Making Early Literacy Fun
Language and literacy development start at birth, and is largely dependent on your child’s everyday interactions. The more time you and others — such as grandparents, siblings, and child care providers — spend singing, talking, telling stories and reading to him, the better his skills will be.
Simple things like a walk along your street or a trip to the grocery store can turn into a vocabulary lesson: point out colors in leaves or fruit, make up a silly song about vegetables or count cars. It all help your child learn words and their concepts while having fun or just having mom or dad’s attention.
Early literacy looks different at six months than it does at six years. However, it’s important to know that it is never too early to start. The goal at the earliest ages, and every age, is for your child to have positive experiences and learn to love books, music and learning so that he wants to keep learning. Help make the development of language and literacy skills fun and enjoyable to help set the stage for the later years.
Here’s some ideas:
- Fingerplay is brief stories that are often rhymes that use finger movements to help tell the story. Think of Eensy-Weensy Spider, Where is Thumbkin and even The Wheels on the Bus to help you realize what fingerplay is. You can even make up your own stories with fingerplay, and should encourage your child to help act it out with you. Search the Web for more fingerplay activities or ask a librarian for book suggestions.
- Play word and sound games that help your child understand that letter make different sounds that can be put together to create new words. For instance, if he likes to say baa-baa, change the letter to make it la-la, then ma-ma and ha-ha. Have him repeat it back to you, and pair your game with an alphabet book or cards.
- Scribbling, drawing or writing? Well, before young children can learn to write they begin scribbling, which shows that they understand that making marks on a page has meaning. The marks often turn into a story they created, then pictures that you can more easily identify and eventually into words. Help your toddler through this process by having plenty of engaging materials – crayons, markers, paints and paper – available.
Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions your family will make. You can begin your search by calling CCRI’s Child Care Search at 704.348.2181 to let trusted experts help you.