Building Early Literacy Skills:

Did you know that 5 everyday activities can help build your child's literacy skills? Today we will talk about how talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing can contribute to your child's later reading success!

Talking:Researchers agree that young children should hear 21,000 words per day to aid in language development. Reading is simply the understanding of language in written form. Throughout your day, talk to your child about what they are doing, what you are doing, and what you see around you. You will see their vocabulary grow and grow. The more words your child hears and understands, the better!

Singing:Singing can slow language down and teach about how to break apart words into sounds, syllables, and rhymes. These are the building blocks for reading, called phonological awareness. Classic songs likeTwinkle Twinkle Little StarandItsy Bitsy Spiderare slow and bring attention to syllables.Down By the Bayis a great song for generating rhymes and songs like theABCsandBingobring awareness to letters and sounds. Don't be shy about your singing voice…your child will love singing with you, even if you can't carry a tune!

Reading:Reading books with your child is a fun and engaging language learning and literacy opportunity. Not only do books connect words to print, but they expose your child to language that they may not frequently see in their environment. Try pointing to the words as you read to bring attention to the print in books and talk about the pictures. If your child is able, have them fill in words for familiar books. Encourage them to pretend to read the book themselves, showing them proper book orientation. It's okay if your child wants to read the same books over and over. While it can be boring for you, they are learning so much!

Writing:Scribbling and drawing are the precursors to writing.Reading involves connecting symbols (letters) to their meaning (sounds). You can start teaching the connection between symbols and meaning by talking about the pictures your child is drawing. Imagine together what it could be, even if there is no clear picture. Draw pictures yourself and provide labels. Encourage your child to draw with a variety of instruments and participate in fun tactile art projects!

Playing:Play is the way that children explore their environment, learn new concepts, build their vocabulary, and begin to learn narratives and sequences. Play is a vital early skill for later comprehension of stories and books. Play pretend with your child as much as you can. Act out their favorite stories or familiar play schemes. While playing, add new ideas; for example, “Oh no, the monkey fell off the bed. Let's call the doctor!”

Learning to read isn't just about knowing your ABCs. You can easily set your child up for reading success by participating in these fun activities throughout your day.