The Museum – is a real page turner
Discovery Place Kids Huntersville
Top ways to incorporate literacy while having fun with your little one
Literacy isn’t just about reading. It’s also about listening, comprehending, building knowledge and understanding.
As parents, caregivers and educators we are often thinking about benchmarks and grade levels. You may feel that sometimes your child is ahead or behind, but there’s always an opportunity to read and learn and have fun at Discovery Place Kids in ways you may not have realized.
Did you know that most of the exhibits in the Museum have a mini library? On your next visit maybe turn this into a scavenger hunt with your child. Look for the books (usually on the wall) and you’ll find many stories themed to the area you’re in.
Some exhibits have what we call ‘parent pointers’ or ‘play starters.’ Try reading these with your child to help develop reading skills, and to get some ideas about how to interact with each other in the exhibit.
“For example, in the Grocery Store, ‘play starters’ explain different roles you can try (clerk, stock person, etc.),” says Lauren Fike, Museum director. “This can be an opportunity to read with your child as well as a great way to inspire some fun activities in that space. There is also a lot of language on the products/ store shelves. You can read labels, look for different letters, make it a game to learn more words/letters.”
Catch a show
Literacy is tucked in everywhere in the Museum. Even during the live Science Show, vocabulary is highlighted in age-appropriate and fun ways. “When we make ‘elephant toothpaste,’ the word may be ‘dissolve’ for younger ages, and ‘exothermic’ for older kids,” says Lauren. “We explain what the word means, practice saying it out loud and then see it in action during the show.”
Your own storytime
If you’re not feeling a show on your next visit there are plenty of quiet spaces with minimal distractions. Lauren’s favorite spots to read are in the Aunt Sarah’s Attic, at the silo and in underwater in I CAN Explore.
“These areas tend to be more intimate, quiet and can calm a child,” she says. “My favorite book to read at the Museum is by far ‘Iggy Peck Architect’ by Andrea Beaty. I love the series because of all the STEM career pathways, and she does a great job of showing diversity.”
Literacy Tips to Try at the Museum, Home or On-the-Go
Reading is a great way to bond – here are a few things to try with your little ones wherever you are:
- Read their name
- Recite the alphabet
- Recognize some or all of the letters in the alphabet
- Correspond some or all letters with their correct sound
- Make up a rhyme
- Hold a book right side up with the spine on the left, front cover showing
- Recognize that the progression of text is left to right, top to bottom