When I was a preschool teacher I learned one of the things we had to do for accreditation was create a literacy rich environment. I didn't understand the reasoning for this at first, but after learning about it I became very interested in it. I had a lot of fun thinking of different creative ways to have a print rich classroom. Now that I have children, and they aren't exposed to a print rich classroom environment-- I feel that I need to provide them with a literacy rich home so they can also benefit.
What does it mean by providing children with a literacy rich environment? It's simple! It means by hanging signs, labels, books etc on everyday objects. It allows children to become more comfortable with words and letters. It will teach them that spoken language is represented by different symbols They also learn that words have meaning and a real. They will tie the words into their daily experiences. When labels have pictures with them, they will "read" the pictures, but learn that words represent objects and they are more then something you find in a storybook.
The labels have to be more then just having labels everywhere. They should be on objects the children use, and see. They should be at their level, so they can become aware of them.
Some ideas for signs/ labels in the house:
-rooms of use-- bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc
-labels on toys/ materials
-name labels on specific things to help recognize their name (coats, lunch bags, etc)
-labels/ signs/ charts for schedules, chore charts, etc.
-key room elements (doors, windows, desk, chairs, tables)
Another way to create a literacy rich environment is to provide lots of books, writing supplies, and play props that have words on them. This can include laminating take out menus, and keeping it by a play phone, or giving them a phone book, it could be giving them blueprints with their blocks, etc! The more exposure children have to this, the more prepared for reading they will be!
Here are a few photos of some of the ways we made our home to promote literacy!