Read. Sing. Play. Talk. Write.
Five small words but when used every day, these simple activities have the power to change your child’s life! These form the basis of the development of early literacy skills that will give children what they need to learn, to communicate, to create and ultimately, to reach their full potential. It's never too early to start; as soon as you are settled in at home with a new baby start making these simple activities part of your daily life. It’s not scary, it’s not hard and it’s not expensive. In fact, it’s fun, it’s easy and doesn’t cost a penny!
By reading, singing, playing, talking and writing with your child every day, you will be modeling and encouraging them to develop important pre-reading skills. This will help them to recognize words and smaller sounds in words, understand the meaning of words, be able to tell stories themselves, become familiar with printed language and comfortable with books, and know the names and sounds of letters.
Here are a few simple tips:
- Read and tell stories at bedtime, on the bus, in the car, in a restaurant, or in the doctor’s office
- Visit the library to borrow materials and get suggestions
- Have books at home; be sure your child sees you reading too!
- Play simple games
- Sing the alphabet song, recite nursery rhymes and chants
- Look for letters, numbers, and signs at the grocery store, on car rides, or in magazines or flyers
- Talk to your child all the time and encourage them to talk to you as well
- Have crayons, pencils and paper handy and encourage your child to write or scribble
- When reading, exaggerate your facial expressions, show enthusiasm and make the story interactive; talk about what you are reading and connect stories to your child’s experiences
- Choose books that you will enjoy reading over and over again!
Most of all, have fun and know you are setting your child up for success by giving them your love, your time and the gift of reading! Lots more tips and suggestions can be found at on this website!
Submitted by Julie Brandl
Originally published in The Mom & Caregiver Magazine in May 2013