Exploring Print in Our World

Daniele CasciatoRead, Talk



“Hey, mom. You have an “M” in your name - just like in McDonald’s”

Early experiences with environmental print, the logos, words, and symbols found in a child’s world, are some of the first exposure children have to written language. Noticing print helps children make sense of abstract symbols and helps them to make sense of written language through print. Environmental print is often the first print that young children read. 

Families can help their child notice the print found in everyday environments. Here are some fun ways you can help your child learn to notice:

  • Take photos of environmental print and encourage your child to talk and “read” these images (e.g., STOP signs have an S at the beginning, what do we get here - “Tim Horton’s)
  • Collect food labels and encourage your child to make a story.
  • Play “I Spy” at the grocery store. Ask your child to ‘spy’ for products that start with a certain letter. (e.g., “I spy something that begins with the sound ‘G’. You might be in the cracker section and your child is familiar with Goldfish crackers.) Be sure to use products that your child is knows.
  • Cut out some labels and put them next to the magnetic letters from your Welcome to Kindergarten kit. See if your child can find the letter that matches the beginning letter on the label. (e.g., B is for Bear Claw cookies)