Practical Strategies for Building Young Children’s Print Awareness Skills

Practical Strategies for Building Young Children’s Print Awareness Skills

As school is back in full swing, many of us are thinking about how to set up our young children for success. Even if our children are in preschool and haven’t started their elementary years yet, it’s never too soon to begin working on print awareness skills!

While phonological awareness skills address how words sound, print awareness addresses how words look. Both are important pre-kindergarten skills. Here are some fundamental print awareness skills your child should master before she starts kindergarten:

  1. Display interest in reading and sharing books
  2. Identify the front and back of the book
  3. Identify the top and bottom of the page
  4. Look at the book while turning the pages from left to right
  5. Identify the title on the front cover
  6. Identify titles of favorite books
  7. Distinguish between pictures and print on a page
  8. Know where the story begins in the book
  9. Identify letters that occur in her own name
  10. Print the first letter of her name
  11. Recite the alphabet
  12. Point to the first and last letter in a word
  13. Differentiate uppercase from lowercase letters
  14. Use terms such as letter, word, alphabet
  15. Respond to common environmental signs (e.g., stop, restroom signs)

In terms of print awareness, make sure your child understands these terms and can identify their corresponding symbols: uppercase letter, lowercase letter, book, cover, page, sentence, comma, period, question mark.

It only takes a few minutes each day to read with our children and target their print awareness skills. Doing so will help set a strong literacy foundation for years to come! In the video below, I demonstrate several easy techniques for building print awareness.

For more ideas on building your child’s print awareness and other literacy skills, please see my book Love Talk Read to Help Your Child Succeed, available on Amazon at