Early Literacy on a Car Ride

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

One of the very early foundational literacy skills is environmental print; the recognition of print that occurs in everyday life such as signs, logos, labels etc.

Parents can encourage this skill for young emergent readers with fun, simple activities incorporated into your everyday routine. Opportunities for conversation around environmental print are plentiful during daily car rides and can provide much needed entertainment on a trip.

Use the steps below for a simple environmental print scavenger hunt to enjoy with your child.

1. Print out this environmental environmental print and slip into a sheet protector from Amazon for only $8.

2. Before heading out for errands or on a car trip, review the signs with your child. Ask, “Have you seen these before?” What does this one say?”

3. Invite your child to find each sign or icon as you ride, “Lets see if we can find these signs on our car ride today!”

4. Point out environmental print not on your list and encourage your child to find the same one again

5. When your trip is finished review with your child what you saw and did not see. What are some other signs you saw that were not on your list?

6. Store in the car and within reach of your child so they can independently access it and initiate the activity.

Try these other ways to play too!

  • Add new pictures of environmental print from your area

  • Notice and compare letters, shapes and colors of the signs, logos, labels, etc.

  • Try a scavenger hunt with pictures that are a close up of or just a part of the sign/label.

  • If your printable is in a sheet protector have your child mark each item off as you find it with a dry erase marker, this will give them a little extra practice with writing strokes

  • Focus on one familiar sign or label at a time and count how many you find. For example, how many times can you find the McDonalds sign?

For more simple ideas on how to build early literacy skills see https://www.kidsmoveandlearn.com/blog