Today, research supports the belief that it is important to help young children be ready for school with effective early literacy and learning skills strategies at home so that adjustment becomes easier. Reading skills are highly important since they are the basics of learning any subject.
If you choose right books and activities for your child, the development of language and literacy skills begins in the first 3 years of life for your child. The fun activities you have with colouring books, reading bed-time stories, role plays, and many other activities can be building blocks for development of language, communication, reading and writing skills in your toddler when he/she starts school.
You can help your child be confident in school with the skills he/she has already acquired at home through few fun activities practiced in everyday life. By choosing your everyday activity wisely you can help your child
- Develop language skills
- Differentiate different word sounds
- Recognize alphabets and learn phonetics
- Know the environment around them
- Learn to follow commands and simple direction
- Organize and categorize objects in order
- Know the numbers and counting
Let us discuss few activities which will help you develop early literacy skills in your child for baby
The first step towards early literacy would be through singing lullabies and other songs to your baby. This will also help in making your baby feel secure and calm. When your baby starts showing interest in pictures around the age of 6 months, start with baby books which have colourful pictures and are made especially to entertain them. If the book has flaps, holes, or standees for special effects, your task of entertaining your baby becomes easier.
Make your baby comfortable in your lap and point pictures repeating names of objects, rhymes or stories. Keep it short and simple. Teach the child to pet the doggy picture, or feel the sheep fur. Use your imagination and creativity to bring our different sensory experiences for your baby.
Baby loves when you change your tone and pace in voice. Make the narrations as much dramatic as possible. Imitate all the characters and animals in the book with your skills in mimicry. The gurgling laugh that follows will make it worth every effort you put in.
Your baby loves the sound of your voice and your touch a lot. When you combine books with this pleasant experience for the baby in the initial year, the association lasts for a lifetime. Even in their adulthood, they may just retire into a corner with a book when feeling low to get the secure and pleasant feeling once again.
Continue reading books and introduce ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’ to your baby now. Teach your child to repeat simple words.
Nothing can be more boring than folding laundry for you, but for your child every piece of dress can be a new world in itself. Describe the shirts, shorts, or any other laundry you are folding to your child, asking him to name them later. You need not stick to laundry here. You can make your child an active participant in every activity you do around your home, like cleaning, cooking, washing, setting table and many more.
Now you can also introduce your child to the names of food, vehicles, plants, animals and people. Guide your child to pronounce these words as accurately as possible.
It is time for you to introduce your child to more interesting books with stories he/she can understand. We know how boring it can be to read the story to your toddler for the ‘n’th number of time, but this is the right way to introduce them to reading.
You can teach your child to sing simple rhymes with actions now.
Instead of just talking about laundry, you can ask your child to sort out clothes that belong to mama, papa and baby separately. You can ask the toddler to count how many clothes have been folded.
While setting up table, you can ask them to bring spoons, glasses or any other unbreakable empty and safe items to the table. Same way you can show size of pots in the kitchen and discuss them.
While cooking, you can talk about the colors of ingredients, hot and cold beverages, and many other interesting things.
Take them along with your to shop and other places you visit for your daily needs. Further you can organize field trips for your child for a specific learning.
You need not stop with the above mentioned activities. There is lot more you can do with your child to help them develop early literacy skills before they start school.