What You Need
- Writing Instrument (crayons, markers, etc.)
How to Do this Activity
While you’re cooking in the kitchen, set your child up at the table with paper and writing instruments, i.e., as a pencil, pen, marker, or crayon. Talk about the meal you’re making, and have your child draw a picture of each food. If he can, ask him to write the word or sound that the word starts with next to the picture — and be sure not to make it feel like a test. Let him know that he can ask you for help, and give him boxes or bags that the food name might be written on.
Once the menu and meal are ready, have your child present the menu to the family!
What Your Child Learns
Through this activity, children develop fine motor and beginning literacy skills. They learn that written language is relational — it allows us to communicate and record our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. More broadly, such activities help children build connections and discover strategies. Your child is making a connection between preparing a family dinner and writing about it. Through the process, he might ask for help, sound a word out, or look for the word on the packaging — all useful tools for early readers and writers.