Kindergarteners spend hours and hours reading, writing, and exploring the sounds in their own names, and in those of their classmates. Teachers love to use names to help reinforce key skills in early reading instruction...and parents can help!
Here's a delightful early reading activity for kindergarteners that manages to blend in some science instruction, too. If all goes well, it's even edible!
What You Need:
- Aluminum baking or roasting tray, preferably at least 3” deep by 14” long
- Sand (a bit from the sandbox will work just great)
- Potting soil
- Packet of fast-growing seeds (we prefer early red globe radishes)
What You Do:
- Have your young reader help you spoon about 3/4” of sand into a layer on the bottom of your aluminum baking tray. (This will be a water drainage layer).
- Cover the sand with an additional 2” or so of potting soil.
- Now have some writing fun: with a finger or a stick, have your child trace her name in large, block letters. (If she has a really long name, consider a shorter nickname, or even better, her initials!)
- In the “trench” made by this letter tracing, plant your radish seeds approximately 1” apart. Cover them with soil, sprinkle with water, and place in a sunny window.
- Keep your soil damp, and watch the soil for the next few days. Within a week, you should see baby seedlings and beautiful letters, too!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.