Print Awareness simply means that your child notices print, understands that it means something, and knows how to handle a book. Children with well developed print awareness know how to hold a books the right way up, that books have a cover, a front and back, and eventually understand that we read from from top to bottom and left to right.
An easy way to help develop your child’s print awareness is to occassionally point to words as you read them. Let your child turn the pages as you read. Books with different sized or expressive text, or signs and words as part of the illustrations, also draw the child’s eye. Find a book with a phrase that repeats and have your child help say it when you point to it.
Or try this silly tip — open a book upside down and say, “That’s funny, I can’t read this book! I wonder what’s wrong.” If your child can’t figure it out right away, say, “Oh, look, it’s upside down! Silly me!” Be sure to point out the text and illustrate what it looks like upside down and right way up.
It’s also easy to work on print awareness without books. Words are everywhere! Point out street signs, signs in the grocery store, or print on the cereal box. For more early literacy tips, check out our Born to Read pages.
More great print awareness books!