The Nurturing Nest
Family Child Care and Preschool
June 2022

June's Theme - A to Zoo

Week 1 - Animals A-E
Phonological awareness begins in the early years of a child's life and continues to build as they enter kindergarten. Phonological awareness is the ability to understand sound patterns in written and oral language. Children develop this awareness by listening for rhyming words and identifying letters and their sounds. This important skill enables children to learn how to read, write and speak in their native language. Teachers can plan activities to help strengthen phonological awareness such as chanting a rhyming song then allowing children to shout out the missing rhyming word. These activities should be engaging and motivating, emphasizing active participation over rote memorization. By incorporating gross motor, sensory play and music into these activities, children can learn through playful experiences.

Letters: A-Z. Phonic Words: alligator, bird, camel, dolphin, elephant, nest, sand, water. Basic Concepts: pink, review shapes, helpful.

A is for Alligator
B is for Bird
C is for Camel
D is for Dolphin
E is for Elephant

Week 2 - Animals F-K
Building vocabulary during early childhood helps lay the foundation for literacy and language development. An infant's cooing and babbling will develop into important language skills such as speaking, writing and reading. Vocabulary is more than saying or reading words; it is about understanding the meaning of words and connecting them to the world. Teachers can help build a child's vocabulary by creating a language-rich environment; reading a variety of books in different genres, reciting poems, and engaging children in conversations. By exploring vocabulary on a daily basis, children will be better prepared academically and socially during their school years.

Letters: A-Z. Phonic Words: fox, gorilla, hippo, inchworm, jellyfish, kangaroo, den, jungle.

F is for Fox
G is for Gorilla
H is for Hippo
I is for Inchworm
J is for Jellyfish & K is for Kangaroo

Week 3 - Animals L-R
A language-rich environment is essential for toddlers and preschoolers to grow communication skills. Creating this type of environment encompasses a variety of print, oral and written language opportunities. However, it does not mean you need to plaster your walls with words and letters. Language-rich environments include diverse experiences that help motivate and strengthen language development. This can be achieved by listening to a child's interest and engaging in conversations about that topic, encouraging imaginary play, asking open-ended questions, and allowing time for children to process and respond to information. In fact, simply playing with a child and commenting on their actions helps build language understanding. When we invite children to be active participants in learning and play, we create opportunities to strengthen communication every day.

Letters: A-Z. Phonic Words: llama, moose, newt, otter, polar bear, quail, rattlesnake, fur.

L is for Llama
M is for Moose
N is for Newt & O is for Otter
P is for Polar Bear & Q is for Quail
R is for Rattlesnake

Week 4 - Animals S-Z
Introducing concepts of literacy at an early age is key for growing a successful reader. From infancy onward, it is important to provide engaging literacy and language opportunities on a daily basis. This can be achieved naturally by exploring picture books, connecting through positive interactions, and participating in a child's play. As children grow they are able to take in and process more information. Children rely on their teachers to expose them to a variety of experiences that build their background knowledge. For example, it may be difficult (or impossible) to be exposed to zoo animals in real life. However, by reading books, building animal homes, singing animal songs and pretending to move like animals, children can gain useful background information and become curious knowledge-seekers.

Letters: A-Z. Phonic Words: sheep, tiger, urchin, vulture, wolf, x-ray fish, yak, zebra.

S is for Sheep
T is for Tiger
U is for Urchin & V is for Vulture
W is for Wolf & X is for X-ray Fish
Y is for Yak & Z is for Zebra

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