5 Early Literacy Practices
Talking Talking with children helps them learn oral language, one of the most critical early literacy skills. The experience of self-expression also stimulates brain development, which underlies all learning. Click here for fun activities to support this practice.
Singing Singing – which also includes rhyming – increases children’s awareness of and sensitivity to the sounds in words. This helps prepare children to decode print (written language). Songs are a natural way to learn about language. Singing helps children learn new words and adds to their general knowledge. Click here for fun activities to support this practice.
- increases children’s vocabulary and background knowledge
- helps children learn how books work and how written language looks
- gives them an understanding of how stories are organized – that they have a beginning, middle & end
- encourages imaginative thinking
Writing Writing and reading go together. Writing helps children learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning. Before a child is ready to hold a pencil and write, the muscles in their hands need to be strong enough. Practicing and developing fine motor skills will help develop these muscles and the hand eye coordination needed. Click here for fun activities to support this practice.
Playing Play is one of the primary ways young children learn language and literacy skills and learn about the world. General knowledge is an important literacy skill that helps children understand books and stories once they begin to read. Play also helps children think symbolically: a ruler becomes a magic wand, today becomes a time when dinosaurs were alive, a playmate becomes an astronaut exploring space. Through play children realize that one thing can stand for another. This also helps children understand that written words stand for real objects and experiences. Click here for fun activities to support this practice.
Other Helpful Tips:
Let your children see you reading and writing.
Children become aware that printed letters stand for spoken words as they see print used in their daily lives. Make sure your children see you and others reading newspapers, food labels, road signs, recipes, mail, etc. And make sure your children see you and others writing lists, jotting down reminders, making notes on a calendar, writing out checks and paying bills.
The library has many materials and ideas you can use to talk, sing, read, write, and play with your child.
It doesn’t matter if your child is 4 days old or 4 years old…. We have books, music, classes, toys, etc. to help your child learn language and pre-reading skills.
Encourage games/activities that develop fine motor skills.
Literacy is the ability to read and write. In order to write, children need the fine motor coordination and skills to properly hold a pencil. Make sure your children are using the muscles in their hands to screw/unscrew small objects, string beads, use clothespins, etc. Click here for more fun 'fine motor skill' activities.