What is Early Literacy?
Early literacy is helping your child get ready for formal reading instruction. When children have learned early literacy skills before they enter kindergarten, they are at a distinct advantage when learning to read. Since parents and caregivers are a child's first teacher and primary role model, you can begin developing these skills at birth! The FFL has created Born to Read (birth to age 2) and Ready to Read (age 2 & up) kits that will help you and your child have fun with language while developing early literacy skills.
Child development experts have identified five simple activities that can help get your child ready to read:
Children learn language by listening.They learn new words and absorb general knowledge about the world around them. Talking to your child can help them develop vocabulary.
*Tip - Stretch your child's vocabulary by repeating what they say and adding new words. "You want a banana? That's a healthily choice."
Singing slows down language and helps children hear the different sounds that make up words. Singing also develops an awareness or rhythm and syllables.
*Tip - Sing the alphabet song to learn letters & sounds.
Reading with and to your child will help them learn how a book works and what print looks like. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to enjoy learning to read themselves.
*Tip - When you finish reading a book, ask your child to retell the story.
Reading and writing go hand in hand and both communicate information. Children can learn pre-reading skills by practicing drawing and scribbling. It also helps improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
*Tip - Have children sign their drawings and tell stories about what they drew.
Play helps children think symbolically about real objects and experiences. It allows them to use spoken and written words to communicate about real life.
*Tip - Encourage dramatic play to foster narrative skills.