Just try these five simple techniques at home to help your child build their language and pre-reading skills:
It sounds far too simple, but just talking with your young child – even holding a two-way “conversation” with a cooing infant – helps develop their capacity for understanding spoken words and recognizing them later in writing. Talking with your child also increases their vocabulary and helps them better understand their surroundings.
Singing slows down language so young children can hear the individual sounds that make up words. Clapping along also helps them hear the separate syallables in a word. And, singing the alphabet song introduces a child to the concept of letters.
Children learn to love reading on the laps on their parents and caregivers. Reading together helps a child learn that books are read front-to-back as you help them manipulate the pages. When you use a finger to follow along with the printed words, children learn that the letters have meaning and they add new words to their growing vocabularies.
For young children, scribbles are writing. Talk with your child about their drawings, then write captions or short stories together and ask them to “sign” their work. These simple steps help forge a connection between spoken words and written communication.
It may sound counterintuitive, but put away the books and play! Imaginative play, such as playing dress up, encourages children to think symbolically, so they begin to understand that spoken and written words can stand for real things, places, and feelings.
Learn More about Early Literacy
Parents and caregivers that want to learn more about early literacy or help their child get ready to read are invited to join the state-wide 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at the Forsyth County Public Library.
The program includes free reading logs, book lists and reading suggestions, and recognition for reaching reading milestones. Special programs and book character visits are also offered at the library throughout the year.