Developing Your Child's Early Literacy Skills
Raising a reader starts from day one! Check out these helpful tips from our Early Literacy staff to help set your child up for success. And while you're here, sign up for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program!
Talk about everything -- describe what you are doing as you cook, name body parts as you dress your child, etc.
Incorporate reading into your daily routine.
Brain development research shows that reading aloud to your child every day increases their brain's capacity for language and literacy skills and is the most important thing you can do to prepare them for learning to read. Book language is different from spoken language and just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference in the development their vocabulary.
Hold your child while you read.
Snuggling with your child while reading brings good feelings and is a special bonding time as it is a child-centered time to be cherished.
Read what you enjoy.
Before comprehension begins, you can read anything you enjoy to your child: newspaper, magazines, recipe books or a novel you enjoy. If you are reading a child’s book and not enjoying it, stop and chose another one.
Read books about what interests your child.
Try to find books about things that excite your child. When your child gets older, have them help you pick out books at the library.
Sing songs and rhymes.
Children enjoy the rhythm and repetition so repeat them often. Don’t force it if your child is not in the mood. It is okay to stop in the middle of a book and come back to it later. Some children do like to play with a car or doll as you read so ask if they would like you to continue. Even if their hands are busy, they are still listening.
Make it fun!
Use different voices, tones, and vary speech volume.
Have them repeat.
Have your child repeat important phrases or repeated phrases.
Point to the words.
As you read, point to words at times. Do this more often as they get older. Pointing to words that you are reading teaches them the black letters have meaning and helps them make the connection that you are reading those black words (print recognition).