Building Blocks of Early Learning

Building Blocks of Early Learning

Talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. These are five fun and easy things we can do with our children every day to get them ready to read!

Talking

Talking with children is a wonderful way to help them learn new words and information. Research tells us that having a larger vocabulary as toddlers can help children to become better readers a few years later. 

Don’t be afraid to use words that your child doesn’t know. You can explain the words, and they can learn! For instance, if you visit a park and sit under a maple tree, tell your child that it is a tree, but also tell them that kind of tree is called a maple tree. 

 

Singing

Singing is a very natural way for a child to learn about language.

Each syllable in a word may have its own note in a song. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes is a great example of this. Each syllable sounds a bit different than the others. This helps children learn that words are made up of smaller sounds.

 

Reading

Reading with your child is the most important way to help them get ready to read on their own.

When reading picture books, don’t be afraid to be silly! Point to exclamation points and question marks and explain to your child that those symbols help us to know what our voices should do when we say those sentences. Explain that exclamation points mean we should read that line with energy and that question marks tell us that our voices should go up at the end of a sentence, just like when we ask questions that are not written down in a book.

 

Writing

Even if your child is too young to write their name, or even to recognize letters, they can scribble and pretend! Writing and reading are related activities. Writing and scribbling can help children learn that written words are connected to spoken language.

 

Playing

Playing helps children learn how to put their thoughts into words.

Use new vocabulary words while playing with your child. Try to add at least one new word every time you play and repeat the word a few times while you play. For example, if you are playing with a train set, you can use the words: train, wheels, over, under, through (a tunnel), fast, slow, stop and uh-oh (if the train falls off the tracks!).

 

Check out these books to learn more about early literacy, and help your child get ready to read:

Baby Storytime Magic: Active Early Literacy Through Bounces, Rhymes, Tickles and More by Kathy MacMillan

Storytimes for Everyone! Developing Young Children’s Language and Literacy by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz

Read It! Play It! With Babies and Toddlers  by Oppenheim, Joanne

Creating Readers by Schiller, Pamela Byrne

Reading Games by Jackie Silberg

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