As a former first grader teacher and current ESL teacher, I am a huge advocate of early literacy. I believe it is so important to build a good foundation in children starting in their home environment. As our son approaches two, I am becoming more intentional with his learning and skills. However, I think there are so many easy and obtainable ways to encourage and promote literacy in young children. Today I wanted to share five things I have done with our son from ages 0-2. I would love to know anything that has worked for you!
Singing songs is something that is so easy to do throughout the day. We like to sing whenever we get a chance and have a song for almost everything (waking up, brushing teeth, cleaning up, taking a bath, etc). It can make routines fun and encourage mind-body connections. Children are exposed to vocabulary, rhythm, and meaning just through a simple song.
Reading is so powerful with young children! They are naturally exposed to many concepts and skills which is amazing. Children will not only learn how a book works but will be introduced to vocabulary, phrasing, expression/inflection, dialogue, print, images, sounds and so much more!
Nursery rhymes are another simple, yet powerful tool to encourage literacy. Children are once again being exposed to sounds, syllables, and rhythm/rhyme, phonemic awareness, and more!
I think it is so important to talk to your baby/toddler! Even if they are not responding they are developing listening skills and understanding of language. Once again they are exposed to rich vocabulary, expression, sentence structure, etc. Now that our son is taking a lot more, we are being more intentional with modeling questions, complete sentences and grammar.
Ask your child questions! This is something we started doing as our son began talking. Asking questions to your child will help with their comprehension and general understanding. It can also promote critical thinking, expression, and language!