At preschool, though the holiday anticipation is exciting as the 3 & 4 years old share their holiday traditions and Christmas gift wish list. It is always such a joy to be a preschool teacher during this time of the year.
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Reading Too Early
And in the midst of all the holiday fever, an article has been circulating my newsfeed on social media. The title is “Reading Too Soon” and was posted on a website called the “Organized Mind.” It is a very short article and you can read it yourself, but here is a very brief summary:
Between the ages of 3-7, children learn using the right side of their brain. However, the left side of the brain is responsible for reading. By forcing children to use the right side of their brain to read, it becomes more detrimental to their literacy and reading journey. Instead, parents are encouraged to read to their children instead of making them become proficient readers.
After reading the article I immediately shared it, because it dripped with the truth. However, like so many good things, I started to see other moms share it and go on complete tangents about how we need to cease all things reading.
The writer of the article is a woman named Stacey, and after perusing her website, I think she is more than qualified to offer her opinion on this. Yet we need to be careful not to undermine the importance of exposure to literacy and reading opportunities. Creating a passion for reading, a joy for reading, and a desire for reading is what early childhood literacy is all about.
As a preschool literacy teacher in the trenches of this issue, let me offer a distinguishing factor. Reading too soon is about the word "force". If we force a preschooler’s right side of the brain to read, then yes, their right-side neurological pathways are not yet formed with the left side and undesired consequences can form from this force. But if we expose the preschooler to the wonderful, creative, and flourishing world of literacy we are using the strength of the right side to enforce a love of reading.
Let me offer an example. As stated in the article the right side is responsible for seeing pictures, images, and shapes, and then constructing a storyline. Letting a child touch and feel a book and then asking them to ‘read’ the story based on pictures, is not a bad thing! This is not stepping out of their developmental readiness.
Exposing children to the ABCs is also not a deterrent. Letters are simply shapes that have a word to go with them. Learning to recognize A and say ‘A' is still not a bad thing. It's when we force a child to learn the sounds of letters and memorize words based on their shape, that is what leads to low literacy comprehension!
The crux of my argument is based on the word force. Let me sum it up for you in two sentences.
If you want your child to be a successful reader and writer you need to stop forcing them to read. Instead, expose them to the wonderful world of literacy by reading to them and allowing them to interact with the world of literacy.
How do you do a Christmas Bingo?
Which leads me right into my Christmas BINGO. Learning to love literacy can be FUN! It can be a delightful discovery. You’ll notice on this BINGO sheet that there are a lot of squares that ask a child to read a book. Remember when a preschooler ‘reads’ they are simply looking at pictures and constructing a storyline based on those pictures.
This type of activity is also requiring them to be silly and MOVE. Remember proprioception, or knowing where your body is at, has to develop before becoming a successful learner. Preschoolers shouldn’t sit still and read for long periods of time! They are not ready for it.
Literacy Preschool Christmas Bingo
What exactly is a literacy Bingo? How do you play it or use it in a classroom?
In our classroom the Bingo is sent home right before Winter Break. We send an email to parents explaining the activity (and exmphasizing that it is not required) and show our students the workpage and read off some of the boxes to get them excited. A preschool Christmas Bingo gets the kids fairly excited. Especially when you read off some like read a book by the Christmas tree, or, read with only one sock on!
If we have students that do not have a Christmas tree, that is something we know beforehand and we make adjustments to the Bingo sheet accordingly.
Your FREE Preschool Christmas Bingo
Silly little BINGO sheets like this will keep your child moving and exposed to literacy during the holiday break. A preschool Christmas Bingo is a perfect way to encourage the joy of literacy without “Reading Too Soon.”
Also available in the Thanksgiving Break Edition!