Yes, I know... it's still summer. But, school is just around the corner! And whether you have a bright-eyed 5 year-old ready for her first day of kindergarten or a "Daniel Tiger"-loving 3 year-old who would rather make mud pies, there are a few things YOU can already be doing to encourage the development of your chid's early literacy skills.
Here are just a few...
1. Be EXCITED about books!
I have to admit.... this was a tough one for me when I had 3 kids under the age of 5. Because I was TIRED... all. the. time. And let's be honest, sometimes trying to read a story book to a 3-year old is like nailing jello to a tree. But, do it anyway! Or go somewhere where somebody ELSE will do it (I kid!... sort of). Here in Colorado Springs there are some great read-aloud programs/events at our local libraries. And pick up some of these recommended books for toddlers and preschoolers while you're there!
2. Encourage Print Awareness
Now that you've picked up some of those great books at the library.... Here are some things you can do with them to help your child understand that printed letters represent words that are spoken.
3. Encourage Phonological Awareness
These are some ways to help your child understand that words are made up of smaller sounds.
4. Introduce New Vocabulary
Label things! Any book will help with this, but choosing ones with words not used in daily conversation and nonfiction books are especially helpful. But, don't limit yourself to books! Grocery shopping is my FAVORITE thing to do with toddlers and preschoolers (are you sensing my sarcasm?) But seriously, take a few extra minutes walking through the produce aisle and ask your child some questions....
5. Practice Narrative Skills
These are just a few things YOU can do EVERYDAY to encourage the development of your child's pre-literacy skills. Now get going to the library and get some books!
Well... maybe after nap time.