OK, I’m gonna throw you for a little bit of a loop here, but this is a reading activity. I know if you look at the picture above, it in no way, shape, or form looks like a reading activity, but it is, I promise you. Let me explain, one of the key concepts for our pre-readers is called concepts about print. In order to even begin to read any text, a child needs to have a strong understanding of concepts about print. 

So what are concepts about print?

Concepts about print are the essential skills about a text that a child needs before they can learn to read.

These skills include:
Holding books right side up
Pages turn from right to left
Text reads from left to right
Words hold meaning
Text reads from top to bottom
Return sweep (meaning you read left to right and then go down to the next line and read left to right again)

Text is written by someone

This activity focuses on the idea that text goes from left to right. We are going to model with this activity going from left to right and practicing that return sweep. So while this is a reading activity, it’s done and a hands-on way that just seems like fun. 

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills


  • Concepts about print


  • Sorting

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills


  • Concepts about print


  • Sorting

Required Materials

*Affiliate Link

Tractor Pull Template

farmer in the dell tractor pull concepts about print sorting

*Butcher Paper


*Toy Animals


*Toy Truck

Step #1
Print and cut out the Tractor Pull Template.
Step #2
On a piece of paper draw a road with 3 sqaures on either side of the road. These will act as the pens for the animals.
Step #3

In each pen, place an animal label.

Step #4
Place one animal at a time on the truck. Drive the truck on the road from LEFT to RIGHT to drop the animals in the correct pen.

Teacher Tip

We really want to focus on the left to right motion. It is okay if your preschooler makes a mistake or forgets, but gently encourage them to “drive” forward. This will help train their brain to look at papers from left to right.

This template will also be use for our Farmer in the Dell Activity.

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