Reading and writing go together. Writing helps children understand that print has meaning. The beginning of writing for very young children is learning how to use their hands and fingers so that later they will be able to hold crayons and pencils.
When your baby is old enough, encourage him or her to pick up cheerios. This gives them practice with fine motor skills, and eye-hand coordination. These skills will come in handy when children begin to learn to hold a pencil!
From birth, babies play to learn about their world. Not only is playing with your baby a good bonding experience, but it is also one of the best ways for babies to learn language and literacy skills and build motor skills.
There are many fun counting rhymes. Play a game with your baby’s stuffed animals by lining them up in a row. Take one animal away each time you say the rhyme.
Five Pets in the Window
Five pets in the window for the whole world to see.
Look, someone is coming, who says,
“You’re the perfect pet for me.
Language is in itself musical. When you sing and speak, your baby learns about words, language, and communication. Through your singing, baby’s language comprehension begins.
Your baby wiggling his fingers might seem like a trivial thing, but he’s actually gaining more control over his muscles. “Where is Thumbkin” is a classic tune that focuses on one finger at a time.
Talking to your child from birth is crucial to their development of language. As you read Who Said Moo? , talk to your child about what they see in the picture. Ask them questions about the story, such as, “What does a cow say?” Children learn more if story sharing is an interactive process.
Talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing are five simple practices that will help your child get ready to read! Driving in the car is a great time to sing to your baby. Try singing Wheels on the Bus as you drive—you can make up new or different verses each time. Your baby will just like to hear the sound of your voice.
Writing helps build early literacy skills. Writing starts as scribbles by children. This then develops into letters, words, and sentences. When children are learning to write, the first letter they usually remember is the first letter in their name. Practicing this letter as well as their name and other words that start with this letter will help them learn new words and how to write them.
You talk to and with your child frequently, but did you know exactly how much you are encouraging your child’s language skills with those daily conversations and book-reading? Research has shown that when adults “provide children with higher levels of language stimulation during the first years of life, children have better language skills.”
Many picture books share interesting words that are not used in daily conversation. The book I Will Chomp You repeats the word CHOMP many times! Not only is reading books with repeated words fun, you’re also building up your child’s vocabulary since repeated exposure to unfamiliar words with meaningful context (like the accompanying pictures in books) helps children learn new words.
This week our focus is on digital literacy and ways you can use technology to enhance reading or book-sharing time. Sometimes in books you’ll come across animals (such as ones in Slowly, Slowy, Slowly Said the Sloth) that are new to your child—and maybe to you, too. Go to a zoo’s website and see if the animal lives there or search for videos on YouTube. Turn on the volume and see what noises those animals make. Your child will get to see actual photos or videos of these animals in addition to the illustrated ones in the book. Using the internet in this way is great for expanding your child’s curiosity and vocabulary.
Play offers many enjoyable opportunities to develop language. The most critical aspect of play as it relates to language development is that children learn to think symbolically. They learn that one thing can represent another thing. It is this very kind of thinking that is used in language.
Have your child use his/her whole body to act out Pepito the Brave. This will help your child internalize and understand what is happening in the story. This process will later help them understand what they read.
Singing is one way to help your child be ready to read. Children don’t care if you can’t carry a tune! Singing breaks down words into smaller parts and helps children hear the sounds that make up words. Singing can also help some children remember things better than just spoken word.
Stories and songs go great together! Try reading Giraffes Can’t Dance. Then make up a silly song about it. .