Digital literacy is the ability to understand, evaluate, and use information when it is presented by a computer, tablet, or other digital media. With so much technology present in the world, It is important to navigate technology alongside your child. Learning to write or navigate a tablet takes practice and fine motor skills. Fingers need to learn how to hold a pencil and tap the right image on the screen during interactive apps. By using his or her hands to act out this rhyme, your child is practicing coordination and fine motor skills.
Dance Your Fingers
Dance your fingers up
Dance your fingers down
Dance your fingers to the side
And dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders
Dance them on your head
Dance them on your tummy
And put them put them all to bed.
Play offers so many enjoyable opportunities to develop language. It helps children learn to think symbolically, like when they use a banana as a phone. This kind of thinking is used in language all the time and will help as they are learning to read!
Singing with your child is a great bonding experience that promotes listening skills and fosters language acquisition. Next time your child isn’t paying attention, try singing rather than saying your instructions. You might be surprised by their response.
Writing and reading development support one another. As children become aware of print, they begin to understand that the print is what you are reading—not the pictures. They start to see print everywhere in their world and to understand that it represents meaning and the spoken word. It is also important to have your child practice scribbling even before they know how to form letters.
Try this fun activity at home to help strengthen the muscles in your child’s hands and get them ready for writing. After you read a birthday book such as I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, give your child a piece of wrapping paper for your child to wrinkle, tear, bend, and fold. These motions will help strengthen the muscles in your child’s hands and get them ready for writing.
Hearing sounds in words through singing and rhyming prepares children to read. Books that rhyme help children to hear the sounds as they listen for the rhyming pattern. Dr. Seuss books are known for their fun rhyming schemes.
Using the rhyme below with your child, pretend your hands are blocks. This symbolic play promotes your child’s creativity. It also teaches them that one object can represent another object in the same way that print words stand for real objects.
I take my little wooden blocks (make fist)
And stack them one by one. (place fists over and over on top of each other)
I stack them higher, higher (raise fists, still stacking)
And when my task is done, I’ve made some big tall buildings (arms over head)
Just like they have downtown. I give a push. (jab forward with index finger)
They start to sway… (arms raised, sway body back and forth)
CRASH! (clap hands)
They all fall down! (arms fall to sides, or children fall to floor)
Writing starts as scribbles by children. This then develops into letters, words, and sentences. This teaches children that spoken words are shown as written words and that there are other forms of communication.
Talking with children develops their early literacy skills by helping them learn letters, word sounds, and new vocabulary. Making predictions and talking with children about what they think will happen helps them invest in the story. As you read A Hippo in Our Yard, see if your child can predict what Sally will do on each page!
Reading and talking with your child helps build vocabulary by introducing new words. When you read a book to your child, it’s okay to stop briefly to point out a new word and what it means.
If you want to see a real magic trick after reading Rabbit Magic, go online with your child and watch videos on YouTube. This is called joint media engagement, when people use technology together. According to research, children learn faster if engaged with technology in a social setting than when they engage with technology by themselves.