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Fun Ways to Teach Preschool Children About Punctuation Marks

by Wannikki Taylor

Punctuation marks are symbols that bring clarity to a sentence. Without these marks, the sentences will have completely different meanings to the reader. A preschooler, who will soon be learning to read, will benefit from learning about the punctuation marks and how they are used. Teach your preschool child about punctuation marks with fun games and activities.

Songs

Preschoolers are already familiar with singing nursery rhymes. Teach him about punctuation marks by creating songs to the tune of popular nursery rhymes. Focus on one or a few punctuation marks per song. For example, transform "Bingo" into "Comma". Instead of "There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o", sing "It separates items in a sentence and Comma is the name-o." Another option is to change, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" into "Period, Period Question Mark" and the lyrics could be, "Period, Period Question Mark, How I wonder what to use?" and so on.

Story Time

Preschoolers enjoy getting stories read to them before a nap or bedtime. Make story time more interactive by letting your preschooler act out the punctuation marks in a story with noises. Have your preschoolers associate a noise with each punctuation mark to build her memory skills. For example, if a sentence ends with a question mark, have her blow a whistle. If the sentence ends with a period, she can clap her hands. Read the story aloud and stop at the end of the sentence. Let her look at the punctuation mark and to make the appropriate noise.

Cooking

Your preschooler probably loves to assist you with cooking and baking in the kitchen. Let your preschooler help make punctuation mark sandwiches and cookies to familiarize him with how the marks look. Alphabet cookie cutter sets often include some punctuation mark cookie cutters. Make several sandwiches like peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese. Let your child press the cookie cutters in the sandwiches to make exclamation, question and other punctuation marks. For the cookies, let him press the punctuation cookie cutter in sugar or chocolate chip cookie dough and bake.

Book

Preschoolers should have practice drawing the punctuation marks. Let her create her own book to use as a reference guide. Fold a piece of construction paper over and place blank, white paper inside. Draw a different punctuation mark on each page. Label what mark it is at the top. Let her attempt to recreate the mark or have her use stencils to make the marks. Write "[insert kid's name]'s Book of Punctuation Marks" on the cover page. Let her decorate the cover with markers and stickers.

About the Author

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.

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