You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Even from birth, you can set the stage for school success by developing your child’s early literacy (or pre-reading and writing) skills. The good news is, as you probably already know, this is a lot of fun! Singing, talking, writing, reading, and playing with your child throughout the day will help reinforce these essentials:
Print Motivation: Realizing that books are cool!
Not only does your child see you enjoying books, but reading together allows the two of you to bond over favorite stories and to learn about the world.
Vocabulary: Knowing the names of things.
Chat with your child about everything and anything! Repeated exposure to new words will help your child learn and remember them. The average child starts school with a vocabulary of 3,000 to 5,000 words!
Print Awareness: Understanding that written words have meaning.
Point to the words on the page when reading together. Also point out words that you encounter throughout the day such as signs, cereal boxes, or mail.
Narrative Skills: Describing things and telling stories.
Talk about your plans for the day in the morning or go back over the events of the day at night. Ask open-ended questions when you read stories together like “What do you think is happening on this page?”
Letter Knowledge: Knowing the names and sounds that letters make.
Write down a letter of the day and talk about different things that begin with that letter.
Phonological Awareness: Hearing and playing with smaller sounds in words.
Sing silly songs (remember the Name Game?), dance or clap to each syllable in a word, or enjoy a book with great rhymes.
Looking to get started: Check out our Early Literacy Kits