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.
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.
Reading aloud to babies exposes them to more words than they hear in conversation. Machines at Work by Byron Barton contains unusual words such as rubble and cement. It’s okay if babies don’t understand all the words they hear. They are still learning about language while they listen.
Make reading fun by engaging your child in the story by reading lift-the-flap books, singing as you read, or talking to your baby about things they see in the pictures. It’s more important that reading to your child is enjoyable rather than long. Follow your child’s mood.
Has your child found a favorite book that you feel like you are reading over and over again? Keep reading! There is value to be found even in repeated sharing of a book– exposure to familiar words helps to build vocabulary.