In one of my grad classes we discussed the importance of establishing a literacy foundation with babies. I was in shock about how early it all starts. The human brain amazes me with all that it does even at such an early age. There are some fun activities to do with you baby at home or in daycare to help set the stage for learning to read later.
You don’t need to have formal lessons and teach your child, that’s just silly but they are learning so much through interacting with you and their environment. They are learning so much by just listening and communicating with you. Even if it is just babbling it’s their way of interacting with you, and it is important to talk back with your child.
Experts claim, informing your child with everything you are doing exposes them to more vocabulary words and helps make connections between what you are saying and what you are doing. Sometimes I feel like a sports announcer is following me everywhere, but I am trying to explain everything that I am doing with my child. This will help her make connections and boost her vocabulary.
Explain Feelings and Emotions
Learning about emotions is a troubling time for babies and toddlers. When they are experiencing different emotions, think about what your child maybe trying to say why they are doing it. Help them learn to understand their feelings.
Music is a HUGE tool to develop literacy skills. Researchers state, playing music sets the stage for reading because of the rhythmic beat. It doesn’t matter what kind of music is played (however, kids’ music is encouraged) the beat will help to establish literacy skills. It also doesn’t matter how good of a singing voice you have; your baby will love listening to you!
READ READ READ READ! I cannot stress this enough. Reading to your kid will help develop a love for literacy and make books a fun time with your baby. By reading a variety of books your baby and toddler they will pick up on new vocabulary words and can really interact with books too. We love the touch and feel books. They promote vocabulary words but, also allows my kid to feel different textures. These allow my child to interact with the books more and learn new vocabulary words.
Also, reading with expression and changing your voice can make the book come more to life. In elementary school students are required to read with expression and by watching you do it, they will be more inclined to take part in it too!
Now I see lots of kids playing with cell phones (and I am not here to judge you at all I promise I get it!) but you can also bring a book everywhere you go too. I have on that just stays in the diaper bag and we take it out when we are grocery shopping, at the doctor’s office, out to eat, for the car, and anywhere we go. It is just another way to help promote reading when we are out and about.
Before naps or bed time are other great times to break out books and read. It is a calming activity and helps settles kids down AND promotes literacy. It’s a win, win!
I suggest establishing a routine of reading with your baby. This way your kid knows exactly what will be happening and it keeps you all on schedule. I am all about the schedule!
It is never too early or too late to begin reading with your kiddo. Start now and watch your child’s literacy skills and love for reading grow!